Zero Dark Thirty is not only full of fiction but it totally fails as a Suspense Thriller! The opening sequence, 45 minutes watching torture, strongly implies that torture was used to find bin Laden. While, to our shame, the U.S. has used torture,
according to everything we are being told by the leadership of the Senate Select Intelligence Committee and by top intelligence officials, NONE of the key information that led to finding bin Laden, was gained from torture. NONE.
This has been stated Yy Committee Chairman Diane Feinstein, as well as by Senator Carl Levin and Senator John McCain, as well as by Acting CIA Director, Michael Morell, and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta. In fact there is no doubt that the use of torture created many false leads and caused a great deal of time to be wasted in tracking bin Laden.
Promotion for the movie has stated that the screenwriter had direct access to classified Senate Intelligence Committee and CIA files. This claim is being investigated but on its face it is NOT believable since so much of the film is obviously fictitious, and what we know to be true has been in the public domain, such as the raid sequence on the bin Laden compound.
The Senate Intelligence Committee has been working for several years on a 6,000 page report, based on the examination of 5 million pages of documents on the CIA’s use of torture. The report was approved by the Committee, 6-3, on December 13, 2012, and it is now being reviewed by the CIA and Committee staff to determine what must be redacted before it can be released to the public. We need to push hard to get this report released so that we all have access to this
In the meantime, Senator Feinstein and her colleagues have stated that key information that led to the capture of Bin Laden, such as the name of his courier, was tracked down using other sources and not by the use of torture, as depicted in the movie.
It would seem that we have been subjected to a lot of false advertising by Director Bigelow and others – obviously intended to sell a lot of tickets. Bigelow has claimed that the film is based on personal accounts. Yet, the film brings in a young female CIA agent supposedly “modeled” after a real CIA Agent, who supposedly slaves for 12 years to find bin Laden, having been hired right out of school. The agent participates not only in committing torture, including water boarding, but also has access to the director of the CIA, sees the Navy SEAL team off as they head out to the raid, and then has the expertise to identify bin Laden’s body when it is brought back from the raid. At the end of the movie there is a disclaimer that says that fictionalized characters and information were used in the film –what a surprise!!
Torture, besides being immoral and destructive, leads to bad information. Whether you are looking for the truth or for entertainment, I would not recommend this film.