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"If there's one thing I've learned, one thing I am certain of, it's the following. There is no historic certainty."

Reported by Marie Therese - January 29, 2007 -

Last night Sean Hannity opened Hannity's America with a videoclip of an unidentified man at a lectern speaking words that sounded chillingly like those used by Holocaust deniers when faced with documented facts and eyewitness accounts of the wholesale slaughter of 12 million people. The man, later identified as Cyrus Nowrasteh, said: "Just what is history, really? What are we talkin' about? Whose version of history? Based on what? If there's one thing I've learned, one thing I am certain of, it's the following. There is no historic certainty."

As it turns out, Nowrasteh - he of the "flexible" view of history - is an Iranian American film producer, who penned a made-for-TV movie entitled Path to 9-11. The movie crafted an imaginary event and tried to pass it off as "history".

Former President Bill Clinton and members of his adminstration strenuously objected to this "fictionalized" depiction and persuaded ABC to edit the film with the offending scenes removed. ABC changed its marketing strategy, which had originally billed the movie as an accurate representation of the findings of the 9-11 Commission. The revised wording stated that the movie was "a dramatization, not a documentary, drawn from a variety of sources, including The 9/11 Commission Report, other published materials, and from personal interviews". (Source: Wikipedia)

A planned collaboration with Scholastic Press was terminated by Scholastic when it became obvious that Path to 9-11 was not historically accurate.*

However, false claims about the Clinton administration proved to be irresistable to Sean Hannity and his FOX News masters. In a blatant ratings grab, Hannity aired the deleted scenes during last night's show.

The impression I got from watching both fictionalized versions was that Nowrasteh was blaming National Security Advisor Sandy Berger because he hesitated to authorize the assassination of bin Laden out of fear of killing innocent women and children. In other words, the message Nowrasteh was sending, subliminally, was that namby-pamby Berger just couldn't bring himself to blow up innocents in order to kill Osama bin Laden whereas a "real" man like George Bush would unhesitatingly sacrifice innocent lives to achieve the larger goal. It never ceases to amaze me how macho types like Nowrasteh and Sean "Bully Boy" Hannity so easily dismiss the deaths of women and children. Timothy McVeigh made virtually the same argument about the children killed in the Oklahoma City bombing.

Michael Scheuer echoed Nowrasteh's claim and agreed that even if the situation had not occurred in exactly as presented in the movie, the "spirit" of the scene was correct.

An aside: Scheuer's demeanor always sets my teeth on edge. I get sick and tired of his constant use of the word "sir" and the formal salutation (e.g., Mr. Tenet, Mr. Hannity, etc.). It seems so subservient and cloying.

Scheuer made an absurd statement in the course of his conversation with Hannity, saying "... I also think there's an odd situation here because the argument that they didn't have the opportunity to kill Osama bin Laden is just a lie and the film is exactly right in that context."

As Scheuer knew full well when he made this comment, the reason the scene was edited out had to do with the fact that it depicted a specific event involving specific people saying specific things in a specific situation at a specific time that was invented in the mind of the screenwriter and never actually took place.

Bill Clinton himself has acknowledged that he tried and failed to get bin Laden on several occasions. His most recent admission came in the famous finger-jabbing exchange with FOX News Sunday host Chris Wallace in which he angrily said that at least he had tried to get bin Laden, in direct contrast to the current administration.

Scheuer immediately qualified his remarks saying "The putting together of the drama might have been off the mark a little bit. I'm not sure but the fact remains that bin Laden, all things being equal, should be splattered over the terrain of southern Afghanistan." Scheuer then went on to chastise the 9-11 Commission for not releasing certain documents that he felt should be in the public domain.

Hannity then dredged up images of Sandy Berger destroying documents. The sad thing for FOX viewers is that not once did Hannity mention that, " ... Berger had copies only, and that no original documents were lost." (Source: Washington Post)

I've decided to let Keith Olbermann, fine wordsmith that he is, do the rebuttal to Hannity, Nowrasteh and Scheuer, on the topic of Osama bin Laden (who, for those of you living on Mars) is still alive, still at large and still thumbing his nose at the United States five years after murdering 3,000 of our citizens.

This is one of Keith Olbermann's best commentaries. It deserves to be heard again and again.

* Post updated 1-29-07 1:34 AM EST to change "inaccurate" to "accurate". Hat tip to Red Sky for the catch! - MT