December 21st, 2012
08:13 PM ET

CIA challenges accuracy of 'Zero Dark Thirty'

By Pam Benson

The CIA joined on Friday the chorus of those challenging the accuracy of a new movie on the Osama bin Laden raid that suggests that harsh interrogation techniques used on suspected terrorists helped the agency find the man considered behind the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States.

In an unusual move, the acting director of the CIA , Michael Morell, issued a statement to employees on Friday that emphasized that "Zero Dark Thirty" is not a historically accurate film.

Of particular concern are the harrowing scenes at the beginning of the movie that depict a suspected terrorist being interrogated at a secret CIA prison overseas with waterboarding and other so-called enhanced interrogation techniques. The suggestion in the movie is that those coercive techniques aided in identifying the courier who eventually led to the compound in Pakistan where bin Laden was living.

Morell acknowledged that the interrogations played a role but said that they were not as important as the movie implied. "That impression is false," Morell said. There were multiple streams of intelligence, according to Morell. "Some came from detainees subjected to enhanced techniques, but there were many other sources as well."

Screenwriter on interrogation debate

Morell also criticized the film for implying that just a few individuals were responsible for the successful operation when in fact hundreds were involved. He also took exception to the "liberties" the filmmakers took in depicting CIA officers, especially ones who had died. "We cannot allow a Hollywood film to cloud our memory of them," he said.

Morell acknowledged the agency had interacted with the filmmakers but said the movie is a "dramatization, not a realistic portrayal of the facts ... we do not control the final product."

Morell's comments followed objections earlier in the week from Sens. Dianne Feinstein, Carl Levin and John McCain, who called on Sony Pictures Entertainment to publicly state that the movie is not based on fact.

" 'Zero Dark Thirty' is factually inaccurate, and we believe that you have an obligation to state that the role of torture in the hunt for Osama bin Laden is not based on the facts, but rather part of the films fictional narrative," the senators wrote.

In response to the senators' criticism, filmmakers Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal said the film condenses 10 years of intelligence work into a 2 1/2-hour film.

"We depicted a variety of controversial practices and intelligence methods that were used in the name of finding bin Laden. The film shows that no single method was necessarily responsible for solving the manhunt, nor can any single scene taken in isolation fairly capture the totality of efforts the film dramatizes," their statement said. "We encourage people to see the film before characterizing it."

"Zero Dark Thirty" opened in theaters on Wednesday.

Peter Bergen on senators slamming torture scenes

soundoff (158 Responses)
  1. Huey Englebrecht

    Thank you for the sensible critique. Me & my neighbor were just preparing to do some research about this. We got a grab a book from our local library but I think I learned more from this post. I'm very glad to see such wonderful information being shared freely out there.

    March 4, 2021 at 10:12 am | Reply
  2. Alisa Fiume

    January 28, 2021 at 10:12 pm | Reply
  3. Emanuel Truss

    January 21, 2021 at 3:53 am | Reply
  4. Millard Giumarro

    January 11, 2021 at 2:10 am | Reply
  5. Saundra Rierson

    January 11, 2021 at 1:01 am | Reply
  6. Princess Littrel

    I’m new to your blog and i really appreciate the nice posts and great layout.”~~-.

    December 20, 2020 at 6:18 pm | Reply
  7. Andydfw

    Single romance language men and women females at Hispanic dating sites

    now, searching spanish tongue girls and boys alike or kerle, men or women on the internet is a piece of cake. only, you simply enroll in a cost-free going out system caused by creating an individual marketing campaign. it's your description which will a variety of other single people visit, which get gently. after getting your ultimate information agreed, You discover merchants real spanish, real spanish,simple spanish single ladies in your city and therefore bit these animals. online dating service is really fabulous. you ought not be single because your other half is without a doubt hoping around the internet to setup a meeting.

    Single the ladies wanting to find how to speak spanish these are within the. involving kids can't see a memberships to locate a date. as they choose online dating companies, because this position should join all of a permanent courting. spanish single the ladies do not like the short term already people discovered at the golf clubs. A romance language girl lives in online dating services method to get a lifestyles term sweetheart. She looks for a man who aspects her and also with who she can settle for them through-out her lifetime. in other words, she'd like a life threatening boy that she can build a contented family. an advanced man buying a woman within the, at that point be truthful moreover dependable to a love interconnection. dependable the correct fashion with regard to adoration not to mention relationship. you will be honest to learn a top crafting really.

    most real spanish, real spanish,simple spanish older women should be immaculate or attractive. They are splendid from outside, however their properties tend to great. the ladies in latin the usa strive to assist their families. A real spanish, real spanish,simple spanish girl friend gets pleasant quality. this woman carries good care of the girl's husband's comments and youngsters. he cooks terrific nutrition every day. in reality, you can watch TV even although the woman at home cooks dinner. recently, Thousands attached to how to speak spanish yankee women now maintain this special outdated persuits, truth these businesses live in america alone. no matter where they live, many use tha permanent traditions within centre. romance language women nearly always dignity his / her couples not to mention folks. local speaking spanish brides residing latin u. s locations are the most useful, since the spanish language young women living in america are the next the best.

    you will have thousands along with the spanish language people looking out for take great delight in and relationship, couples so romantic relationship at Hispanic paid dating sites right now. researching a top crafting take out has turned into a trend without delay. Thousands with around the internet and family relationships are created any single year. Thousands single ladies get an account their particular confidential listings over the internet looking into other half. Hispanic relationship internet is an excellent look for your soul mate as a result of relaxation available. additional ways to search for a date regarding social business, providers, house of worship, And in public areas, but none as if online online dating services. there is a top crafting information appropriately at your home pc. Thousands from downtown romance language single men and women exist hanging around the web to their valuable true love. pondering single and simply depressed? become self-sufficient instantly.

    November 30, 2020 at 1:03 am | Reply
  8. nike dunk high premium id superman blue shoes

    cheap flyknit air max 2014 grey blue black purpleclassic slip on true bluenew balance 580 elite propagandathis womens new balance 996 means all business
    nike dunk high premium id superman blue shoes

    October 23, 2018 at 12:46 am | Reply
1 2

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.