Category Archives: 9/11 & Aftermath

Someone Should Market These

I could see a set of these as being a popular joke Xmas gift: Defense Intelligence Agency: Terrorist Recognition Cards.

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Some plugs

The Supreme Court is supposed to announce interesting decisions today. I'll discuss them later today or early tomorrow. At this point, though, I'd like to highlight some less presently preoccupied writing.

Academic writers are, among other things, supposed to develop points of view that help their readers think about not only the most immediate and concrete aspects of events but also their more general and maybe more lasting dimensions. Mark Tushnet is an especially dry-eyed master of this sort of thing. In “The Political Constitution of Emergency Powers,” just published in the Minnesota Law Review (91: 1451), he emphasizes the narrowness of the Supreme Court's decision in Hamdan holding that the President could not set up military commissions of the sort he wanted without congressional authorization: That's all, nothing more. The Court's insistence that there need be legislation involved no substantial judgment about what commission procedures should look like. But this otherwise empty insistence also put in motion the “political constitution,” familiar congressional/executive dealings that serve generally as the mechanism through which decisions about commission procedures, for example, are reached. See, e.g., the Military Commissions Act. Tushnet shows at some length how those dealings are organized by parts of the Constitution. But he celebrates nothing (neither the Constitution nor Hamdan).”[I]f Hamdan is a triumph of the Rule of Law, so much be the Military Commissions Act. (Now apply the logical rule of contraposition.)” (1472)

Continue reading

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Meanwhile, Back in Reality

Reactions to P2911 from Bill Clinton (well, his spokesmen):

Having now seen the first night of this fiction, it is clear that the edits made to the film did not address the factual errors that we brought to your attention. “The Path to 9/11″ flagrantly ignored the facts as reported by the 9/11 Commission and invented its own version of history. The result, in our judgment, is irreparable damage to the Commission’s work. More importantly, it is a disservice to the American people.

That the film directly contradicts the findings of the 9/11 Commission is troubling. That it defames dedicated public officials is tragic. But the fact that it misleads millions of people about the most tragic and consequential event in recent history is disgraceful.

and from Richard Clarke:

As someone who was directly involved in almost every event depicted in the fictionalized docudrama, “The Path to 9-11,” I believe it is an egregious distortion that does a deep disservice both to history and to those in both the Clinton and Bush administrations who are depicted….

Although I am not one to easily believe in conspiracy theories and have spent a great deal of time debunking them, it is hard to escape the conclusion that the errors in this screen play are more than the result of dramatization and time compression. There is throughout the screenplay a consistent bias and distortion seeking to portray senior Clinton Administration officials as holding back the hard charging CIA, FBI, and military officers who would otherwise have prevented 9-11.

The exact opposite is true. From the President, to all of his White House team, and NSC Principals (Lake, Berger, Albright, Tenet, Reno) there was a common fixation with terrorism, al qaeda, and bin Ladin. The President approved every counter-terrorism operation presented to him, including many that CIA proved unable or unwilling to implement. He increased counter-terrorism spending by 400% and initiated the first homeland security program in forty years. Even though the US had taken relatively few casualties from al qaeda at the time, the President repeatedly authorized the use of lethal force against bin Ladin and his deputies and personally requested the US military to develop plans for “commando operations” against
them. Even though he knew the timing of an attack aimed at killing bin Ladin would be labeled by critics as a political diversion, Clinton decided to follow the advice of his national security team and pay the price politically.

Keith Olbermann’s Special Comment on Bush: Who has left this hole in the ground? We have not forgotten, Mr. President. You have. May this country forgive you.

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This Should Help the ‘Path to 9/11′ Libel Case

Via Daily Kos, Disney/ABC Highlighting Faked Scenes In Ads For 9/11 Terror Porn, a heads up to this You Tube version of the ‘Path to 9/11′ Trailer being shown abroad: Starting with the words “Official True Story” and containing fictional scenes (see the story board at Redstate).


It’s just a movie?” If there is libelous content in the show by the time that it’s aired, I don’t see how even a disclaimer during the show could undo the effects of this advertisement, one which promises us the shocking truth. I don’t know exactly where this ad is being shown, but if it is being shown in England or in Australia or New Zealand, it could prove to be an expensive choice.

