Smart people I trust tell me: Watch “The Path to 9/11”

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The Article

I’m on the mailing list for a film festival, which surprises most of you because you know I abhor the Arts and Feelings sections of all newspapers, and Hollywood liberals, and every film festival.  Except one.  It’s the Liberty Film Festival

One of the founders of that festival (and author of the email from this morning, below), is Jason Apuzzo.  He has appeared in our Columnist Section when he wrote an excellent editorial entitled: Where Conservative Film is Now.  I’ve also mentioned his name and quoted him several times.

His web site is: LIBERTAS

Please be sure to watch ABC’s outstanding miniseries “The Path to 9/11” this Sunday, September 10 at 8:00pm Pacific and Eastern, and Monday, September 11 at 8:00pm Pacific and Eastern.

We encourage you to support “The Path to 9/11”‘s talented writer/producer Cyrus Nowrasteh (who spoke at the Liberty Film Festival last fall) and director David Cunningham, both of whom have come under attack recently from the Left. Liberty Film Festival Co-Founder Govindini Murty wrote the first published review of “The Path to 9/11” on Aug. 18 (Govindini was also on CNN’s Glenn Beck Show this past Friday defending “The Path to 9/11”), and the Liberty Film Festival is proud to have been amongst the first to publicize this outstanding production. Here’s the link to Govindini’s review (the full text is also in this email below).

“The Path to 9/11” offers an objective look at the events leading up to 9/11 (including the failures of the Clinton administration) and as a result the filmmakers have come under unrelenting attack from the cultural Left. The Senate Democrat leadership, led by Harry Reid, is making veiled threats to pull ABC’s broadcast license if ABC doesn’t cancel the miniseries in its entirety.  This is the most appalling example of artistic censorship we have ever seen. Here’s the link to our post on LIBERTAS, where we’ve reprinted Democrat Senator Harry Reid’s letter to ABC in its entirety.

We also cover the attempt of House Democrats to censor “The Path to 9/11” here.

This attempt on the part of Senate and House Democrats to muzzle the free artistic expression of the filmmakers behind ABC’s “The Path to 9/11” is unprecedented, and blows a chill wind on the free speech of any Hollywood filmmaker who attempts to make a film criticizing the political Left.  This is truly appalling – both for the health of the creative arts in Hollywood – and for our free speech rights as Americans. We encourage you all to watch “The Path to 9/11” this Sunday and Monday night on ABC, and to voice your support for courageous filmmakers Cyrus Nowrasteh, David Cunningham, Marc Platt, and the rest of “The Path to 9/11” team. By producing “The Path to 9/11” with great honesty, sensitivity, artistic integrity, and dedication to the truth, they honor the memory of the victims of 9/11 – and help to ensure that such an event never happens again.

FrontPage Magazine ran an excellent interview recently with writer/producer Cyrus Nowrasteh (who spoke at the 2005 Liberty Film Festival). This quote from Cyrus will make clear why I’m so excited about this miniseries:

Nowrasteh: This miniseries is not just about the tragedy and events of 9/11, it dramatizes “how we got there” going back 8 years to the first attack on the WTC and dealing with the Al Qaeda strikes against U.S. embassies and forces in the 90s, the political lead-up, the hatching of the terrorist plots, etc. We see the heroes on the ground, like FBI agent John O’Neill and others, who after the ‘93 attack felt sure that the terrorists would strike the WTC again. It also dramatizes the frequent opportunities the Administration had in the 90s to stop Bin Laden in his tracks – but lacked the will to do so. We also reveal the day-by-day lead-up of clues and opportunities in 2001 right up to the day of the 9/11 attacks. This is a terror thriller as well as a history lesson. I think people will be engaged and enlightened.

FP: When you refer to the failed effort to stop Bin Laden in the 1990s, this was obviously the time of Bill Clinton. How much do you think his administration made us vulnerable to 9/11?

Nowrasteh: The 9/11 report details the Clinton’s administration’s response – or lack of response – to Al Qaeda and how this emboldened Bin Laden to keep attacking American interests. The worst example is the response to the October, 2000 attack on the U.S.S. Cole in Yemen where 17 American sailors were killed. There simply was no response. Nothing.”

