On 19 December 2015, I wrote in this space that I had been asked by the author Lawrence Wright to help him prepare a television docudrama about the years leading up to Al-Qaeda’s 9/11 attacks for a company called HULU. (NB: After some research, I understand that HULU is widely purported to be a prolific and discerning producer of television programming.) In the above-noted 2015 article, I wrote that I had ignored Mr. Wright’s request and explained why. I have included that entire article as an appendix below.
Over the past several weeks, I ran across a number of articles on the internet that recount the actors being hired to act in Mr. Wright’s docudrama, which the HULU brains trust seem to have bought from Mr. Wright to turn into a series to air later in 2017. Several of these articles included the following synopsis of the story, apparently as it pertains to the character that plays my part; using the first initials of my first and last name, the character is called Martin Schmidt. Oddly, the other actors in the film who are mentioned in the articles appear to be using the true names of people I worked with, such as George Tenet, John O’Neil, etc. Does Mr. Wright’s decision to make up a false name for a living and easily identifiable person immunize him from the laws of libel, defamation, and slander? Perhaps it does, but we shall see. Anyway, here is a pertinent quote from one of the articles I mentioned above. (Italics added).
“Peter Sarsgaard will play Martin Schmidt, a CIA analyst who invariably believes he’s by far the smartest person in the room. Under orders to share intelligence with John O’Neill (Daniels) and the FBI, Schmidt opts instead to horde information under the misguided notion that the CIA is the only agency equipped to battle potential terrorist threats.” (1)
After reading this passage, I understood why Mr. Wright is calling this a docudrama, and my own wisdom in steering clear of the project. He is calling it a docudrama because at least this part of his story is a complete, utter, and easily provable lie. Now, having spoken to Mr. Wright on numerous occasions several years ago while he was drafting his book The Looming Tower — and then reading that fantasy on its publication — I am intimately familiar with Mr. Wright’s duplicity and abhorrence for truth, as well as his very selective and always anti-CIA use of public information that is available about 9/11, Osama bin Laden, and al-Qaeda. In my view, his book amply proved that nothing that Mr. Wright says, writes, or produces on these issues can be accepted without checking the facts, not least of all because, as we shall see below, he apparently never checks facts himself. In the above passage, for example, he claims “Martin Schmidt” was a “CIA analyst”.
Assuming that “Martin Schmidt” is me — and it seems it could be no one else — Mr. Wright is lying about a fact that is easily checkable. I worked at the CIA from September, 1982, until November 2004. During that period, I was an analyst from September, 1982, until December, 1985. After December 1985, I worked on, and then managed, covert operations in the Directorate of Operations. In other words, a mere nine words into the foregoing synopsis, Mr. Wright has knowingly lied to his audience and to those paying for his film. Does anyone at HULU bother to check facts or accuracy before they buy a property?
This is a small but telling point. The bigger, more important, and history-disfiguring lie in Mr. Wright’s docudrama, however, comes at the end of the above passage (Italics added).
“Under orders to share intelligence with John O’Neill (Daniels) and the FBI, Schmidt opts instead to horde information under the misguided notion that the CIA is the only agency equipped to battle potential terrorist threats.”
This is particularly important in terms of history; the citizenry’s trust in the CIA’s all-out effort, and the integrity its work against UBL, before 9/11; and, in personal, and I suppose selfish terms, what my children and grandchildren will think about me and what I did to try to defend the republic. Mr. Wright’s promotional material also claims that his docudrama “takes a controversial look at how the rivalry between the CIA and FBI inadvertently might have set the stage for the tragedy of 9/11 and the war in Iraq.” (2) That means, I assume, that my — or rather, Martin Schmidt’s — decision to “horde information” and hide it from the FBI led directly to 9/11 and the Iraq War.
Naturally, I am eager not only to defend myself, but also the officers I had the privilege to lead; our colleagues in the field who risked their lives to locate bin Laden; and the pre-Obama Agency that I dearly loved. But I am not going to do that. Instead, I will let the former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Ms. Mary Jo White, explain the nature and extent of my own, my unit’s, and the CIA’s cooperation and information-sharing with the D0J lawyers and FBI officers assigned to work with CIA against Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda.
In so doing, I think, it will be apparent that Mr. Wright is nothing more than a two-bit liar and a devout Clinton acolyte when it comes to my and CIA’s pre-9/11 behavior as it has been described in the above promotional material for his docudrama. If Mr. Wright has decided to lie on these easily verifiable issues, one wonders what other lies he has built into the rest of his docudrama, or his books for that matter. HULU executives, should you not be wondering the same?
