[Marxism] "Hurt Locker" director to serve up propaganda for Obama's re-election
lnp3 at panix.com
Thu Aug 11 07:36:19 MDT 2011
Film on Bin Laden causes stir over Washington access
Rep. Peter T. King (R-N.Y.) wants the CIA and Pentagon to
investigate whether the White House gave filmmakers access to
confidential information regarding the raid that killed Osama bin
By Rebecca Keegan, Los Angeles Times
August 11, 2011
Director Kathryn Bigelow hasn't yet called "action" on her movie
about the capture of Osama bin Laden, but the project is already
stirring up controversy.
Rep. Peter T. King (R-N.Y.), chairman of the House Committee on
Homeland Security, sent a letter to the CIA and the Defense
Department on Tuesday asking for an investigation into whether the
White House has granted Bigelow and Sony Pictures access to
confidential information for the project.
"I'm very concerned that any sensitive information could be
disclosed in a movie," King said in a phone interview. "The
procedures and operations that we used in this raid are very
likely what we'll use in other raids. There's no way a director
would know what could be tipping off the enemy."
King also seems to be concerned about the possible political
ramifications of the film, which is scheduled to arrive in
theaters in October 2012.
"The fact that the movie is going to be released three weeks
before election day, the people at the CIA told me they had no
idea that this was the plan," he said. "They were never told it
was gonna come out so close to election day."
King said he had spoken to members of the CIA who confirmed that
the agency is working with the filmmakers. "There's a division in
the agency," he said. "Some wanted to cooperate, some didn't."
In a news briefing Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Jay
Carney acknowledged the filmmakers have been in touch with the
administration but called King's claims that Bigelow and
screenwriter Mark Boal had been given access to confidential
"When people, including you in this room, are working on articles,
books, documentaries or movies that involve the president, ask to
speak to administration officials, we do our best to accommodate
them to make sure the facts are correct," Carney said.
"That is hardly a novel approach to the media," he added. "We do
not discuss classified information. And I would hope that as we
face the continued threat from terrorism, the House Committee on
Homeland Security would have more important topics to discuss than
King, in his letter to the CIA and Pentagon, asked the inspectors
general of both agencies to investigate issues including:
— "What consultations, if any, occurred between members of the
executive office of the president, and Department of Defense
and/or CIA officials, regarding the advisability of providing
Hollywood executives with access to covert military operations and
clandestine CIA officers to discuss the [Bin Laden] raid."
— Whether a copy of the film would be "submitted to the military
and CIA for pre-publication review, to determine if special
operations tactics … would be revealed by its release."
— How filmmakers' attendance at a meeting with special operators
and agency officers at CIA headquarters was "balanced against
those officers' duties to maintain their covers."
Bigelow and Boal, who both won Oscars in 2009 for their Iraq war
movie "The Hurt Locker," responded to King in a statement issued
through Sony Pictures.
"Our upcoming film project about the decade-long pursuit of Bin
Laden has been in the works for many years and integrates the
collective efforts of three administrations, including those of
Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama, as well as the cooperative
strategies and implementation by the Department of Defense and the
Central Intelligence Agency. Indeed, the dangerous work of finding
the world's most wanted man was carried out by individuals in the
military and intelligence communities who put their lives at risk
for the greater good without regard for political affiliation.
This was an American triumph, both heroic and nonpartisan, and
there is no basis to suggest that our film will represent this
enormous victory otherwise."
Bigelow's movie, once known as "Kill Bin Laden," is currently
I doubt that I could improve on the proper trashing of “Hurt
Locker” by Jay Rothermel that appeared today on Marxmail
It includes the following observations that I could not agree more
The Hollywood combat movie is a genre notorious for hoary
clichés. We all know them: at least one solider is on the verge of
going home. Another loves war a little too much. A third, from the
rear echelon, wants to see some real action. Around camp a G.I.
might befriend a local boy, a Samuel Fuller war orphan with a name
like Short Round. If Fuller or Robert Aldrich made the movie, most
of the officers would be useless tyros or dangerous martinets. The
Black soldier would come off hard-as-nails, but reveal himself
late in the movie as the heart of the unit. The youngest
baby-faced grunt would have a meltdown. There would be some
lighter escapades, too, to break-up the bigger combat scenes: men
carousing and “getting down” to the soundtrack’s rock and roll music.
“The Hurt Locker” is sold as a vigorously up-to-date hand-held
no-stars kitchen-sink realist combat movie with none of these
trite and ancient plot points. On this the TV commercials, stellar
reviews, and print ads all agree. But the movie has them. Indeed,
it seems like an encyclopedia of such clichés. So many are used
that the viewer starts to feel like the victim of a practical
joke, lured to the theater with the old bait-and-switch.
I would only add a couple of my own complaints. In one scene the
American bomb defusing expert, one Sergeant James, scours an
abandoned bomb factory, where he discovers a dead Iraqi boy who
has been booby-trapped. In keeping with the sensationalist
approach of director Kathryn Bigelow, James uses his knife to
surgically remove the bomb. To add to the melodrama, the boy is
assumed to be a street kid that Sergeant James has befriended, a
DVD peddler who calls himself Beckham after the soccer superstar.
Now there have been few reports of booby-trapped corpses in Iraq,
but those have exclusively involved occupation forces, either
military or civilian like truck drivers. The idea that Sunni
insurgents would defile the corpse of a Muslim, even if it
belonged to a Shi’ite is unbelievable. As deeply religious rebels,
they were and are obviously constrained by their beliefs. The
Muslim religion dictates a rapid burial and not the use of a dead
believer’s body for a weapon. Suicide bombing, of course, is an
entirely different matter that while not exactly sanctioned by the
religion is not in open defiance of its strictures, at least as
interpreted by its Imams, which is all that matters in the final
In some ways, this lack of verisimilitude reminded me of “The Deer
Hunter”, another war movie that also aspired to transcend the
genre’s conventions. In one of the most heralded scenes in the
movie, the Vietnamese force an American captive to play Russian
roulette. As it turns out, the only record of such a gruesome form
of mental and physical torture taking place during the war was
imposed by Americans on their Vietnamese captives. That’s par for
the course in Hollywood, where demonization of the Empire’s
enemies is a requirement for career advancement.
In another scene that is directly related to the scene described
above, Sergeant James forces another Arab DVD peddler to drive him
to the house where Beckham was booby-trapped, or where he lived.
Like much of this movie, it is rather murky what his goal is. When
he gets there, pistol in hand, he discovers that it is a
middle-class home with an older man preparing dinner in the
kitchen. The man, a college professor who speaks English, is not
intimidated by the gun and invites him to share tea with him. We
are finally on the verge, it would appear, of having some serious
dramatic interaction and revelations about how the Arab perceives
the occupying powers. But just as soon as the professor makes his
invitation, his wife bursts into the kitchen and beats Sergeant
James over the head with a metal pot. Our intrepid GI, unafraid of
the deadliest bombs, goes running off into the night and no
further words are exchanged with the Iraqi man and woman. I
imagine that the screenwriter was incapable of writing dialog
appropriate to the scene. He was much better suited obviously for
having his principals say things like “Haji at 2:00″.
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