In spite of reported grumblings on the part of certain Clinton administration officials ABC is doing a special on 9/11, that includes a trip down memory lane to the 90's. Remember them? It seems certain people would like to make sure you never do.
It starts off with actors portraying the September 11 hijackers boarding the planes that morning, interlaced with actual footage from security cameras, and then flips back to the February 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center. Much of the focus is on John O'Neill, the legendary CIA agent who later retired and was killed in the WTC on September 11. We see the arrest of the '93 bomber Ramzi Youssef in the Philippines and then his arrest in Pakistan; the Northern Alliance fighter Massoud and Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan; the arrest of Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman in Brooklyn; and the apprehension by customs agent Diana Dean of the would-be LAX millennium bomber in Port Angeles, Wash. The terrorists are each presented as clearly defined individuals, evil in intention and deed. One gripping scene shows Massoud's forces--and CIA agents surrounding bin Laden's encampments and then being called back when National Security Adviser Sandy Berger refuses to give a go-ahead for the operation. That scene, according to 9/11 commission Chairman Thomas Kean, an adviser to the film, is a conflation of a number of events; during the question period, commission member Richard Ben-Veniste, perhaps the most partisan member of the commission, said that it misrepresented what actually happened. But, as Kean pointed out, the Clinton administration did decline a number of opportunities to get bin Laden.
The film was shot with 16-millimeter cameras and is edited in an edgy style suggesting hand-held cameras. The fascinating footage of Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Sudan was actually shot in Morocco; most of the rest of the film was shot in Toronto, with some scenes shot in Washington and New York. Here's an interview with the writer of the script, Cyrus Nowrasteh.