❝Only in Hollywood could a movie that’s “based on a true story” endure heaps of criticism for being too unrealistic and still manage to walk away with multiple awards. Indeed, in the grand tradition of previous Best Picture winners like The King’s Speech and A Beautiful Mind, three of this year’s biggest Oscar contenders — Zero Dark Thirty, Lincoln, and Argo — have claimed, to varying degrees, to be based on real events. But historians, reporters, and even government officials insist that these movies are playing awfully fast and loose with the truth.❞
“[Acting CIA Director Michael] Morell slammed the Oscar-contender, which he said “departs from reality,” for suggesting that “enhanced interrogation techniques,” or what some would call torture, “were the key” to locating and killing the Al Qaeda leader.
The film, which hit theaters Dec. 19, shows agents using waterboarding and other extreme techniques to force Guantanamo Bay detainees to speak.
“That impression is false,” Morell wrote. “And, importantly, whether enhanced interrogation techniques were the only timely and effective way to obtain information from those detainees, as the film suggests, is a matter of debate that cannot and never will be definitively resolved.”
The acting CIA director also blasted “Zero Dark Thirty” for taking “considerable liberties in its depiction of CIA personnel and their actions, including some who died while serving our country.”
“We cannot allow a Hollywood film to cloud our memory of them,” he added.
Morell’s note comes just two days after three senators, Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.), John McCain (R-Az.) and Carl Levin (D-Mich.), condemned the flick for being “grossly inaccurate and misleading” in suggesting that torture led to the May 2011 killing of bin Laden by Navy SEAL Team 6.”