The Looming Tower

The Looming Tower

A Limited Series

DVD - 2018
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A look at how the rivalry between the CIA and FBI inadvertently set the stage for the tragedy of 9/11 and the war in Afghanistan.
Publisher: Burbank, California : Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, [2018]
Edition: EnglishFrenchPortuguese diaologue version
Copyright Date: ©2018
Branch Call Number: DVD TV LOOM TOW
Characteristics: 2 videodiscs (493 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in.
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j
jimg2000
Dec 07, 2018

Can you tell us the first time you became aware the Agency was withholding information from your FBI unit?
-In the summer of 1998.
===

Mr. Bin Laden, you issued a fatwa calling on Muslims to kill Americans where they can, when they can. Is that directed at all Americans?
===
I think it's the third warning. First was the '96 declaration of jihad. Then the February fatwa. And now, Bin Laden is going straight to the American people.
-Why three times?
There's this unauthenticated hadith the sayings of the Prophet Muhammed Some think he said it; some don't. "When you see a snake in your house, you should warn it three times. If it returns, you must kill it. It is a devil." UBL's warning the snake to get out of his house. Telling America to get out of the Middle East, out of Saudi Arabia in particular.

j
jimg2000
Dec 07, 2018

Bin Laden left his home in Saudi Arabia at the age of 19 to join the Muslims fighting the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Like many of the young fighters, he was religious and committed. Unlike any other, he came from a Saudi family that ran a construction empire worth $5 billion. Bin Laden's personal worth is estimated at $200 million. Bin Laden has made these threats before, but this time, there's something different. He put a time cap on it, saying that whatever action will be taken against Americans in the Gulf whatever violence awaits, will occur within the next few weeks.
===
We weren't sure which one would disqualify me more: the alcohol or the Islam.
===
God damn it. Fxck that motherfucker.
-Interesting. He said the same thing about you.

j
jimg2000
Dec 07, 2018

You could add a comma. That would make it an exhortation, an encouragement. "Help Africa, people." Or you could simply add an N. Help African People. That's probably what you're going for anyway, right?
===
How many Arabic speakers do we have in the Bureau? Anybody?
- Eight?
Eight. Thank you. Eight Arabic speakers out of more than 10,000 agents. That's how seriously our government takes this threat.
===
Do you ever speak with him now?
-Never.
Email?
-Afghanistan does not have AOL.
===
Can I remind you of NS Directive 30, signed by President Reagan, and PRD-44, signed by President Clinton?
-Thank you for the memories.
It's not your choice whether you share intelligence. You're required to share it with the FBI and everybody else in this room.

j
jimg2000
Dec 07, 2018

If we did have any intelligence whatsoever, it would be for us to decide how best to use it before you do what you always do: go around the globe arresting people and putting them on trial, before you blow a possible gold mine of information and render it utterly useless. So no, I'm not prepared to say one way or the other.
===
If one American gets killed because of information you kept secret, when I get my hands on that hard drive and I will get my hands on it I will shove that thing so far up your ass you'll be combing shit out of your pompous fxcking beard.
===
REPORTER: … Causing parallel scenes of chaos at US embassies in neighboring East African capitals. Five minutes after an apparent bomb blast rocked Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, a second explosion erupted 450 miles away in Nairobi, Kenya.

j
jimg2000
Dec 07, 2018

Where's Louie Freeh?
- He's on vacation.
What a surprise.
===
As you continue to work with the Bureau, you will come to realize that there is a chain of command by which decisions are made. Your boss has yet to learn this lesson.
===
If you recall the February fatwa, the retreat from the Arabian Peninsula is a particular obsession for bin Laden and al-Qaeda. It has never been remotely as important to Hezbollah, which is Shia, not Sunni, and which is far more focused on the ultimate elimination of the State of Israel. Those agendas seem to me disconnected from the bombings in East Africa.
===
Remember, we are guests in another country. Let's conduct ourselves accordingly. Let's also remember why we are here. Less than 36 hours ago, some number of Americans and scores of Kenyans were murdered. This is al-Qaeda territory.

