Three senators write an open letter to the CIA contacts who talked to 'ZDT' makers, urging the agency to give evidence that harsh interrogation led to information about Osama bin Laden's whereabouts.
The controversy surrounding "Zero Dark Thirty (2012)" still hasn't stopped. Three U.S. senators continue their investigation toward CIA contacts who gave information to the filmmakers, accusing them of misleading the makers of the Osama bin Laden hunt film by allegedly telling those filmmakers that violent interrogation technique was used to obtain information about OBL's whereabouts.
On Thursday, January 3, senator head of the Intelligence Committee Dianne Feinstein sent a letter to the CIA, joined by Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin and Senator John McCain. According to Reuters, the trio asked the CIA for evidence that "enhanced interrogation techniques" led to information that helped U.S. authorities locate and kill the al Qaeda leader in May 2011.
The three asked CIA's acting director, Michael Morell, to show what information was acquired from CIA detainees and when. "Prior to, during, or after the detainee was subjected to the CIA's enhanced interrogation techniques? If after, how long after?" so it's said in the letter.
Just last month, Morell responded to previous letter sent by the senators, claiming that although the movie was inaccurate in depicting harsh techniques as key to finding bin Laden, those interrogations did produce some useful intelligence. Morell insisted that the information "came from detainees subjected to enhanced techniques but there were many other sources as well."
Reacting to the latest letter sent to the agency, CIA spokesman John Tomczyk said, "As we've said before, we take very seriously our responsibility to keep our oversight committees informed and value our relationship with Congress."
The "harsh interrogation" issue was first brought into attention when Frank Brunni of The New York Times criticized the early sequence of the OBL hunt film, which featured an agent named Dan (portrayed Jason Clarke) went violent toward a detainee to obtain details on OBL's whereabouts.
"The movie shows a detainee being strung up by his wrists, sexually humiliated, deprived of sleep, made to feel as if he's drowning and shoved into a box smaller than a coffin," so Brunni wrote.
Since then, senators began to slam the Kathryn Bigelow-directed movie, urging Sony Pictures to add a disclaimer to the film. In an open letter written for the studio on Wednesday, December 19, those senators stated, "We believe the film is grossly inaccurate and misleading in its suggestion that torture resulted in information that led to the location of Osama bin Laden."
"Zero Dark Thirty is factually inaccurate, and we believe that you have an obligation to state that the role of torture in the hunt for Usama Bin Laden is not based on the facts, but rather part of the film's fictional narrative," so they claimed in the letter, which was addressed to Sony's Chairman and CEO Michael Lynton.