Then again, the writer at Daily Kos speculates that ABC/Disney may edit the most libelous scenes in the ‘The Path to 9/11′ in order to obfuscate who is doing what — in other words, leave the fabrications in place so as not to upset the blame-Clinton narrative which is apparently the core of the show (“how they could have wiped bin Laden out; they didn’t, but why? …”he’s right there”; how one decision changed our world…can’t you give the order?…I don’t have that authority”), but fuzz the parts identifying people by name that might be most actionable.

ABC/Disney should wake up and pull this horror before they trash their brand. Disney is a diversified company with a market capitalization of almost $62 billion. Even so, I wonder how long before this starts affecting the stock price.

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The Walt Disney Company Standards of Business Conduct Illustrated

Walt Disney Standards of Business Conduct Illustrated

All quotes verbatim excerpts from Walt Disney Standards of Business Conduct; illustrations shamelessly hotlinked from all over.

Dear Fellow Disney Team Member:

Throughout the years, our guests, audiences, consumers and shareholders have come to depend on us for quality, creativity, innovation and integrity.Karl Rove
Bush with Ears
People trust us because of our commitment to them and to the standards to which we hold ourselves. We alone are responsible for upholding our excellence and our integrity. This means acting responsibly in all our professional relationships, in a manner consistent with the high standards we set for our business conduct.

Mickey 9/11
Upholding legal standards of conduct, while mandatory for every Cast Member and employee, is not enough. We are also responsible for maintaining ethical standards. These standards govern how we treat everyone with whom we have contact. These are standards of integrity… honesty… trust… respect… fair play… and teamwork.
Path to 9/11 w/ Mickey

In short, these are the standards we want Disney to continue to uphold in the years to come. Your company believes that its behavior as a business should reflect the commitment to the values set forth in these “Standards of Business Conduct.”

gop-tv

The Standards in this booklet explain both our legal and ethical standards. Please read them. Be familiar with them. Act on them. And don’t be afraid to speak up when you have a concern or a question. Talk to your supervisor, your respective Human Resources representative, or the Corporate Legal Department.

Our Standards of Business Conduct are here to guide our behavior and to help us live up to the highest expectations of excellence that are “Disney.” As we continue to create Disney magic, I hope your actions show your pride in yourself, those you work with, and the Company.

– Bob Iger
  President and Chief Executive Officer

20060908-swiftboatbobbie1.jpg

Our guests and customers expect and deserve the best.

Quality
The Walt Disney Company and its subsidiary and affiliated companies (collectively the “Company”) are recognized around the world as providers of high-quality entertainment of all kinds, including films, television shows, attractions, consumer products, stores and resorts.

Path to Propaganda

Our Company’s reputation is a heritage that we must safeguard.

It is our goal to provide a reasonable return to our shareholders, and to increase the value of their investment. At the same time, we must be sure to protect the business and reputation of our Company, so that the Company can and will continue to live up to the expectations of shareholders, guests, customers, Cast Members and employees. Honest and ethical behavior in all matters relating to the business of the Company contributes significantly to achieving these goals.

Conflicts of Interest

Our business is built on public trust and confidence, and the expectation of our guests and customers that they can depend on our products and services.

willful deception

To ensure that we deliver our very best, we require the full and undivided dedication and efforts of all of our Cast Members and employees. Moreover, every Cast Member and employee must avoid conflicts of interest or the appearance of conflicts of interest in the performance of his or her job. Conflicts of interest or the appearance of such conflicts could also damage the Company’s good name.

Mickey's Lying About It

Accurate Reporting
Each individual shall report and record all information, and complete Company documents, accurately and honestly.

L. Accountability for Compliance with the Standards of Business Conduct

The standards referred to herein are mandatory and apply to all employees and Cast Members, who will be held accountable for compliance with the Standards. Failure to abide by applicable standards may lead to disciplinary action up to and including termination. Additional standards may apply to employees of specific business units or locations. Thus, for example, station and network programming and news personnel are subject to additional standards which are set forth in other documents.

