Max Blumenthal: ABC’s “The Path to 9/11”


Richard Moore

Original source URL:

Friday, September 08, 2006

Discover the Secret Right-Wing Network Behind ABC's 9/11 Deception

Less than 72 hours before ABC's "The Path to 9/11" is scheduled to air, the 
network is suddenly under siege. On Tuesday, ABC was forced to concede that "The
Path to 9/11" is "a dramatization, not a documentary." The film deceptively 
invents scenes to depict former President Bill Clinton's handling of the Al 
Qaeda threat.

Now, ABC claims to be is editing those false sequences to satisfy critics so the
show can go on -- even if it still remains a gross distortion of history. And as
it does so, ABC advances the illusion that the deceptive nature of "The Path to 
9/11" is an honest mistake committed by a hardworking but admittedly fumbling 
team of well-intentioned Hollywood professionals who wanted nothing less than to
entertain America. But this is another Big Lie.

In fact, "The Path to 9/11" is produced and promoted by a well-honed propaganda 
operation consisting of a network of little-known right-wingers working from 
within Hollywood to counter its supposedly liberal bias. This is the network 
within the ABC network. Its godfather is far right activist David Horowitz, who 
has worked for more than a decade to establish a right-wing presence in 
Hollywood and to discredit mainstream film and TV production. On this project, 
he is working with a secretive evangelical religious right group founded by The 
Path to 9/11's director David Cunningham that proclaims its goal to "transform 
Hollywood" in line with its messianic vision.

Before The Path to 9/11 entered the production stage, Disney/ABC contracted 
David Cunningham as the film's director. Cunningham is no ordinary Hollywood 
journeyman. He is in fact the son of Loren Cunningham, founder of the right-wing
evangelical group Youth With A Mission (YWAM). The young Cunningham helped found
an auxiliary of his father's group called The Film Institute (TFI), which, 
according to its mission statement, is "dedicated to a Godly transformation and 
revolution TO and THROUGH the Film and Televisionindustry." As part of TFI's 
long-term strategy, Cunningham helped place interns from Youth With A Mission's 
"global training network" in film industry jobs "so that they can begin to 
impact and transform Hollywood from the inside out," according to a YWAM report.

Last June, Cunningham's TFI announced it was producing its first film, 
mysteriously titled "Untitled History Project." "TFI's first project is a 
doozy," a newsletter to YWAM members read. "Simply being referred to as: The 
Untitled History Project, it is already being called the television event of the
decade and not one second has been put to film yet. Talk about great 
expectations!" (A web edition of the newsletter was mysteriously deleted 
yesterday but has been cached on Google at the link above).

The following month, on July 28, the New York Post reported that ABC was filming
a mini-series "under a shroud of secrecy" about the 9/11 attacks. "At the 
moment, ABC officials are calling the miniseries 'Untitled Commission Report' 
and producers refer to it as the 'Untitled History Project,'" the Post noted.

Early on, Cunningham had recruited a young Iranian-American screenwriter named 
Cyrus Nowrasteh to

write the script of his secretive "Untitled" film. Not only is Nowrasteh an 
outspoken conservative, he is also a fervent member of the emerging network of 
right-wing people burrowing into the film industry with ulterior sectarian 
political and religious agendas, like Cunningham.

Nowrasteh's conservatism was on display when he appeared as a featured speaker 
at the Liberty Film Festival (LFF), an annual event founded in 2004 to premier 
and promote conservative-themed films supposedly too "politically incorrect" to 
gain acceptance at mainstream film festivals. This June, while The Path to 9/11 
was being filmed, LFF founders Govindini Murty and Jason Apuzzo -- both friends 
of Nowrasteh -- announced they were "partnering" with right-wing activist David 
Horowitz. Indeed, the 2006 LFF is listed as "A Program of the David Horowitz 
Freedom Center."

Since the inauguration of Bill Clinton in 1992, Horowitz has labored to create a
network of politically active conservatives in Hollywood. His Hollywood nest 
centers around his Wednesday Morning Club, a

weekly meet-and-greet session for Left Coast conservatives that has been graced 
with speeches by

the likes of Newt Gingrich, Victor Davis Hanson and Christopher Hitchens. The 
group's headquarters are at the offices of Horowitz's Center for the Study of 
Popular Culture, a "think tank" bankrolled for years with millions by right-wing
sugardaddies like eccentric far right billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife. (Scaife

financed the Arkansas Project, a $2.3 million dirty tricks operation that 
included paying sources for

negative stories about Bill Clinton that turned out to be false.)

With the LFF now under Horowitz's control, his political machine began drumming 
up support for Cunningham and Nowrasteh's "Untitled" project, which finally was 
revealed in late summer as "The Path to 9/11." Horowitz's PR blitz began with an
August 16 interview with Nowrasteh on his FrontPageMag webzine. In the 
interview, Nowrasteh foreshadowed the film's assault on Clinton's record on 
fighting terror. "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," Nowrasteh told FrontPageMag's Jamie 
Glazov. "There simply was no response. Nothing."

