Skip to comments.In Denial Over 'Zero Dark Thirty'
Posted on 02/26/2013 2:18:09 AM PST by Kaslin
You've got to admit that it's awfully precious that there was a huge controversy about "Zero Dark Thirty" because Kathryn Bigelow's film suggested that enhanced interrogation techniques helped intelligence officials find Osama bin Laden but no controversy about the final mission in the movie -- to kill, but not capture, the al-Qaida leader.
Some of the film's defenders believe that the controversy robbed "Zero Dark Thirty," Bigelow, actress Jessica Chastain and screenwriter Mark Boal of well-deserved Oscars. Maybe so but maybe not; a number of fine films were up for best picture this year.
But it cannot have helped that Ed Asner and other Hollywood lefties urged Academy members not to vote for the film, because they believed that it glorified "torture." And it probably didn't help that author Naomi Wolf called Bigelow a "Leni Riefenstahl-like propagandist of torture."
It also cannot have helped that the family of Sept. 11 flight attendant Betty Ann Ong -- who alerted American Airlines that her plane was being hijacked --was demanding that filmmakers apologize for using Ong's voice, list her name among the credits and include a disclaimer that the Ong family does not endorse torture.
Other critics have acknowledged that Bigelow and Boal depicted the ugly side of intelligence extraction, but they expressed dismay that the film did not depict more hand-wringing on the part of CIA interrogators and decision-makers.
It also cannot have helped the film's Oscar prospects that three senators -- Democrats Dianne Feinstein and Carl Levin and Republican John McCain -- sent a letter to Sony Pictures to voice their "deep disappointment" in the film's "suggestion that torture resulted in information that led to the location of ... bin Laden." The three senators also harrumphed that the movie was "factually inaccurate."
The irony here is that the letter prompted acting CIA Director Michael Morell to acknowledge that though he thought the film had sold the agency's dogged teamwork short in many ways and falsely left the impression that the agency's "former detention and interrogation program were the key to finding bin Laden," some of the intelligence that led to bin Laden indeed "came from detainees subjected to enhanced techniques."
The controversy also dredged up a 2011 letter that Leon Panetta, defense secretary and former CIA director, sent to McCain. The Washington Post reported that Panetta wrote, "Some of the detainees who provided useful information about the facilitator/courier's role had been subjected to enhanced interrogation techniques." Panetta also has said he believes that the information could have been extracted without enhanced interrogation techniques.
Both letters suggest that on the senators' big sticking point -- whether enhanced techniques helped bring bin Laden to justice -- "Zero Dark Thirty" was on the money. What they call torture produced results, and they don't want the public to know that. That's why some heavyweights in Washington and Hollywood were rooting for Bigelow and company to fail.
Got to admit it’s kinda funny that those heroic Moslem terrorists come over here to kill old women and children and bomb and/or shoot the defenseless from cover and run like h*ll, and no one on the Left gives a fig, but they do get all misty-eyed if they hear that one of these same terrorists has been locked up without his three hots and a cot, basketball court, television, access to legal counsel, gymnasium privileges, and better healthcare than that enjoyed by most Americans.
I enjoyed the movie...a lot! First, I love “payback” type moveies, and I love movies where the good guys get the bad guy (America hating Lefties hate that). I actually saw it for the first time on my laptop here in Afghanistan (pretty cool). Good movie.
I thought the political pressure put on the film maker, not to mention the critics at the time of its release and the jury at the awards, was disgraceful. I can’t think of a time ever before when a US movie has been subject to so much heavy-handed political intrusion.
But I think another reason for this, aside from the torture, is that it showed that Obama had next to nothing to do with getting bin Laden, and that in fact not only did the “hunt” begin on 9/11/01, but it was carried out in the face of considerable opposition by some forces in later years (presumably under Obama). Also, the nice guy techniques didn’t work (remember the team that got blown up trusting a supposed informant, for whom they had even baked a birthday cake...a true story, btw) because the Islamists simply hate us and can’t be trusted.
The only relevent fact is that Zero Dark Thirty is an excellent movie and reasonably accurate (no movie has even come close to depicting combat well). Ms Bigelow deserves credit for coming up with a gripping, well-paced story that treats its audience with respect and doesn't cut corners. It holds interest throughout and at the end, the audience almost always applauds its final success.
I give it 3 1/2 stars of four and highly recommend it with the caution that it may be too intense for children or draft-dodging liberals.
I think you’re right about Brennan.
I decided not to see the movie as soon as I saw the title. For over 20 years the term was oh dark thirty, not zero dark thirty.