Wright’s above-mentioned lies cover the period from the creation of Alec Station in December, 1995, until I was replaced as its chief in June, 1999. The document written by Ms. White that is presented below will, I think, clearly demonstrate Mr. Wright’s intentional deceit, which appears to be the pivot for his docudrama. Mr. Wright’s lie therefore invalidates the portion of his docudrama that covers 43 of the 60 months — or almost 72-percent — of the chronological period apparently encompassed in the docudrama. Other CIA officers — former and current — are better positioned than I to know if there is any truth in the final 28-percent of the docudrama.
You do have to tip your hat to Mr. Wright for at least one reason, however. He presumably will walk away from his docudrama with a substantial paycheck derived from his scamming of HULU, its executives, and its investors, stockholders, and audience by selling them a fantasy under the the title of docudrama. I guess some television moguls are not as smart and savvy as they are cracked up to be. But do not worry, HULU brass, I will keep an eye out for more of Mr. Wright’s promotional materials. I will try to identify for you any additional lies therein, lies which you are paying for and which will be used to mislead — indeed, propagandize — HULU’s audiences. That Mr. Wright appears to be yet another leftist, fake-media shill is no surprise to me, so I may have a lot to report. It will be interesting to learn whether HULU’s management is interested in discovering, and then correcting, the manner in which they are being skinned.
Following, then, is a letter I received in May, 1999, from the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Ms. Mary Jo White. It clearly demonstrates, I think, that Mr. Wright’s docudrama is grounded in his deliberate, blatant, and easily proven lie, a lie that shreds his credibility and gives him a well-deserved place in the pantheon of blackguards who are recognized as iconic purveyors of fake media.
U.S.. Department of Justice
United States Attorney
Southern District of New York
The Silvio J. Mollo Building
One Saint Andrew’s Plaza
New York, New York 10007
May 24, 1999
Central Intelligence Agency
I write to express my profound gratitude for your
outstanding work and leadership over the last four years in the
investigations of Usama Bin Laden and his terrorist network, al
As you know, this Office began a criminal investigation
into Usama Bin Laden and the al Qaeda network three years ago,
working in conjunction with the New York Office of the Federal
Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”). Since the first day, you and
your colleagues welcomed members of our office to participate in
discussions with you and your colleagues as to how the separate
but related law enforcement and intelligence investigations could
coordinate to make sure that neither did anything to compromise
the other and, where legal and appropriate, to enhance each
other. I know from first hand knowledge that early on in the
case — when the Bin Laden network was not in the public eye —
the prosecutors in my office were awed both by your incredibly
diligent work ethic and your determination to make your mission a
successful one, as well as the efforts you made early on in the
case to coordinate your work with the law enforcement effort in a
manner that in my experience was unprecedented in this country’s
history. It was obvious from the work of your staff who labored
hard with tremendous resolve that your diligence and
determination were contagious. That effort — combined with the
accommodations you made at critical times to allow the
evidentiary needs of law enforcement to be protected — made it
possible for Usama Bin Laden to be indicted by a federal grand
jury in the Southern District of New York in June 1998. Without
your diligence, leadership and cooperation, your law enforcement
partners would simply not have been able to obtain such an
Indictment and for that my Office and the public will always be
in your debt.
The diligence and professionalism of you and your
staff, and your willingness to work hand in hand with Special
Agent Daniel Coleman and the prosecutors in my office where and
as appropriate, also made it possible to charge many of the
suspects indicted so soon after the horrific East Africa Embassy
bombings. Law enforcement had a running start on that
investigation because you had been not only willing, but eager,
to share information with us from the beginning. I also know
that no one has logged more hours than you did to work against
the Bin Laden network. I know that your prodigious labors had to
take much time away you could otherwise have spent with your
family. Having recently met with many of the victims’ families,
rest assured that your efforts to prevent terrorist acts, and
your willingness to help us hold those who carried out past
attacks responsible, have had a very real impact on your fellow
Americans as well as the citizens of Kenya and Tanzania and other
countries. I would be honored if you would allow me to present
a plaque to you at a time which would allow both you and your
family to be present as they have shared in your sacrifice. We
would very much like to express our appreciation to them as well.