A week later, ABC hosted LFF co-founder Murty and several other conservative 
operatives at an advance

screening of The Path to 9/11. (While ABC provided 900 DVDs of the film to 
conservatives, Clinton administration officials and objective reviewers from 
mainstream outlets were denied them.) Murty returned with a glowing review for 
FrontPageMag that emphasized the film's partisan nature. "'The Path to 9/11' is 
one of the best, most intelligent, most pro-American miniseries I've ever seen 
on TV, and conservatives should support

it and promote it as vigorously as possible," Murty wrote. As a result of the 
special access granted by ABC, Murty's article was the first published review of
The Path to 9/11, preceding those by the New York Times and LA Times by more 
than a week.

Murty followed her review with a blast email to conservative websites such as 
Liberty Post and Free Republic on September 1 urging their readers to throw 
their weight behind ABC's mini-series. "Please do everything you can to spread 
the word about this excellent miniseries," Murty wrote, "so that 'The Path to 
9/11' gets the highest ratings possible when it airs on September 10 & 11! If 
this show gets huge ratings, then ABC will be more likely to produce 
pro-American movies and TV shows in the future!"

Murty's efforts were supported by Appuzo, who handles LFF's heavily-trafficked 
blog, Libertas. Appuzo was instrumental in marketing The Path to 9/11 to 
conservatives, writing in a blog post on September 2, "Make no mistake about 
what this film does, among other things: it places the question of the Clinton 
Administration's culpability for the 9/11 attacks front and center... Bravo to 
Cyrus Nowrasteh and David

Cunningham for creating this gritty, stylish and gripping piece of 

When a group of leading Senate Democrats sent a letter to ABC CEO Robert Iger 
urging him to cancel The Path to 9/11 because of its glaring factual errors and 
distortions, Apuzzo launched a retaliatory campaign to paint the Democrats as 
foes of free speech. "Here at LIBERTAS we urge the public to make noise over 
this, and to demand that Democrats back down," he wrote on September 7th. "What 
is at stake is nothing short of the 1st Amendment."

At FrontPageMag, Horowitz singled out Nowrasteh as the victim. "The attacks by 
former president Bill Clinton, former Clinton Administration officials and 
Democratic US senators on Cyrus Nowrasteh's ABC

mini-series "The Path to 9/11" are easily the gravest and most brazen and 
damaging governmental attacks on the civil liberties of ordinary Americans since
9/11," Horowitz declared.

Now, as discussion grows over the false character of The Path to 9/11, the 
right-wing network that brought it to fruition is ratcheting up its PR efforts. 
Murty will appear tonight on CNN's Glenn Beck

show and The Situation Room, according to Libertas in order to respond to "the 
major disinformation campaign now being run by Democrats to block the truth 
about what actually happened during the Clinton years."

While this network claims its success and postures as the true victims, the ABC 
network suffers a PR catastrophe. It's almost as though it was complacent about 
an attack on its reputation by a band of political terrorists.

# posted by max blumenthal @ 5:21 PM
A mention, plus where you might want to look next.

# posted by Anonymous : 8:16 PM

My biggest objection is that the show doesn't hold the Bush regime accountable 
for its lack of effort to even try to prevent the 911 attacks, despite numerous 

# posted by libhom : 8:17 PM

Eventually, you'll see a made for TV movie purporting to explain how the 
democratcs lost the Iraq war.

# posted by Anonymous : 4:46 AM

When is the pitiful right wing ever going to stop running against Clinton? I 
mean, they couldn't beat him in the real world, so they try to beat him in the 
fantasy world. I feel sorry for them, the big dog just keeps on beating them up.

# posted by GOPHater : 5:03 AM

What also amazes me is how little, as in NEXT TO NOTHING, is being reported 
about this huge controversy in the mainstream press. I think I saw a back page 
article in the online NYTimes yesterday, but that's it. The majority of TV 
viewers are going to watch this with absolutely no notion that the film is 

And, of course, let's not forget how the TV moguls killed Farenheit 911 before 
the 2004 elections. What "left wing" bias are the wingnuts talking about? I am 
so frustrated, really.
The new beta won't let me publish as a "Blogger"

# posted by Anonymous : 5:55 AM

Perhaps the most important aspect of the interview with Front Page is this:

"Nowrasteh: Early last year (2005) I was approached by ABC and asked if I'd be 
interested in writing/producing a miniseries based on the 9/11 Commission 
Report. I met with executive producer Marc Platt and Governor Kean, Chairman of 
the 9/11 Commission, who agreed to serve as a consultant on the project. I was 
provided an incredible amount of research materials and high-level advisors from
the FBI, CIA, Secret Service, Diiplomatic Security, etc......"

