Last night was the first part of the ABC “docudrama” The Path to 9/11. While I did not watch it (instead I watched CIA “superagent” Stan Smith turn a refugee camp into a summer camp called “Camp Refoogee”), The Anonymous Liberal did. And it’s worse than we thought.

It was much worse than I imagined. And not so much because of the historical inaccuracies or the gratuitous potshots at Clinton and his cabinet–though those were there, in spades–but because of something more deeply embedded in the film’s DNA: namely, an intense disdain for process. If there’s a theme to the film, it’s that our quaint notions of process and legality are simply not compatible with a world in which terrorists want to blow us up. The film goes out of its way to hammer this point home, even to the point of glorifying those who are not similarly constrained, like the Pakistani special forces and the Afghani Northern Alliance.

This is one of the things that bothers me the most about this Administration. We are, as Bush is so fond of claiming, a “nation of laws”. And yet, authoritarian conservatives seem absolutely eager to throw our laws, our process, the very reason we exist as a country and not a colony of England, out the window.

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