Monday, September 18, 2006

The Path to Hysteria-My sin was to write a screenplay accurately depicting Bill Clinton's record on terrorism.

By: Cyrus Nowrasteh

The hysteria engendered by the series found more than one target. In addition to the death threats and hate mail directed at me, and my grotesque portrayal as a maddened right-winger, there developed an impassioned search for incriminating evidence on everyone else connected to the film. And in director David Cunningham, the searchers found paydirt! His father had founded a Christian youth outreach mission. The whiff of the younger Mr. Cunningham's possible connection to this enterprise was enough to set the hounds of suspicion baying. A religious mission! A New York Times reporter wrote, without irony or explanation, that an issue that raised questions about the director was his involvement in his father's outreach work. In the era of McCarthyism, the merest hint of a connection to communism sufficed to inspire dark accusations, the certainty that the accused was part of a malign conspiracy. Today, apparently, you can get something of that effect by charging a connection with a Christian mission.

"The Path to 9/11" was intended to remind us of the common enemy we face. Like the 9/11 Report itself, it is meant to enable us to better defend ourselves from a future attack. Past is prologue, and 9/11 is merely another step in an escalating Islamic fundamentalist reign of terror. By dramatizing the step-by-step increase in attacks on America--all of which, in fact, occurred--we are better able to see the pattern and anticipate the future. That was the point of the series, its only intention. Call it the canary in the coal mine. Call it John O'Neill in the FBI.

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