In short, you have been a leader and a valued colleague
in the fight against international terrorism. I cannot overstate
the significance of your staff’s work and their dedication to the
preservation of our nation’s security. As a symbolic but
heartfelt memento of the effort put forth by you and your staff,
I present you with one of the original warrants obtained for the
arrest of Usama Bin Laden on June 10, 1998. To my Office, it
represents a watershed in how the law enforcement and
intelligence communities ought to cooperate and we thank you for
making it possible.
MARY JO WHITE
United States Attorney
cc: The Honorable George Tenet
Central Intelligence Agency
Hollywood to again whitewash Clinton’s culpability for the 9/11 attacks?
I suppose it was to be expected. Another presidential election cycle, another Hollywood effort to whitewash Bill Clinton’s singular responsibility for the attacks of 11 September 2001, an effort also probably meant to aid Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential ambitions.
First, there was the two-part television miniseries called “The Path to 9/11”, which was aired by ABC in the United States on 10-11 September 2006. Apparently worried that the film’s maker might be going to tell the truth about Clinton’s direct personal responsibility for leaving Osama bin Laden alive and at large so that he could stage an operation that killed nearly 3,000 dead Americans, the media reported that the Clinton organization and its lawyers intervened with ABC to cleanse the film of any attempt to explain — our even suggest — that the ex-president was accountable for the deaths, which he is. Indeed, Clinton’s culpability is so obvious, and the evidence thereof so abundant, that the film was made even after the late-felon Sandy Berger stole some of the documentary proof thereof from the National Archives to protect Clinton’s reputation and his wife’s political viability.
Next, in 2012, came the “Zero Dark Thirty” movie. This film shined the respective apples of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, and reportedly was supported by Obama administration briefings that included classified national-security data which was compromised whether or not it was used in the movie. But then, as Hillary Clinton has so definitively proven, U.S. national security matters not at all to Democrats and their Hollywood allies if some vote-losing truth can be hidden or at least distorted long enough to win presidential elections.
Now, there is a third film project about 9/11 that is very likely to provide a second whitewash by making the American-killer Bill Clinton appear as a ready-to-act, would-be hero who was ill-served by the U.S. intelligence community, and especially the CIA.
Late in November, 2015, I received the e-mail below from Lawrence Wright, author of the purportedly non-fiction work, The Looming Tower. I should note that Wright contacted me after I resigned from the CIA because I had been CIA’s Chief of Alec Station (December 1995- June 1999), the officers of which, with their courageous CIA colleagues overseas, gave Bill Clinton at least ten opportunities to capture or kill Osama bin Laden from May, 1998, until April-May, 1999. Two of these opportunities would have been executed by CIA, the other eight by the U.S. military using CIA intelligence. (NB: For an open-source confirmation of many of these opportunities, see The 9/11 Commission Report. The media appear to have skipped these pages.)
So, here is the e-mail mentioned above:
–(1) Mon, Nov 30, 2015 4:23 pm
From Lawrence Wright
From Lawrence Wright lawrencewright@XXXXX
To Mike Scheuer email@example.com
Cc Alex Gibney pag@XXXXXcom, Daniel Futterman danielfutterman@XXXXXcom
I wanted to alert you to the fact that I have sold a series to Hulu about the run-up to 9/11, based in part on my book, “The Looming Tower.” It is a dramatic series, not a documentary. I am working with the Academy Award -winning director Alex Gibney, and writer Dan Futterman, who has two Academy Award nominations for his work.
Mike, you’ll be a character in this series, because of your role at Alec Station. Alex, Danny, and I would be grateful for the opportunity to talk with you in person in order to get a clearer understanding of your experience.
We were hoping to make a trip to the DC area the week of Dec. 14, and would like to talk to you while we’re there. Is there a date when you could meet us that week? For our purposes, the 16th or 17th of December would work best.
Many thanks for your consideration on this.
After reading the note, I decided to neither respond nor participate. I have had a good deal of experience with Mr. Wright. While he was preparing the Looming Tower, for example, I had a goodly number of telephone conversations with him — all of which I taped — during which I answered his questions and tried to explain the multiple chances the CIA had given Clinton to eliminate bin Laden. I mistakenly thought that Mr. Wright was a serious writer, not a Democratic shill, but the book he produced is so far from the truth about what happened intelligence-wise before 9/11 – at least as I experienced it, and I was pretty involved — that it is quite near a soap opera-like parody of reality, albeit spiced up with bits of sophomoric psychological analysis of the people he describes, Americans and Islamists alike. The Looming Tower, in fact, may be a perfect book on which to base the fictional and likely reality-free dramatic series Mr. Wright refers to in his note.
