Surely one of the worst-presented characters in “The Path to 9/11” was the Ambassador to Yemen Barbara Bodine who is seen belittling FBI chief John O’Neill and berating one of his agents for her manner of dress. She defends her role after the bombing of the USS Cole in the Los Angeles Times, but this excerpt from a Frontline special…well, it doesn’t paint her in a sympathetic light. Here’s FBI agent Clint Guenther from the New York City Counterterrorism squad:
Do you remember his [John O’Neill] first phone call back to you where he mentioned [Ambassador] Bodine and what his reaction to all this was?Not exactly rolling out the red carpet.
One of his first calls back where you knew that he was having problems with the ambassador was when he had gotten his people into Aden and realized that there were no facilities available for them to stay. There was no hotel available. A lot of other government agencies had sent people over there. A lot of intelligence groups had sent people, and there was absolutely no place for FBI personnel to stay. The ambassador basically just said, "Let them sleep on the floor in the ballroom, because we're not finding additional facilities for them."
And John, being a guy who always took care of his troops was just incensed that she would not try to find some sort of accommodations so that he could make his people as comfortable as possible also. Right then and there, you knew that there was going to be strife between the two, because John was going to take care of his people, and he was going to do everything he possible could to make sure that they had what they needed to conduct their investigation.