Saturday, September 09, 2006


CBS News aired a brief interview with a Marine Colonel who is also a conservative Christian recently. What he says about the Bush Administration is eye-opening. Have a look:


I have many problems with conservative doctrine, problems I could talk all day about as you know. But I have also always felt that conservatism, at its most honest and honorable, does originate from a plausible world-view.

The best conservative argument, boiled all the way down, goes someting like this: 1) The world is cruel and chaotic by its nature. 2) Human beings are sinners (or if you want the secular version, human beings are hopelessly flawed animals constantly prone to mistakes in judgement and fits of cruelty toward each other). 3) The only way to combat this is to batten down the hatches: organize yourself in a small traditional family unit, in a small manageable community, with a clearly defined set of laws backed by tradition, habit and if necessary, well-reasoned force. 4) Once you've got everything manageable, you can focus on your own personal righteousness and be witness to the benefits of that righteousness.

I disagree strongly with this world-view for a number of reasons I won't get into now (gotta go pick up the kids at school in a minute) but its certainly not ridiculous and I think many of the people whose beliefs bascially conform to what I've sketched out here don't have a malicious bone in their body.

As the Marine Colonel in the video I've linked to here reminds us, there is nothing the least bit conservative about the Iraq War: making boneheaded, improvised, wing-and-a-prayer policy decisions based only on a few human beings' complete and total conviction about their own righteousness and infallibility; blowing $300 Billion on the adventure and justifying it by utopian fantasies about the better world on earth you're creating for people you dont know. What in the hell's conservative about that? It seems to me many conservatves are starting to ask this question.

If you are a true conservative, you might think about doing what this Marine Colonel says he'll be doing in November: voting Democratic across the board to deliver a Democratic congress that can stop this administration's madness in its tracks. Once a real conservative emerges again you can always return home.

If you're a liberal but know any conservatives, please pass this along.


Hey, who's THIS HERE shaking hands with Sadam Hussein in 1983? Why, I do believe that's Mr. Donald Rumsefeld!


Below is a letter from the Democratic Party leaders in the US Senate to The Walt Disney Company about their outrageously erroneous mini-series “Path to 9/11.” Please take a moment to read it. If you’re as outraged as I am, call this number and let Disney and ABC know:

(818) 460-7477

You can listen to the message, or you can press 2 and then 6 to get the beep and leave a message.

Public pressure has already convinced Scholastic Books to withdraw from their partnership with this program. We CAN actually get ABC to throw the thing in the garbage where it belongs before it airs.

Peace and Love,


September 7, 2006

Mr. Robert A. Iger
President and CEO
The Walt Disney Company
500 South Buena Vista Street
Burbank CA 91521

Dear Mr. Iger,

We write with serious concerns about the planned upcoming broadcast of The Path to 9/11 mini-series on September 10 and 11. Countless reports from experts on 9/11 who have viewed the program indicate numerous and serious inaccuracies that will undoubtedly serve to misinform the American people about the tragic events surrounding the terrible attacks of that day. Furthermore, the manner in which this program has been developed, funded, and advertised suggests a partisan bent unbecoming of a major company like Disney and a major and well respected news organization like ABC. We therefore urge you to cancel this broadcast to cease Disney’s plans to use it as a teaching tool in schools across America through Scholastic. Presenting such deeply flawed and factually inaccurate misinformation to the American public and to children would be a gross miscarriage of your corporate and civic responsibility to the law, to your shareholders, and to the nation.

The Communications Act of 1934 provides your network with a free broadcast license predicated on the fundamental understanding of your principle obligation to act as a trustee of the public airwaves in serving the public interest. Nowhere is this public interest obligation more apparent than in the duty of broadcasters to serve the civic needs of a democracy by promoting an open and accurate discussion of political ideas and events.

Disney and ABC claim this program to be based on the 9/11 Commission Report and are using that assertion as part of the promotional campaign for it. The 9/11 Commission is the most respected American authority on the 9/11 attacks, and association with it carries a special responsibility. Indeed, the very events themselves on 9/11, so tragic as they were, demand extreme care by any who attempt to use those events as part of an entertainment or educational program. To quote Steve McPhereson, president of ABC Entertainment, “When you take on the responsibility of telling the story behind such an important event, it is absolutely critical that you get it right.”

Unfortunately, it appears Disney and ABC got it totally wrong.

Despite claims by your network’s representatives that The Path to 9/11 is based on the report of the 9/11 Commission, 9/11 Commissioners themselves, as well as other experts on the issues, disagree.

Richard Ben-Veniste, speaking for himself and fellow 9/11 Commissioners who recently viewed the program, said, “As we were watching, we were trying to think how they could have misinterpreted the 9/11 Commission’s findings the way that they had.” [“9/11 Miniseries Is Criticized as Inaccurate and Biased,” New York Times, September 6, 2006]

Richard Clarke, the former counter-terrorism czar, and a national security advisor to ABC has described the program as “deeply flawed” and said of the program’s depiction of a Clinton official hanging up on an intelligence agent, “It’s 180 degrees from what happened.” [“9/11 Miniseries Is Criticized as Inaccurate and Biased,” New York Times, September 6, 2006]

Reports suggest that an FBI agent who worked on 9/11 and served as a consultant to ABC on this program quit halfway through because, “he thought they were making things up.” [MSNBC, September 7, 2006]

Even Thomas Kean, who serves as a paid consultant to the miniseries, has admitted that scenes in the film are fictionalized. [“9/11 Miniseries Is Criticized as Inaccurate and Biased,” New York Times, September 6, 2006]

That Disney would seek to broadcast an admittedly and proven false recounting of the events of 9/11 raises serious questions about the motivations of its creators and those who approved the deeply flawed program. Finally, that Disney plans to air commercial-free a program that reportedly cost it $40 million to produce serves to add fuel to these concerns.

These concerns are made all the more pressing by the political leaning of and the public statements made by the writer/producer of this miniseries, Mr. Cyrus Nowrasteh, in promoting this miniseries across conservative blogs and talk shows.

Frankly, that ABC and Disney would consider airing a program that could be construed as right-wing political propaganda on such a grave and important event involving the security of our nation is a discredit both to the Disney brand and to the legacy of honesty built at ABC by honorable individuals from David Brinkley to Peter Jennings. Furthermore, that Disney would seek to use Scholastic to promote this misguided programming to American children as a substitute for factual information is a disgrace.

As 9/11 Commission member Jamie Gorelick said, “It is critically important to the safety of our nation that our citizens, and particularly our school children, understand what actually happened and why – so that we can proceed from a common understanding of what went wrong and act with unity to make our country safer.”

Should Disney allow this programming to proceed as planned, the factual record, millions of viewers, countless schoolchildren, and the reputation of Disney as a corporation worthy of the trust of the American people and the United States Congress will be deeply damaged. We urge you, after full consideration of the facts, to uphold your responsibilities as a respected member of American society and as a beneficiary of the free use of the public airwaves to cancel this factually inaccurate and deeply misguided program. We look forward to hearing back from you soon.


Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid
Assistant Democratic Leader Dick Durbin
Senator Debbie Stabenow
Senator Charles Schumer
Senator Byron Dorgan

FINAL NOTE: Disney's Chairman of the Board is former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell (D-ME). Senator Mitchell has a long and distinguished career both inside and outside government and he knows how important it is to accurately represent historical events.

You can remind him that 9/11 was a national tragedy, and that politicizing and flagrantly misrepresenting the facts about 9/11 is wrong.

Senator George J. Mitchell
T: (212) 335-4600
T: (212) 335-4500
F: (212) 335-4605