j
jimg2000
Dec 07, 2018

He's got no leads for us?
-I even threaten not to let him watch the new porno tapes if he didn't give us something.
You're taking a hard line.
-Eh, for Junior, that borders on torture.
===
Where's the place in the world that has the highest concentration of al-Qaeda other than Afghanistan?
===
Satellite imagery's identified eight to ten possible training camps near the Pakistani border where UBL may be living. Possible training camps. One or two may be Pashtun villages where the tribesmen target practice.
-And you're telling me bin Laden may be living in any one of these sites?
===
That may be.
- No, that will be.
===
How could the Agency, after half a decade, not have one fxcking spy to tell us where bin Laden sleeps at night?

j
jimg2000
Dec 07, 2018

MAN: We find ourselves in a land where temptations are everywhere Inside each cinema, every pub. So what do we do? The Messenger of Allah, Peace be Upon Him, teaches us of jihad al-nafs. Struggle of the soul. Our inner struggle of good against the evil one, Shaytan. Then we have a duty to turn outward, to fight the impurities of the world, the infectious growth of non-believers in the Muslim land of the holy sites. In Mecca and Medina. In Afghanistan, in Pakistan. From jihad al-nafs, jihad of the soul, to jihad bilâ-saif, jihad of the sword. All of us have this obligation.
===
We incentivize, Pashtun tribesmen, Cash payments, essentially. The ones who are in and out of al-Qaeda encampments all the time, to kidnap UBL from his main camp at Tarnak farms.
===
How many Pashtuns are you planning to put on the U.S. payroll? Just up and down the Hindu Kush, just in case the Sheikh is in their neighborhood? How long you think that secret will be kept?

j
jimg2000
Dec 07, 2018

One year ago, a man came into the Embassy. Says he knew a plan to blow up the building. I brought him to my boss, to Ms. Fletcher. I'm certain she reported it to Washington D.C. She told me she did. But nothing was done.
===
You've given me ten possibilities. They're woefully inadequate and non-specific. I told you to narrow them down. You're gonna have a hard time convincing the military to make a strike on anything other than high-percentage.
-I might remind you that I don't need to convince the military. All I need to do is convince the President.
===
Find him. Arrest him. Put him on trial, then in jail. Treat him like a criminal, not a hero.
- Well, we're at war.
Only if we choose to be.
===
We get 40 walk-ins a week all over the world. They all want money or asylum in the U.S. And lifelong protection. I don't remember this particular one, but if it wasn't dealt with, it was deemed non-credible.
Well, I guess this one was credible.

j
jimg2000
Dec 07, 2018

There has never been a time in human history when we have been free of the organized forces of destruction. And the more open the world becomes, the more vulnerable people become to those who are organized and have weapons, technology, and the ability to move.
===
"Winds don't always blow" in the direction that ships desire.
===
So I said to Anas, "Don't be daft. Just come inside while Roy's working. Sit in kitchen, keep me company." And I offered him a sausage, and it were pork, and I didn't know they didn't eat pork. Uh, I thought that was just Jewish people, so I thought I'd got confused, and that he were Jewish, and he said he weren't, and We laughed a little bit.
===
The search is turning up nothing. His landlady's got nothing but nice things to say about him.
-There's nothing on his computer.
'Cause he wiped it. That's evidence right there.

j
jimg2000
Dec 07, 2018

You know what the technical term is for stealing our shxt without asking?
-Rude.
Treason. You don't know what's on that hard drive. You don't know how many people might be in danger by being privy to information that you, specifically you, are not cleared for. And if that hard drive leaves this room, you leave this building. And I wouldn't be surprised if you aren't allowed back into any government building ever Except maybe prison.
===
And all through the 80s, so let me explain something to you about the nature of a battle. It's a mind game. They want you to think that they're an all-powerful force, that they can they can vaporize you with their eyeballs, but it's not that. They're a rag-tag bunch of misfits and trouble makers that can't get a girlfriend, so they're getting their dicks hard by playing with guns. And that's all they are. And that is how you treat them.

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a
amanoletters99
Jul 06, 2019

And this is why it is called the Central Idiots Agency. Intelligence has nothing to do with anything the CIA has ever done, period. I understand this is only a dramatization, but well done on revealing how some people never get past their kindergarten mentality, and yet somehow manage to get an adult job.

f
fredstoo
Jul 05, 2019

A TV series is your source of facts? Seriously?

r
richmole
May 02, 2019

First-rate!

