Saturday, September 09, 2006

Idiot ABC TV-movie I

Tomorrow, ABC is going to air "The Path to 9/11", a two-night docudrama reputedly based on the 9/11 Commission Report about the circumstances that led to the tragedy five years ago.

The problem is, there are scenes in the docudrama that never happened. As a result, there has been quite a controversy this week over the movie, with Clinton Administration officials demanding that ABC drop the program because it defames them. Conservatives commentators, many of whom got an advance copy of the movie (a privilege not extended to the Clinton administration officials or President Clinton himself), concede that maybe all the scenes in the movie aren't entirely accurate, but that the essential truth is depicted.

Or as Steve Colbert calls it, the "truthiness" of the movie is on-target.

Of course, I wonder if Rush Limbaugh, one of the conservative commentators who has seen and praised the docudrama, would like it if a filmed biography of his life showed him buying Oxycontin on the streets of Miami. It never happened in real life, but the truthiness of depicting his drug addiction would certainly be on the mark.

In a way, "The Path to 9/11" is a fitting metaphor for the information coming out of this administration. It doesn't matter if the information is factual, so long as it seems to have truthiness.

A bi-partisan report strategically released on Friday (so that it would not have news impact it might have) clearly demonstrates that the Bush Administration's claims that Saddam Hussein had ties to Al Qaeda were false. In fact, Hussein had no real use for Osama Bin Laden or Islamic extremists.

The intelligence on which the Bush Administration based its conclusion of the Iraq - Al Qaeda ties was largely provided by Ahmed Chalabi, a former favorite of the neo-conservatives who urged the government to invade Iraq. Chalabi was paid $300,000 per month to provide information to the U.S. government -- most of it since completely discredited. Despite warnings, particularly from the German government, that Chalabi's information could not be trusted, it had enough truthiness to be used by Colin Powell in his 2003 presentation to the United Nations used to galvanize support by the public and our allies for the Iraqi invasion.

Of course, as John Adams once said "Facts are stubborn things" (later updated by Ronald Reagan as "Facts are stupid things"). And, whether they are stubborn or stupid, this administration is not too terribly fond of them. They get in the way of truthiness.

Now, here's some truth. In the last 115 years, the U.S. government, in order to protect U.S. corporate interests, and often using alleged Communist influence as a justification, has taken over or had governments overthrown in Hawaii, Cuba, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Nicaragua, Honduras, Iran, Guatemala, Vietnam, Chile, Grenada, and Panama. In every single case, these actions took place during a Republican Administration (including Vietnam, where John Foster Dulles helped prevent the promised national elections in Vietnam in 1956).

In all of the above cases, the U.S. public was either kept in the dark or misled about the real reasons for the change in governments. And now, we have another Republican Administration overthrowing a government (Iraq) while misleading the public about the reasons for that overthrow.

When our own executive branch of government doesn't distinguish between fact and fiction, should we be surprised when a TV network follows suit?


Blogger Pyshnov said...


If you are paying attention to plagiarism in academia, you should see this:
"University of Toronto Fraud" at

Michael Pyshnov

6:31 AM  

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