CIA and senators criticize 'Zero Dark Thirty' depiction of torture

By Kristen Spicker,

After all the hubbub surrounding Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty, the CIA decided to weigh in on the film’s depiction of the hunt for Osama Bin Laden.

In a letter written by Acting Director Michael Morell Wednesday, the CIA employee criticized the film’s emphasis on torture in order to extract information on Bin Laden.

“The truth is that multiple streams of intelligence led CIA analysts to conclude that Bin Ladin was hiding in Abbottabad…,” he wrote. “And, importantly, whether enhanced interrogation techniques were the only timely and effective way to obtain information from those detainees, as the film suggests, is a matter of debate that cannot and never will be definitively resolved.”

Morell says the film is “portraying itself as being historically accurate” and criticizes the simplification of the number of people involved in the decade-long search.

Senators John McCain, Diane Feinstein and Carl Levin also wrote a letter addressed to the head of Sony Pictures, declaring the inaccuracies portrayed in the film.

“We believe that you have an obligation to state that the role of torture in the hunt for (Bin Laden) is not based on the facts, but rather part of the film's fictional narrative,” the letter read according to AFP.

Although both letters criticize the historical side of the film, none of the authors belittle it or the plot.

“Through it all, I want you to remember that Zero Dark Thirty is not a documentary,” Morell penned. “What you should also remember is that the Bin Ladin operation was a landmark achievement by our country, by our military, by our Intelligence Community, and by our Agency.”

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