Skip to comments.A CIA veteran on what ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ gets wrong about the bin Laden manhunt (plus video)
Posted on 01/05/2013 8:02:08 PM PST by Brad from Tennessee
It is an odd experience to enter a darkened room and, for more than two and a half hours, watch someone tell a story that you experienced intimately in your own life. But that is what happened recently as I sat in a movie theater near Times Square and watched Zero Dark Thirty, the new Hollywood blockbuster about the hunt for Osama bin Laden.
When I was head of the CIAs Counterterrorism Center from 2002 to 2004 and then director of the National Clandestine Service until late 2007, the campaign against al-Qaeda was my life and obsession.
I must say, I agree with both the film critics who love Zero Dark Thirty as entertainment and the administration officials and prominent senators who hate the movie for the message it sends although my reasons are entirely opposite theirs.
Indeed, as I watched the story unfold on the screen, I found myself alternating between repulsion and delight. . .
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
I haven’t seen it — AND WON’T -— but, did anyone really think they would get much right in this Obama inspired epic about the made for entertainment president?
I heard that in the movie...
1. They make every CIA person say the “F” word about 10,000 times
2. Every single male in the movie is extremely nasty and anti-woman
3. The heroine main-character is portrayed as single-handedly having got OBL
4. America is shown as being Very Bad
5. Torture, torture, torture, torture, torture
I was really looking forward to this movie, but I trust this critic (he is like us) and he says IT IS THE WORST MOVIE HE HAS EVER SEEN.
Did they cover the fact that we killed him 9 or 10 years ago?
(according to the media that is!), how many times do we have to kill this guy before he is dead?
Must be part cat.
Osama. Son of Elvis.
I agree that the CIA did not torture any Islamic agents. There were no finger nails pulled, limbs stretched, or any other unnatural movements forced upon them.
Making them compliant by making them uncomfortable is not torture.
Heard it was good and pretty non-political from one of
my friends. Saw Argo and liked that even with Lefty Aflek directing. Will see it when and out on DVD and judge for myself.
True. Anyone with any basic military training has experienced this.
From the first word in the title they got it wrong.
Nobody in the military - nobody - ever says “Zero” Dark Thirty.
It’s always “Oh-Dark-Thirty”.
Hollywood is populated by those who hate the military and have never served in it. They can’t even get the jargon right.
LOL! You’re right. It was always “Oh-Dark-Thirty”. Never heard Zero Dark Thirty until this movie came out.
It’s funny to watch people get their panties in a knot about how the movie has errors. It’s a ***Hollywood movie***, and not the documentary they pretend but cleverly never portray it as!
This is the same Hollywood that had Billy the Kid shoot “Murphy” in the head, at the end of “Young Guns”. In real life “Murphy” died of cancer later that year.
And “Doc Scurlock” portrayed by Kiefer Sutherland? In the movie he runs away with the young asian girl he stole from Murphy and dies in the stinking springs shoot out in Young Guns II. Of course, in real life, he died of old age in Texas in 1929. And was married to a spanish woman, two years before the Lincoln county war. He died in Young Guns II for one simple reason. Sutherland didnt want to be in the sequel and insisted that they kill off his character early in the script, even though that man died of old age.
So these whiners crying that Hollywood got it wrong crack me up. It’s almost unheard of that Hollywood is ever accurate about any historical event, or even close.
Getting history from Hollywood movies is very dicey business. The movie was nothing but a love letter to Obama from his Hollywood friends.
Your points 1 and 3 are correct, but the others are not. I enjoyed the movie, and really don’t understand all the liberal angst over it.
Something must have happened to force the WP to carry Rodriquez’s column because what he writes contradicts a lot of what Post writers, columnists and letters to the editor writers wrote about the pursuit of Bin Laden.
I don’t think that the WaPo suddenly developed a conscience or pro-America attitude. If they did, then they would have fired about half of their key writers, editorial writers, and columnists, as well as their Letters to the Editor editor.
Perhaps the Obama people made it known that they wanted the Obama regime to get the credit not only for “getting” Bin Laden”, but for “cleaning up” the intelligence community’s tactics. Nothing else makes any sense since the hunt for BL started under the first administration of George W. Bush, gained strength and direction during the second, and led to the elimination of Bin Laden by inertia in the Obama administration in its first term.
If the Obama people put pressure on the WaPo to publish things that would make O look good no matter what else was revealed, then I wouldn’t put it past them to do so. They have a lot of WP insiders who would also support such a tactic, a tactic of disinformation, misinformation, aggrandisement and back-patting (i.e. hogging all the glory and the credit while they can at the time before peoples’ memories of the truth began to fade).
At least Mr. Rodriguez has made an ernest attempt “to set the record straight”, something the Obamites will never do re the Massacre at Ben Ghazi, “Fast & Furious”, and John Kerry’s military records and contacts with the enemy during the Vietnam war.
Maybe the Wash Post got a conscience and wanted to tell the truth for once? Nah, pigs haven’t yet learned to fly though leftist/liberal crap does all the time in the mainstream media. That is why I always carry and umbrella in DC.