Not only in its revelations, but also in its ability to tell the story, blending facts and events with the personal lives of many who impacted them--and were impacted by them.

Terrific cast, great writing, as well.

The series has been recognized for its "factual" approach, but as its screen disclaimer says, it's created dialogue and also "melded" real people into fictitious characters--notably the "Diane Marsh" CIA character, a blend of two real-life Individuals.

Ambitious in scope--and realized in an excellent way.

g
graybear3
Mar 12, 2019

Powerful! It will make you feel betrayed and mad -- as it well should. Not a documentary: Some of the characters are composites of 2 or more real people and some events are compressed. But the main things are there. A must see!
Yes, there's a lot of swearing. In real life, there's a lot of swearing. If you want to portray people as they really are/were, then you have to show how they really are/were. Most people aren't saints or Pollyannas in a sanitary black-and-white world. Real life is messy and gritty and real people are flawed.

m
muinah
Feb 25, 2019

Gripping, intense and masterful performance by the casts. A must see.

l
libertytoday2003
Jan 21, 2019

This was a good dramatization of the lead up to the Twin Tower attacks. They only allude to a previous attack on the Twin Towers, so you don't actually get to understand some of the dynamics involved. The first attack on the Twin Towers was done by Iran and blew a five story hole in one of the towers. My ache in this is all the blame on bin Laden. I personally have done a lot of research on this and there is really nothing substantial that bin Laden or Al-Qaeda was actually responsible for the Twin Towers attack. The allusion is that all the previous attacks lead up to the Twin Towers, but all the previous attacks were in Islamic states. Bin Laden had stated previously in most other works that his concern was only in Islamic states and wanted the US and others to keep out. We also have to remember that bin Laden didn't have a lot of resources to call on to do that kind of attack on the US. He kept his missions in Islamic states and he kept them very small. The person of real interest here should have been Muhammad Atta as the key to this mission, the professionalism, the Military preciseness, logistics and the money it would have taken to pull this off. There was virtually nothing about Atta throughout the entire film. There was also nothing about the Pakistani ISI Chief who had been in the United States at the time and had given Atta over a hundred thousand dollars, the Saudi Ambassador gave a send off for Atta and the others at Al-Hijra mosque in Falls Church, virginia, and there is so much more I could get into that only some people know. That the CIA and FBI refused to share was their well known arrogance. And later that the Pakistani ISI and military knew exactly where bin Laden had been for years because they were allowing him to use their electronic resources, that and the number of Saudi's on the mission should lead us to a far different conclusion. Bush who said, "No American-Muslims had aided and abetted the Twin Tower attackers, then refused the victims families of 9-11 to sue Saudi Arabia might lead us to wonder about Bush's allegiance in all this.

b
bitsysmom
Dec 06, 2018

Good film. It would have been better without all the swearing.

r
raymind
Dec 01, 2018

Other-dimension travel.

j
jimg2000
Nov 28, 2018

Updated with quotes on Dec 7, 2018.

With the exceptions of newsreel footage of the bombing, Bin Laden interview and Congressional hearings, the film dramatized the 1998 bombing of the American embassy in Kenya, the fatal attack of the navy missile guided destroyer USS Cole and the three al-Qaeda terrorists hijacked one of the planes that hit one of the WTC towers. Divided we fail ... that was what this series focused on: the appalling rift between the CIA and FBI counterterrorism teams during the Clinton-Lewinsky years to 9/11 under G W. Bush's watch. The bonus interviews of the real All Soufan in "All Soufan: In his own words" and Jeff Daniels's commentary on his portrayal of John O'Neill (February 6, 1952 – September 11, 2001) drives the point home.

e
ElspethG
Nov 03, 2018

Not completely impressed by this series. There is so much minutiae, that my mind gets bogged down and turns off. And there is so much cursing and swearing. There really is no need for them in every sentence or every other sentence. It is possible to make a movie, TV show, or documentary without cursing. Perhaps the writers don't have access to a thesaurus to find other perfectly usable words to indicate the same meaning. I got halfway through the second episode and just quit. Perhaps my opinion may be vilified, but that is what I felt about this particular movie.

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e
ElspethG
Nov 03, 2018

ElspethG thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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