[Marxism] That letter from US Senators about "Zero Dark Thirty"

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Thu Dec 20 07:59:57 MST 2012

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Non-USA film critics not that impressed with Zero - US 
politicians too !
Date: Thu, 20 Dec 2012 14:55:36 GMT
From: Prairie Miller <prairiemiller at juno.com>
To: lnp3 at panix.com

US senators criticise ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ in letter

The movie ”Zero Dark Thirty” is misleading and ”grossly inaccurate” in 
its suggestion that torture produced the tip that led the US military to 
find terrorist leader Osama bin Laden, three senators said in a letter 
to the head of Sony Pictures Entertainment.

The filmmakers dispute that interpretation and encourage people to see 
their movie, already considered a top Oscar contender, before 
characterising it. The members of the Senate Intelligence committee 
Dianne Feinstein, Carl Levin and John McCain insisted that Sony and its 
president and CEO, Michael Lynton, had an obligation to alter the movie 
and make clear that torture in the hunt for bin Laden was fiction and 
not based on fact.

”We are fans of many of your movies, and we understand the special role 
that movies play in our lives, but the fundamental problem is that 
people who see ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ will believe that the events it 
portrays are facts,” the three senators wrote. ”The film therefore has 
the potential to shape American public opinion in a disturbing and 
misleading manner.”    McCain has insisted that the waterboarding of 
al-Qaeda’s No. 3 leader, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, did not provide 
information that led to the bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan.

Last year, McCain asked then-CIA Director Leon Panetta for the facts, 
and he said the hunt for bin Laden did not begin with fresh information 
from Mohammed. In fact, the name of bin Laden’s courier, Abu Ahmed 
al-Kuwaiti, came from a detainee held in another country.

Feinstein, who heads the Intelligence committee, backed up McCain’s 
assessment that waterboarding of Mohammed did not produce the tip that 
led to bin Laden.

In their letter to Sony, the lawmakers said the ”use of torture in the 
fight against terrorism did severe damage to America’s values and 
standing that cannot be justified or expunged. It remains a stain on our 
national conscience. We cannot afford to go back to these dark times, 
and with the release of ‘Zero Dark Thirty,’ the filmmakers and your 
production studio are perpetuating the myth that torture is effective. 
You have a social and moral obligation to get the facts right.”

Director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal said in a statement 
from Sony that they depicted ”a variety of controversial practices and 
intelligence methods that were used in the name of finding bin Laden.”

Bigelow and Boal, who won Oscars for ”The Hurt Locker,” said the new 
film showed that no single method was responsible in the successful 
manhunt for bin Laden, and no single scene in isolation captures the 
total effort the movie dramatises.

McCain said he watched the movie Monday night after receiving a copy.


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