It’s like hearing a guy at the Walmart gun counter ask the clerk if they have any of those ‘double zero’ shotgun shells. It got real quiet.
I want to see it because it has the dems all wee wee’d up.. Even if it is propaganda, they seem to think it has enough truth to very vocally oppose it so that means it might hurt them.. the truth always does.
It’s on Kick-Ass Torrents, kat.ph. Just haven’t got around to watching it yet.
I think that's called marriage.
What does Zero Dark Thirty mean anyway?
Huh? It seems you didn't read the whole thing to the end.
Despite its flaws, inaccuracies and shortcuts, I do believe this film is well worth seeing. Like the real hunt for bin Laden, it goes on way too long, but there is value in the end. Theatergoers should understand, however, that Zero Dark Thirty is more than a movie and less than the literal truth. This is especially apparent in the final scene, with Maya in tears, drained, not sure where to go or what to do next.
Her real-world counterparts have no doubt: The battle against al-Qaeda is far from over.
My use of “this critic” does not refer to the critic who wrote this article.
It’s another critic.
OK, got it.
Shame. I really liked Hurt Locker.
When ‘24’ was on. the govt really hated that they showed the torture scenes.
Thank God for Jose A. Rodriguez Jr.
Feinstein and McCain are trying to hide the truth.
That is played out in every crime-fighting movie ever made.
The script almost always focuses on one person, or perhaps a very small team, who are responsible for tracking down the villain, usually while fighting interference from superiors.
This is necessary to provide dramatic tension, as the real-life account of tens, hundreds or thousands of people just doing their jobs doesn't make much of a story. Or at least Hollywood doesn't think it would.
So 0bama arrests a movie maker to keep us safe.
But Cairo Egypt protesters say "0bama we are all Osama!"
So 0bama helps Hollywood make a movie.
A film by Kathryn Bigelow w/assistance from the 0bama administration.
Lives in Beverly Hills, CA. Net worth $14 million dollars.
Liberals are not only upset about the “torture” scenes, they are pissed because the production company, or the news media, gave the impression a year ago that this movie would portray Obama as the central figure in Bin Laden’s death; a glorified campaign commercial. As a result the White House bent over backwards to help speed things along.
Instead, it sounds like Kathryn Bigelow, the director, produced a lot more serious work than anyone expected. And portraying Barack Obama as just another cog in a big wheel, implying that “torture” helped get Bin Laden, presenting the CIA as an often positive force doesn't jeehaw with liberal group think.
Bigelow won the Academy Award for “Hurt Locker.” It was criticized by a lot of Iraq veterans for inaccuracies and for creating a central character who was idiosyncratic to the point of being an insubordinate rouge. I liked “Hurt Locker” and thought it portrayed the U.S. military as brave and competent soldiers in a complex war environment. But I wasn't in Iraq.
Obviously treatment of prisoners being interrogated exists on a spectrum from perfect politeness and silk sheets to the extreme torture methods used throughout history by those we now generally consider "the bad guys."
Everybody on all sides of the issue recognizes this. They also agree that at some point on this spectrum, the treatment becomes appropriately classified as "torture."
The argument over whether the CIA did or did not torture prisoners is thus entirely over whether certain techniques did or did not cross the line on this spectrum.
Those who claim it was torture usually, dishonestly IMO, just assume that it did without bothering to first prove it.
"Torture," in this sense, is more or less a legal term, with no inherently logical place to draw the line between torture and non-torture. "Torture opponents" just assume that techniques the law does not, or anyway did not, consider to be torture nevertheless are torture.
“they are pissed because the production company, or the news media, gave the impression a year ago that this movie would portray Obama as the central figure in Bin Ladens death; a glorified campaign commercial”
And that’s exactly what it is. They didn’t need to put in scenes of Obama pointing at maps like he was in a Fredrick Remington painting and barking out orders. Everyone sitting there has already been well steeped in, “Obama ordered THIS”,, and “Obama ordered this director to have unlimited access to the SEALS, DOD, and CIA”. And “Obama conducted a special private briefing for the makers of this film”.
The entire movie and it’s marketing was made to glorify Obama. They don’t need cheesy scenes to hammer it home. They are nothing if not experts at propaganda.
Ping for later viewing.
That’s the first thing that hit me and made up my mind that this would be nonsense.
It’s “Oh” dark thirty.
Strange you should mention that. My wife and I visited his grave in New Mexico last October on our way from Santa Fe to Waco.
I prefer “the Buttcrack of Dawn” myself.....
Here’s how it really went down;
Anyone who believes the movie version OR the CIA reviewer’s version of the “facts” is kidding himself.
I heard that “Finding Nemo” should be boycotted b/c Ellen Degeneres was one of the voice actors.
interesting that the picture in the lower right hand corner of the most wanted corkboard looks an awful lot like Osama BIN OBAMA>........a young Barry!
Making them compliant by making them uncomfortable is not torture.
I think that’s called marriage.
With 43 years experience with the same Lady.. I have to agree..
A real early pre-dawn time, like 4 am, in military speak, “Oh 4 hundred hours” (04:00), or “Oh 4 thirty” (04:30)
You didn't notice all the Fbombs that were mentioned in the review?