So, as Mr. Wright noted above, the American people soon will be treated to another piece of what is nearly certain to be pro-Clinton propaganda about the “run-up to 9/11”. No doubt it will be glitzy and entertaining, and it will damn the U.S. Intelligence Community — especially the CIA — because, as Mr. Wright said on Fox News Sunday on 1 October 2006, Clinton was “poorly served” by the U.S. intelligence agencies. 
Well, Americans can watch this coming film and think what they want, but there is one man who knows the truth about the run-up to 9/11. Fortunately for the nation and for its historical record — safer now with Berger dead — this one man publicly explained that truth to a live audience on the day before 3,000 Americans died at al-Qaeda’s hands; they died, of course, only because their president repeatedly and knowingly refused to try to defend them.
“I nearly got him. And I could have killed him,” Clinton told a meeting of businessmen in Australia, “but I would have had to destroy a little town called Kandahar in Afghanistan and kill 300 innocent women and children, and then I would have been no better than him. And so I didn’t do it.” 
Clinton, for once, told the truth , be it only in the first ten words of the quote. While Mr. Wright may be right when he says I am Prussian-like, pious Catholic — I assume that is not a compliment, but it does have a nice ring to it — the women and men of CIA’s Operations Directorate performed magnificently from 1995 until Clinton left office, giving him at least ten opportunities to capture or kill Osama bin Laden, and — on many of those occasions — several of his senior lieutenants as well. Had Clinton acted, he almost certainly would have foreclosed chances for the 9/11 attack, and he would have made it much less possible for George W. Bush to exploit the citizenry’s post-9/11 anger and ardor for revenge to win support for the mad, Mrs. Clinton-advocated invasion of Iraq.
So go see Mr. Wright’s movie, but keep in mind that if it is anything less than a scathing and fact-based indictment of Clinton’s personal culpability for the 9/11 attack, its casualties, and most of the U.S. disasters in the Muslim world that have followed, the film will be not a drama but a fantasy that defies the truth avowed by the man who knows both the whole truth and the fact of his own guilt, namely, Bill Clinton.
Indeed, with Clinton having told the truth, what is the point of another 9/11 movie? Clinton has acknowledged that 9/11 occurred because of his self-centeredness and moral cowardice, not because of an intelligence failure. It seems that Wright and his Hollywood buddies could save themselves a lot of work by getting Clinton to send a simple Tweet saying “Scheuer has been honest and absolutely correct about the many chances CIA gave me to capture or kill bin Laden. The 9/11 dead are my responsibility, not CIA’s.”
The would-be film makers then could move on to produce a film about the more important question of why Clinton and his senior advisers — Clarke, Tenet, Berger, etc. — thought it far preferable to protect the lives of bin Laden-supporting foreigners than to even try to protect those of American citizens. They might also delve into why Hillary Clinton found it preferable to abet the murder of four U.S. officials in Benghazi rather then tell Americans that her failed and juvenile post-Arab Spring policies, and the lead role she played in the U.S. military intervention in Libya, have brought the United States an ongoing national-security disaster that is almost as great as the invasion of Iraq.
Ah, but to imagine that either the Clintons or contemporary Hollywood would ever tell the truth is, as Sam Spade might say, “the stuff that dreams are made of.”
–2.) http://abcnews.go.com/US/bill-clinton-hours-911-attacks-killed-osama-bin/story?id=24801422. One must wonder about the workings of Bill Clinton’s mind. He thought it was not morally correct to defend Americans by killing bin Laden and perhaps 300 al-Qaeda or Taleban supporters, but his moral compass allowed him to be content and happy with allowing 650,000 Iraqi children to die of disease and malnutrition from the sanctions he and his European friends imposed on Saddam, a brutal man but one whose country posed no threat to the United States. Clinton also found it morally acceptable to take part in a Balkans’ war that was a zero threat to U.S. national security and to thereby slaughter Serbs willy nilly from 20,000 feet, a people who posed no threat to the United States. Finally, what on earth could possibly possess Bill Clinton to believe that he was or is in any way a “better” or more decent man than Osama bin Laden? After all, Bin Laden sought to defend Muslims, Clinton allowed Americans to be undefended and murdered. Though they are slender, Mr. Wright ought to turn his talents for psychological analysis on Clinton.
–3.) Given Clinton’s uniquely truthful statement, logic suggests that some of the members of his administration and some of the senior U.S. intelligence officials who testified under oath before the Congress and/or the 9/11 Commission probably are guilty of perjury.