Fortunately, Nowrasteh and the producers of this miniseries have gone out on a limb to honestly and fairly depict how Clinton-era inaction, political correctness, and bureaucratic inefficiency allowed the 9/11 conspiracy to metastasize. Let me say here though that “The Path to 9/11” is not a partisan miniseries or a “conservative” miniseries. It simply presents the facts in an honest and straightforward manner (the producers have backed up every detail of the miniseries with copious amounts of research and documentation), and the facts are that for seven years, from 1993 to 2000, the Clinton administration bungled the handling of the world-wide terrorist threat. The miniseries is equally honest in depicting the Bush administration. It shows a few points where administration officials, following in the tradition of the Clinton years, do not follow certain clues about the terrorist plot as zealously as they should have. Nonetheless, “The Path to 9/11,” by honestly depicting the unfolding of events over eight years, makes it clear that most of the conspiracy leading up to 9/11 was hatched during the seven years of the Clinton administration, and that since Bush was in power for only eight months when 9/11 occurred, he can hardly be blamed for the entire disaster.”

“The Path to 9/11” does a tremendous job in bringing to life the complex web of international characters and organizations that lay behind the events of that tragic day. ABC has created a miniseries that is truly epic in scope – a richly textured tapestry that weaves together a fascinating array of people, places, organizations and events both here in America and around the world. I was impressed by how vivid every character was, however briefly he or she may have been on the screen – and how quickly, clearly, and economically Nowrasteh and Cunningham depicted complex events. I absolutely loved the on-location work they did, and the great character actors of every nationality that they brought together. Cyrus Nowrasteh’s background as an Iranian-American seems in particular to have given him a special insight into both the Middle-Eastern and American aspects of the story. Director David Cunningham, the son of a missionary, also brings an obvious love of foreign cultures and locales to his direction. The result is an engrossing, atmospheric tale of foreign intrigue. It was fascinating to see the crowded urban slums of Pakistan where the CIA captured Ramzi Youssef, the desert fortresses of the Taliban and Northern Alliance in Afghanistan, the Manila nightclubs where the 9/11 hijackers planned their attacks, the Tanzanian locales where the embassies were blown up, the meetings of the terrorists in Spain, and the various locations across America where the conspiracy comes together.

Let me wrap up by saying that what I truly loved about “The Path to 9/11” was the following: the honesty with which it told the story behind 9/11 with all its political ramifications; the epic scope and sweep of the story; the vivid and interesting characters of all nationalities; the great use of international locations; the terrific use of ethnic source music in tying the segments together and giving the miniseries a musical, propulsive pace (often reminding me of the musical quality of such 1940s Warner Brothers classics as “Casablanca” and “The Sea Hawk” ) ; and the outstanding cinematography and editing (the miniseries has a great documentary-realist style that comes from director David Cunningham’s background as a documentarian). Cyrus Nowrasteh tells me that they had five cameras shooting at all times, which accounts for the great natural moments they caught between the actors, and the swift pace of the storytelling.

Overall, I thought “The Path to 9/11” was infinitely better than Oliver Stone’s “World Trade Center” (granted, Stone decided to tell a narrower story), and if this is properly marketed, ABC should have a huge hit on its hands. The problem is that I don’t see ABC marketing it at all, and I’m concerned that they’re dropping the ball on getting the word out about this show. They’ve reportedly spent more than $40 million producing “The Path to 9/11,” and yet I see little advertising or promotion anywhere. Conservatives need to really step in here and spread the word via talk radio and the internet. Every American, and everyone alarmed by Islamic terrorism around the world should see this miniseries. “The Path to 9/11” should get every Emmy award and Golden Globe award out there – if Hollywood is willing to be fair and open- minded.

I’m highly encouraged by the ad that 84 Hollywood filmmakers and celebrities took out on August 17 in the Los Angeles Times denouncing Hamas and Hezbollah, and I’m thrilled by this ABC miniseries. I hope this heralds a new, saner approach on the part of Hollywood toward the world-wide problem of Islamo- fascism — one that recognizes Islamic terrorism for what it is, and is willing to denounce it so that better things, such as democracy, civil rights, women’s rights, and free speech — can take its place. These are issues that all conservatives and liberals can get behind, and I’m glad to see that the entertainment industry is finally, at least in these two instances, uniting for the greater good of this country and for the noble cause of democracy around the world.

Govindini Murty & Jason Apuzzo, Liberty Film Festival Co-Founders & Co-Artistic Directors

Joel Johannesen
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