Michelle and I finally got around to watching The Path to 911 last week over the course of a three days. It is a five hour docudrama without commercial interruption and I didn't want to stay up late watching it so I recorded it so we could watch it at our convenience.
I found the film to be very well done. The cast, pacing, cinematography, and storyline were superior. I kept reminding myself that this is more drama than documentary. ABC reminded the audience several times that some characters were combined, some scenes were fictionalized, and that this film should not be taken as a factual documentary.
I'm not an expert on 9/11 and I'm not going to try to point out what was done with historical accuracy and what wasn't. I have been curious about all the hype and criticism this movie has received. Most of the criticism has come from left-wingers, including Bill Clinton, Sandy Berger, and Madeline Albright. They complained that the film emphasized that the attacks were primarily their fault.
I listened to an interview with one of the film's producers, who incidentally and interestingly, is of Iranian descent. He responded to the criticism from the left by saying that he was not politically affiliated with any party and they took particular care to make an accurate account of the actions or inactions made by specific individuals, no matter what political side they were on.
As for my take on this. I believe Clinton and others, who have bashed this movie are way off base here. I've read and heard some ridiculous comments that this film virtually pins all the blame on the Clinton administration. No way! There is very little about Clinton's involvement or lack of involvement. It does get into some of his staff members dropping the ball. From everything I've heard and read outside of this docudrama, Madeline Albright and Sandy Berger did forewarn the Pakistani government that they were going to send missiles at Al Queda many hours beforehand. Maybe it didn't happen exactly the way it was portrayed in the movie but it apparently did happen. The film showed ineptitude by government agencies as well where the CIA and FBI wouldn't share information.
And yes, the film does point out how the Bush administration chose to ignore the information and warnings given by the previous administration. Similar, actually, to how the Clinton administration chose to ignore Iraq, but that's another discussion. Bush was shown in the classroom reading to children when informed of the attacks. It also indicated that Bush didn't take it too seriously right away.
I just don't see why people, (many of whom I would guess never bothered to watch the movie) are bashing this movie so. Sometimes I really wonder if we're forgetting whose to blame for 9/11. No, it's not Clinton, it's not Bush, it's Al Queda. That's who our anger should be directed at.