07 September 2006
Dear Sandy
"There is nothing in the 9/11 Commission Report (the purported basis of your film) to support this portrayal and the fabrication of this scene (of such apparent magnitude) cannot be justified under any reasonable definition of dramatic license. In no instance did President Clinton or I ever fail to support a request from the CIA or US military to authorize an operation against bin Laden or al Qaeda."

Sandy Berger in letter to Robert Iger of Disney in re "The Path to 9/11"
September 5, 2006

But Sandy, that's not what the National Commission Report says:

On May 29, “Jeff ” informed “Mike” that he had just met with Tenet, Pavitt, and the chief of the Directorate’s Near Eastern Division.The decision was made not to go ahead with the operation.“Mike” cabled the field that he had been directed to “stand down on the operation for the time being.”He had been told, he wrote, that cabinet-level officials thought the risk of civilian casualties—“collateral damage”—was too high.They were concerned about the tribals’ safety, and had worried that “the purpose and nature of the operation would be subject to unavoidable misinterpretation and misrepresentation—and probably recriminations—in the event that Bin Ladin, despite our best intentions and efforts, did not survive.”29
Impressions vary as to who actually decided not to proceed with the operation. Clarke told us that the CSG saw the plan as flawed.He was said to have described it to a colleague on the NSC staff as “half-assed” and predicted that the principals would not approve it. “Jeff ” thought the decision had been made at the cabinet level. Pavitt thought that it was Berger’s doing, though perhaps on Tenet’s advice. Tenet told us that given the recommendation of his chief operations officers, he alone had decided to “turn off ” the operation. He had simply informed Berger, who had not pushed back. Berger’s recollection was similar. He said the plan was never presented to the White House for a decision. [emphasis added]

National Commission On Terrorist Attacks Upon The United States
"The 9/11 Comission Report"

Chapter 4, Page 7

While I will grant that ABC probably took dramatic license in presenting an operation that was planned, rehearsed, gamed and simulated over six plus months and compressed it into one scene, it still doesn't diminish the fact that the snatch plan was scrubbed by either someone in the White House, NSC or Cabinet and that at least one person thought you were the reason it was scrubbed.

And that is just one example of "missed opportunities" to do what was right and necessary, what about Kandahar in '99?

Of couse Chapter 4 also doles out this little paragraph that apparently you and the rest of the Democrats don't really want people to think about now do you?

On November 4, 1998, the U.S.Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York unsealed its indictmentof Bin Ladin, charging him with conspiracy to attack U.S. defense installations. The indictment also charged that al Qaeda had allied itself with Sudan, Iran, and Hezbollah.The original sealed indictment had added that al Qaeda had “reached an understanding with the government of Iraq that al Qaeda would not work against that government and that on particular projects, specifically including weapons development, al Qaeda would work cooperatively with the Government of Iraq.” This passage led Clarke, who for years had read intelligence reports on Iraqi-Sudanese cooperation on chemical weapons, to speculate to Berger that a large Iraqi presence at chemical facilities in Khartoum was “probably a direct result of the Iraq–Al Qida agreement.” Clarke added that VX precursor traces found near al Shifa were the “exact formula used by Iraq.” This language about al Qaeda’s “understanding” with Iraq had been dropped, however, when a superseding indictment was filed in November 1998"

National Commission On Terrorist Attacks Upon The United States "The 9/11 Comission Report"
Chapter 4, Page 21 (page 128 of the entire report)

Sure you don't want to rethink that statement there Sandy? You might open up a whole can of worms that y'all have fought to keep closed for a long time no? I mean, Saddam had nothing to do with terrorism right?


I completely forgot how interesting the 9/11 report was...especially if you read the footnotes:

On December 4, as news came in about the discoveries in Jordan, National Security Council (NSC) Counterterrorism Coordinator Richard Clarke wrote Berger,“If George’s [Tenet’s] story about a planned series of UBL attacks at the Millennium is true, we will need to make some decisions NOW.” He told us he held several conversations with President Clinton during the crisis. He suggested threatening reprisals against the Taliban in Afghanistan in the event of any attacks on U.S. interests, anywhere, by Bin Ladin. He further proposed to Berger that a strike be made during the last week of 1999 against al Qaeda camps in Afghanistan—a proposal not adopted.11

The 9/11 Commission Report, Chapter 6, Page 176 (Page 3 in the linked PDF)

Footnote 11 for Chapter 6 reads:

11. NSC note, Clarke to Berger, Dec. 4, 1999; Richard Clarke interview (Jan. 12, 2004). In the margin next to Clarke’s suggestion to attack al Qaeda facilities in the week before January 1, 2000, Berger wrote “no.”

I guess technically speaking though it is only the National Security Council and not the CIA or military making the recommendation / request.


I mistakenly stated that the letter was from Berger to Mr. Iger at ABC, Mr. Iger works for The Walt Disney Company

Updated 9/8/2006
Added the sentence "On November 4, 1998, the U.S.Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York unsealed its indictmentof Bin Ladin, charging him with conspiracy to attack U.S. defense installations." to the information from the report on Page 128 (page 21 in chapter 4) as it better clarifies the context of the original quote. The added sentence is part of the original quote and was inadvertantly clipped in the original posting.

A Republican in San Francisco (Yes, he's under deep cover) relays his tales of interest... ...ok, "interest" is a strong and subjective word but you get the point.
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