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[Opinion] 9-11 on the Screen

Posted September. 13, 2006 03:01,   


The White House is a fertile source for American television (TV) series. Playing hide-and-seek with the press, the president and his advisers go through impending crises. A TV series dealing with the White House is almost like an insurance to gain popularity. The drama “West Wing” starring Martin Sheen as U.S. President swept the Emmy Awards this year. Putting the “first female U.S. president” forefront, “Commander in Chief” has recently attracted many fans among domestic TV programs.

Dealing with the White House during the time when the Democratic Party was in power, “West Wing” had a number of scenes that implied mockeries of the Republican Party. Whereas a miniseries offered by ABC TV to honor the fifth anniversary of 9/11, “The Path to 9/11,” has aroused some controversy for its contents that criticized the Bill Clinton administration. Despite the fierce opposition of the Democratic Party, episode one aired on September 10 (local time) implies that the Clinton administration lost the opportunity to arrest Osama bin Laden twice after the first terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in 1993.

The argument is that the seed of 9/11 sprouted in the period of the Clinton administration. Robert Patterson, a former Air Force Lieutenant Colonel and senior military aide to President Clinton, claimed in the book titled “Dereliction of Duty: The Eyewitness Account of How Bill Clinton Compromised America’s National Security” gave a testimony of how Clinton weakened the U.S.’ national security and that 9/11 was caused by the insensibility of the Clinton administration. Journalist Richard Miniter reported in his book “Losing Bin Laden” on the information about terrorism, gathered by FBI and CIA agents who risked their lives, but which were not fully delivered to Clinton, who was in big trouble with the Lewinsky scandal.

Addressing U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton who called this drama a “conspiracy of conservatives,” ABC responded that the drama referenced many publications and interviews. So there is an ongoing battle about the truth. However, this is not just a controversy because it reminds us how much of a national crisis the Roh administration will cause if it takes over wartime operational control from American troops.

Chung Seong-hee, Editorial Writer, shchung@donga.com