The Looming Tower: Mistakes Were Made
March 5, 2018 7:04 PM - Season 1, Episode 3 - Subscribe

A ten-part miniseries from Hulu that traces the rising threat of Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaeda, and takes a controversial look at how the rivalry between the CIA and FBI might have set the stage for 9/11 and the war in Iraq. (from IMDB) Based on the book.

The first three episodes were released on February 28. This post is for any discussion of the series up to the third episode.

The Guardian: "'They totally underestimated al-Qaida': The Looming Tower and America's pre-9/11 complacency"

Vanity Fair: "Why 9/11 Drama The Looming Tower Could Be Hulu’s Second Trump-Era Must Watch"

Den of Geek: "The Looming Tower Review (Spoiler-Free)" Hulu’s new limited series about the events leading up to 9/11 is entertaining at times but feels inessential and familiar.
posted by sylvanshine (2 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
To help people with placing composite characters, TVGuide's got your back.

Of note is the Company's "Professor," which is a composite mostly based on Michael Scheuer, the head of Alec Station. Scheuer endorsed Ron Paul and Donald Trump and argues that the threat facing America is not terrorism but Islamism. Take from that what you will.

Diane Marsh, the red-headed lady working with the Professor, is based partly on Alfreda Frances Bikowsky, also the inspiration for the character in Zero Dark Thirty. She made false claims about delivering intelligence to the FBI; records show she deliberately blocked intelligence sharing despite the laws and is known as The Queen of Torture because nothing made her happier than a rendition and a few hours of stress positions and waterboarding. She married Scheuer in 2014.
posted by xyzzy at 7:31 PM on March 5, 2018 [1 favorite]

This is more for episode 4 I guess, but were people (hipsters?) really wearing t-shirts that said "you missed!" and a picture of UBL in the late 90s? The kid who came up to Chesney in Nairobi was wearing one, which I could see as plausible, but then O'Neil sees a woman in one in Brooklyn, which I find as less plausible. Then again, I was in high school on the west coast in the late 90s; what do I know about Brooklyn fashion?

I'm enjoying this series so far. To me it captures some sense of sincerity or non-irony that we don't see much in current tv. I'm thinking of the Chesney composite character and Ali Soufan in particular. Jeff Daniels is just fascinating to watch, and I'm not a huge Daniels fan. It does make me want to re-read the book, as it is glossing over a lot of the book's content that takes place outside the US.
posted by emkelley at 10:48 AM on March 9, 2018

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