Fox News personalities are attempting to rewrite history in order to shift blame for the 9/11 terrorist attacks onto former President Bill Clinton, and away from former President George W. Bush, who GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump recently blamed for the attacks. The historical record shows that the Clinton administration was the first to label terrorism "'a national security issue,'" created a special CIA unit focusing specifically on Osama Bin Laden, and ordered missile attacks against the terrorist leader, while the Bush administration was warned 36 times -- including allegedly by Clinton himself -- about the terrorist threat prior to the attacks.
Radio Host Neal Boortz's attempt to compare President Obama's presidency to the tragedy of September 11 drew harsh criticism from several relatives of people who died on that day.
Boortz, appearing on Fox News' Hannity program Thursday night, stated: "Barack Obama is a bigger disaster to this country than 9-11."
For some of those who lost loved ones that day, the comparison is an insult.
"One of the most unsettling aspects of the aftermath of 9-11 has been the politicization of it," said Donald Goodrich, whose son, Peter, died in the attacks.
"It is a sad commentary on our democracy that the loss of nearly 3,000 innocent civilians of every political persuasion and religious conviction is used to demonize a president of this great country."
Timothy Sumner, whose brother-in-law was a firefighter killed on September 11, said he is no fan of Obama. But he criticized Boortz's comparison
"I think it's a ridiculous comment, it is so far off the topic, how can you emote from that?" Sumner said. "It is not even related to 9/11.
"I have issues with Barack Obama. But when you make comments like that, it is so over the top and out of context it is hard to do anything but laugh at the comment, it seems idiotic."
For Nancy Aronson, whose sister-in-law, Myra, was killed on September 11, the response was shock.
"Oh my God!" she said. "That's just ridiculous. It's politicizing an international tragedy. People from 53 countries died on September 11. Even linking Obama with that, it's just a non sequitur."
Herb Ouida's son, Todd, was killed in the North Tower on September 11. Ouida said the comparison to and criticism of Obama are both wrong.
A New York Times article stated, "In 2006 ABC made changes to 'The Path to 9/11' after complaints from former Clinton administration officials that it portrayed them as less than vigilant in their pursuit of Osama bin Laden." But the article did not note that, despite editing, the final version of the ABC miniseries still included several fabricated scenes, falsehoods, and sharp discrepancies between its account of certain events and the findings laid out in the 9-11 Commission's report.
The New York Post asserted that "[t]he writer who penned the script for last year's controversial ABC miniseries 'The Path to 9/11' says pressure from powerful supporters of Bill and Hillary Clinton is delaying the mini's DVD release." But the Post article failed to address the inaccuracies in the film and the sharp discrepancies between the film's account of certain events and the findings laid out in the 9-11 Commission's report, upon which ABC said the miniseries was based.
A Los Angeles Times article on the DVD release of ABC's The Path to 9/11 reported that the original miniseries "ignited a political firestorm, almost entirely from high-profile Democratic leaders who viewed its account ... as a right-wing hatchet job," overlooking factual inaccuracies in the film and sharp discrepancies between the film's account of certain events and the findings laid out in the 9-11 Commission's report, upon which ABC claimed the miniseries was based. Those inaccuracies and discrepancies were pointed out in the Times' own review of The Path to 9/11, which also noted the film's "partisan politics" and its "hopeless muddle of the line between fact and 'dramatization.' "
Path to 9/11 screenwriter and producer Cyrus Nowrasteh asserted that the unedited version of a scene in his film in which Clinton national security adviser Sandy Berger abandons an opportunity to capture or kill Osama bin Laden is an accurate representation of history. However, the scene depicts an event that did not happen, and Nowrasteh himself has acknowledged that the edited portion was fabricated.
The Liberty Film Festival, "a forum for conservative thought on film," recently awarded ABC Vice President Judith Tukich, a right-wing evangelical who has described her mission as "evangeliz[ing] the world ... through the media," the festival's "Freedom of Expression Award" for her role in assisting the production and promotion of The Path to 9/11.
Two days after ABC aired the conclusion of its controversial two-part miniseries, The Path to 9/11, Ann Coulter repeated a number of falsehoods about the "docudrama" and President Clinton's handling of terrorism, including alleging that the movie "relied on the 9/11 Commission Report"; that Clinton "refused the handover of [Osama] bin Laden"; and that "Islamic terrorists with suspected links to al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein bombed the World Trade Center" in 1993.
During September 12 reports on ABC's controversial miniseries The Path to 9/11, not one Fox News anchor or correspondent examined the scenes from the film that contain documented falsehoods, explained Fox News Live co-host Bill Hemmer's reference to Democrats' "paranoia" about the film's depiction of former Clinton administration officials, or mentioned the fact that several prominent conservatives have also questioned the film's accuracy.
A Media Matters for America review of the conclusion of ABC's two-part miniseries, The Path to 9/11, contained scenes that were factually inaccurate, and that showed President Bush taking aggressive action there is no indication he ever took.
Numerous newspapers ran positive reviews of the ABC miniseries The Path to 9/11 -- calling it "factual," "meticulous," and "completely true" -- failing to inform readers that it has been sharply criticized as inaccurate and even defamatory.