Of course that was a long time ago, it may have changed.
Absolutely it did. Pretty funny since Obama's team wanted the movie made for political purposes. Kudos to Bigelow for making the movie (more) accurately.
If di fi condemned it, it must be good.
The Senate Intelligence Committee Has Finally Dropped Its Investigation Into Zero Dark Thirty
Ben Child, The Guardian | 6 minutes ago | 3 |
Just a day after Zero Dark Thirty foundered at the Oscars, taking just a single technical prize, the high-profile US senate investigation that may have helped scupper the drama’s awards season has been quietly dropped.
With Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal having previously won best film in 2010 for The Hurt Locker, Zero Dark Thirty about the hunt for Osama bin Laden was one of the early frontrunners for this year’s Oscars and took many of the critics’ prizes that preface the bigger awards ceremonies. But then disquiet grew over the film’s depiction of the CIA’s alleged use of torture in the hunt for the leader of al-Qaida.
In January the US Senate intelligence committee launched an investigation into whether Bigelow and Boal were granted “inappropriate access” to classified CIA material after the committee’s Democratic chair Dianne Feinstein and member John McCain, the former Republican US presidential candidate, expressed concern about Zero Dark Thirty’s torture scenes. In an article on the Guardian website Naomi Wolf later compared Bigelow with the Nazi propagandist Leni Riefenstahl.
The film soon became a political football, with the film-makers furiously defending their right to include fictional elements. “It’s a movie. I’ve been saying from the beginning it’s a movie,” Boal said last month. “That shouldn’t be too confusing. It’s in cinemas and if it’s not totally obvious, a CIA agent wasn’t really an Australian [Jason Clarke] that was on a lot of TV shows and Jessica Chastain isn’t really a CIA agent; she’s a very talented actress. But I think most American audiences understand that.” Speaking at the New York Film Critics Circle awards, where she won best director, Bigelow said: “I thankfully want to say that I’m standing in a room of people who understand that depiction is not endorsement, and if it was, no artist could ever portray inhumane practices; no author could ever write about them; and no film-maker could ever delve into the knotty subjects of our time.”
Zero Dark Thirty received unexpected support from leftwing film-maker Michael Moore, who defended the drama as “a disturbing, fantastically-made movie” that “will make you hate torture”. But the damage was done in the eyes of Oscars voters, especially after Academy member David Clennon called for a boycott.
When the Oscar nominees were announced on 10 January, Bigelow surprisingly missed out on a nod for best director and her film was left to compete only for best picture, best original screenwriting (Boal), best actress (Chastain) and two editing prizes. On Sunday night, Chastain lost out to Silver Linings Playbook’s Jennifer Lawrence and Boal was defeated by Django Unchained’s Quentin Tarantino. Zero Dark Thirty ultimately had to be content with a single gong for best sound editing, in a tie with James Bond movie Skyfall.
A congressional aide, speaking anonymously, yesterday told Reuters the Senate intelligence committee had closed its inquiry. Studio Sony, which produced the film, had no immediate comment and neither Bigelow nor Boal has yet made a public statement.
This article originally appeared on guardian.co.uk
Just curious ... how do you pronounce 0500 (time of day)?
When it became apparent the movie wasn’t going to hail obama as a hero, they all, including obama’s ass kisser mccain, turned on it.
As for mccain, I’d like to see a movie about his time in captivity. I guarantee he’d scream to high Heaven about that IF it was a TRUE depiction. Ask many of the POWs who were in the hell hole with him. He’s not too well liked. The guy is as big a fraud as obama.
I was taught to pronounce it “OH-FIVE HUNDRED”
I can’t remember with certainty, but I don’t recall any Ohs in the Artillery or elsewhere, it seems to me that a zero had to be a zero.
oh five hundred.
So then a complete work of fiction, trying to pass itself off as a true story wins Best Picture.
My exposure to this comes primarily through aviation (FWIW) ... I hear “OH” primarily from older guys, and “ZERO” primarily from younger guys. I use “ZERO”, even though I’m not really a ‘younger guy’.
Well, I’m not the authority on this, like I said I was just going by memory, my first military service was more than 40 years ago, and my last was more than 25 years ago.
I would be surprised if officially the military uses oh for zero, anywhere, but unofficially it may become common usage in some areas that are more relaxed.
Remember that occasionally you could run into a guy that used “tin hut” for “Attention!”, although I recall the Drill Sergeants efforts to eliminate that phrase in basic training.
Nah Argo was great and the gist of the story is accurate. Just Hollywooded up.