Just who set up all these contacts including Kean? Was there government 
involvment with Disney in setting up the whole project?

This needs investigation.

# posted by mdog218 : 6:16 AM

Uh, excuse me for noticing, but Nowrasteh looks like a pretty healthy man in his
prime. If the "War on Terror" is so important, such a huge threat, why is he 
here making movies? Why isn't he in uniform? If grandmothers are fighting in 
Iraq, why can't he?

Is it possible that we have another member of the 101st Flying Keyboard 
Chickenhawk Brigade here?

Is it possible that Nowrasteh and his partners on this project, all healthy 
looking young men in their prime, are personally profiting off of the "War on 
Terror" and the deaths of 9/11?

How much money is Nowrasteh making off of 9/11?

# posted by roooth : 8:37 AM

The Neo-Cons can only survive by creating these huge organizational conspiracies
that whitewash their mistakes and slander their opponents. The rest of the Right
is just as guilty because they sit back and enjoy the results.

The way ABC - Disney conspired to hide the nature of this film from the Left was
as pathetic as it was stupid.

I heard there is no "My Pet Goat" scene and no "Bin Laden determined to strike 
in the US" scene... America knows who dropped the ball.

# posted by Anonymous : 8:39 AM

These people have no limits to how low they will go. 9/11 should be an 
untouchable subject of history, they have attempted to rewrite this catastrophic
and sad day in OUR history!

We know the truth, these people who claim to be godly people are the backwash of
our country.

# posted by Anonymous : 8:45 AM

As someone in the film business who knows the history of 9/11 I wonder why they 
felt they had to create composite characters and scenes for "dramatic' purposes.
They were already there. Where is the scene depicting the utter amazement of the
anti-terror speciialists when John Ashcroft presented his budget for the Justice
Department in 2000 and terrorism had been dropped from the list? As I recall 
that provided quite a bit of grist for the dramatic mill and shows exactly where
the Bush Administration was when it came to fighting terror and preventing a 

# posted by Anonymous : 9:07 AM
The F.B.I. states that Bin Ladin had nothing to do with 911.
Bush has a bro who was security chief at W.T.O.

# posted by Anonymous : 10:41 AM
RE Clinton google these key words mena cocaine cia
and understand he was govenor of AR the entire time.

RE Bush If no one in the govt had any idea that the 911 attacks were going to 
occur why did the Secret Service allow him to stay in the classroom and continue
reading to the kids when his presense there had been annouced days before and he
was within 5 miles of an airport?

RE WTC 7 Do you think they will even touch on this building falling at the end 
of the day in the same fashion as 1 and 2? Look up Larry "pull it" Silverstein 
perhaps one of the luckiest Americans alive on that horrible day.

Anything that is shown on regular televison is only going to further the 
"official truths" that have been served up to a gullible American public.

# posted by Anonymous : 11:04 AM

I have emailed the GM of the ABC affiliate in Atlanta, that this household will 
boycott their station for two weeks if this slanderous piece of crap run on his 

# posted by Anonymous : 11:13 AM

Who watches network TV any more? It's 99% trash, with partisan lies in the 
mix-usually in the "news" segments. This "documentry" is obviously aimed at the 
Homer Simpsons of the US,of which there are, tragically, far too many. The 
timing is significant in that the mid-term election is just around the corner. 
With nothing but one dismal failure after another to look back at, this regime 
is left with no choice but to attempt to smear everyone opposing it, including 
Bill Clinton. "It's all HIS fault, yasee; perfect people like us don't make 
mistakes". There are plenty of fools who'll swallow this poison pill, being too 
lazy or dim-witted to seek the truth.

# posted by Bill Mac Bean : 11:32 AM

You people sound like a crowd at a WWF wrestling match. Wake up, because that's 
what your little false left-right paradigm is. Do your homework, the Clintons 
and Bushs are one and the same. They golf and vacation together for Pete's sake.
Look at the Oklahoma City bombing and Waco... both inside jobs... just like 9/11
was. The only thing I'm unsure of is who is responsible for enabling the import 
of the most cocaine by way of law enforcement, the DEA and CIA: George Sr. or 

Whatever this miniseries contains, I really doubt it will explain how WTC 
Buliding 7 collapsed on it's own footprint at freefall speed when it was never 
hit by a plane, why many important people were told not to fly on 9/11, the 
massive insider trading in airline stock right before 9/11, the humongous 
insurance policy taken out just prior to the attacks, how bomb sniffing dogs 
were removed from the WTC in days leading up to the attacks, all of those 
explosions heard by everyone after the planes hit the towers, the fact that they
lied about "we just couldn't connecting the dots" and now it comes out that 
drills for a scenario where planes would be flown into the WTC were going on THE
DAY OF 9/11, or how about those Israelis in the white van that were arrested as 
they cheered and filmed the attacks near the George Washington Bridge (later 
were confirmed to be Mossad agents).

# posted by Anonymous : 1:09 PM

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