Mickey and Towers

M. Dealing with Improper or Illegal Behavior, and Suspected Violations of Law (continued)

Cast Members and employees are encouraged to talk to their supervisors or managers when in doubt about the appropriate or ethical course of action in a particular situation. Every Cast Member and employee must report any unethical, improper or illegal behavior, or any suspected criminal activity involving or relating to the Company. The Company also must be made aware of any complaints regarding accounting or auditing matters, as well as its internal controls. Thus, any Cast Member or employee who believes, suspects, or becomes aware of any complaint that anyone at the Company is acting unethically or is violating, or has violated, any law, governmental rule or regulation on behalf of the Company, must report this to the Guideline or to the Corporate Legal Department. The Company believes that it is most helpful when a Cast Member or employee making such a report identifies himself or herself; however, it is not required. While, in any event, the confidentiality of any person reporting unethical, improper or illegal activity will be protected to the extent possible under the circumstances, reports will also be accepted anonymously. Moreover, the Company strictly prohibits any form of retaliation against anyone who reports unethical, improper or illegal activity.

ouch

The Guideline (800) 699-4870

The Guideline is one way for employees, Cast Members, vendors, suppliers, customers, and others to report 1) questionable activities – including questionable accounting or auditing matters; 2) complaints regarding the Company’s accounting, internal accounting controls or auditing matters; or 3) to ask for guidance on any work-related issues, or to make the Company aware of any suspected unethical or illegal conduct, or violation at the Company.

The Guideline may be called any time, day or night, as it is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The Company strictly prohibits any form of retaliation against anyone who reports any suspected wrongful conduct to the Company or any governmental agency. Reports are accepted anonymously, and the confidentiality of all reports will be maintained to the extent possible.

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American Airlines Should Sue ABC Too

American Airlines has extensive operations in the UK. It looks like they might have a great case against the makers of ‘The Path to 9/11′: American Airlines to blame for 9/11, Disney/ABC movie falsely claims:

I’m just wondering when American Airlines is going to realize that it’s about to be defamed in the entire English-speaking world.

As I first noted yesterday, I have the entire “Path to 9/11″ video. And one of the very first scenes makes it explicitly clear that American Airlines had Mohammad Atta in its grasp, warning lights flashing on the computer screen, yet the airline simply blew off the threat and helped Atta kill 3,000 Americans.

Unfortunately, it’s a total lie.

Besides England, there’s hay to be made in New Zealand and Australia (where apparently the film is being marketed as “the story of exactly what happened” on 9/11 !).

As AmericaBlog says, the potential damages are so large that when the dust settles ABC might stand for ‘Albright, Berger and Clinton.’ Plus the corporate plaintiffs…

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You Want a Libel Trial? Try England

I suggested the other day that ABC/Disney better be pretty careful or they would have some serious libel exposure for their ‘Path to 9/11.’ News reports since then suggest that the cutting room floor is getting crowded, so perhaps the most potentially libelous sections are being removed. What’s left behind may be one-sided, may leave out critical moments and information, but it’s an awful lot harder to make out a libel case based on implication by omission than it is to point to the smoking gun of commission.

Meanwhile, however, comes the news that ABC has sold rights to the BBC, which will be showing the film on Sunday. I’d love to know whether ABC has indemnified the BBC for any libel claims because it is waaaaaay easier to make a libel claim stick in the UK — even if one is a non-resident — than it would be in the US. And a British jury (libel being about the only time civil cases are tried to a jury in England any more) is likely to be infinitely more sympathetic to the Clintons, and hostile to the current administration, than any US jury.

I can see why ex-President Clinton might not want to file suit in the US, but discovery is much less invasive in the UK. As for the other persons in the Clinton administration who may feel that their reputations have been tarnished by whatever emerges from the dungeons of ABC/Disney, I’d advise them to consult counsel in England (names available on request). Easier to make the case, and the damages (plus costs!) could be quite substantial if the facts are still there to support a claim.

If I have any readers in the UK, they might wish to contact the BBC to warn them about their programming choices. It would be good to put them on notice of the risks. The BBC will understand what its potential exposure is.

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