September 10, 2006, - 11:18 pm

Notes on ABC’s “The Path to 9/11″: FBI Bias & Inaccuracies We Saw

By Debbie Schlussel
Here are a few of my observations on the first half of the edited version of “The Path to 9/11,” which ran on ABC, tonight:
1) Why does Mohammed Atta (played by actor Martin Brody) look more like newly retired Detroit Red Wing Steve Yzerman than like Mohammed Atta? Just asking. (The resemblance to Yzerman is far more pronounced in the movie than in the pics below.)

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Mohammed Atta, Actor Martin Brody, Hockey Star Steve Yzerman

2) You read it on this site first, months before the movie:
* Ramzi Youssef used Casio watches to detonate bombs on planes, a reason TSA and airport security officials have been on the lookout for Middle Eastern men sporting the International Watch of Terrorists.
* Ramzi Youssef is 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s nephew. We knew it. The producers of “The Path to 9/11″ knew it. But FBI Director Robert Mueller and top FBI counterterrorism brass still don’t know it.
3) Point of correction: The movie incorrectly identified Customs Inspector Diana Dean–who stopped Millennium Bomber–as a Customs Agent. She was not. We wrote about this when Ressam received his piddling sentence from liberal Judge, the Dishonorable John Coughenor.
In fact, at that time (end of 1999), the United States Customs Service was still intact–with the Office of Investigations (the agents) and the Inspectors (at the border/airports/ports). That was one of the great things about pre-9/11–the agents and inspectors communicated with each other and worked together. Now, the former Customs inspectors are Customs & Border Protection agents, together with former INS inspectors. And both CBP and ICE (the agency into which INS and Customs Agents went) are a mess.
You can vaguely hear the INS inspector (not shown on screen) waving Ressam into the States before Dean catches him. But if you didn’t know about it, you wouldn’t notice in the movie. Also not shown, after he was caught by Dean, the INS inspectors tried to slam Ressam’s car trunk (filled with volatile explosives) shut, which would have blown the car up.
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3) Point of correction #2: We can tell, big-time, that the FBI had a big hand in this movie. John Miller, who is now one of its PR spokespeople, wrote the book, “The Cell,” on which it is based. So the FBI–not accurately at all–comes off smelling like a rose. When, in fact–in counterterrorism–the Bureau stunk like something else.
In the movie, the FBI is portrayed as having followed the cell that bombed the WTC in 1993, ever since its member El-Sayyid Nosair murdered Rabbi Meir Kahane. The blame for letting them off the hook is laid at the feet of the NYPD. But in fact, it was the exact opposite of that, in reality. As we wrote, that’s not at all what happened. In fact, the FBI did NOT pay attention to Kahane’s murder at all. They ignored it. That is confirmed in many, many reports and investigations, including “Jihad in America.” Had the FBI paid attention to Kahane’s murder (instead of dismissing it as a minor, lone angry Muslim killing a Rabbi the FBI didn’t like and was also spying on), they would have discovered Ramzi Youssef, the ’93 WTC bombing plot, etc., well before it happened. The movie is disingenuous on that.
Ditto for its portrayal of the NYPD as dropping the ball on Muslim informants. That’s never been the case. The NYPD and FBI have been at odds before and especially now, because many of the terror plots caught in NYC were discovered and stopped by the NYPD, not the clueless FBI, including–as we wrote–Shahawar Matin Siraj’s plot to bomb the subways during the 2004 GOP National Convention. The NYPD’s counterterrorism division is much better than the FBI’s, and the Bureau doesn’t like it one bit. The FBI’s counterterrorism officials have openly dissed the NYPD for having officers in Israel, for example, etc. Tough to be Famous But Incompetent.
4) In a “Nightline” special right after (which we figure was put into place to replace the 15-20 minutes of the movie we figure was cut to please Clintonistas), ABC’s Brian Ross discussed the “cold trail” in the search for Bin Laden, despite the “$25 million reward.”
But, in November 2004, the House passed legislation doubling the reward to $50 million. According to AP, that’s the official reward amount, now. That Brian Ross–who is supposed to be ABC’s chief investigative correspondent in the war on terror–still doesn’t know that (assuming AP is correct) is telling.
5) We like newcomer Mido Hamada, who does great work as Northern Alliance leader Massoud.
6) So far, former New Kids on the Blocker Donnie Wahlberg is okay as secret FBI operative “Kirk.”

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8 Responses

Good observation Debbie about that Nightline segment that was pasted in at the end.
I wonder if the footage that was cut out will ever make it onto the internet somewhere.

wisemonkey on September 11, 2006 at 2:27 am

The book “losing bin laden” tells a lot of what was in that movie. Don’t read it if you can’t stand to know just how many times Clinton screwed up getting Bin laden.I love your blog Debbie.

Taurus on September 11, 2006 at 3:48 am

Yawn. I didn’t watch that propaganda promoted by the left and right. These assholes, had they done their job, there would be no 9/11. Also, I guess ABC can’t be accused of being a lefty anymore.

KOAJaps on September 11, 2006 at 4:29 am

In tonight’s episode, ABC reveals the REAL culprits; It was a conspiracy between Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan.
Hey, the LIBS blame them for everything else, why not this?

Thee_Bruno on September 11, 2006 at 9:47 am

I watched it just to see how badly ABC could screw it up. Too bad they cut out the last 20 minutes…it would have been interesting to see how many more would get burned. I have to admit, though, they did manage to get the point across that, despite the Clintonistas crying foul, they shit in their collective messkits when it came to taking out Bin Laden. They had numerous opportunities handed to them but ‘ol Bill was too busy getting his helmet polished, Sandy Buger, er Burger was doing just that; pickin’ his nose (among other orifices), Madeline “Not so” Bright was shopping for a new hat, and the rest of the spineless geeks didn;t have the balls to send in a Black Ops unit and take Bin Laden out. FBI had their share of monkey-spanking too. Seemed like the only one who really had any guts was the female Phillipina Captain who arrested Yousef in Manila. That’s how it needs to be done!

Gunny on September 11, 2006 at 12:31 pm

I know both sides have agendas, liberal/conservative but it justs disgusts me that people would cover 9/11 and not completely tell the WHOLE truth. Many American people are so hypocritical, especially the FBI.
At lunch, I walked past the Marriott in Crystal City, the one that just hosted CAIR and Khatami, they have the nerve to have a giant American flag on display today. They make me sick. I want to complain to management that they have no right to display that flag when they so blatantly cater to terrorists.

Minnie Mouse on September 11, 2006 at 1:35 pm

After Kahane was killed, there was a lengthy article in the Village Voice that was all about Kahane’s murderers ties to Radical Muslim cells in NYC and NJ. These turned out to be some of the same people who who where involved in the 1993 attack on the WTC. The Voice article was published long before the 1993 attack. It’s proof that the authorities knew about Radical Muslim activities in the NYC area, but did not take the threat seriously.

FreethinkerNY on September 12, 2006 at 12:07 am

I wonder if the true story about the Food & Beverage Industry (FBI) will ever be told? For years J. Edgar denied the existence of the Mafia. He like to bet on the horses with the “boys”, if he won, they paid off, if he lost they forgot about it. He was a total incompent who lived for publicity. I sure the very mention of the word “Boston” must send them into hidding.
If you want to figure out how the dodge the law, hire a lawyer, and the FBI has thousands of them.

Burt on September 12, 2006 at 9:54 am

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