Zero Dark Thirty Criticized By Acting CIA Director: “Not A Realistic Portrayal”
Zero Dark Thirty is generating controversy to go with its Oscar buzz.
The Kathryn Bigelow-directed thriller about the hunt for Osama bin Laden has drawn criticism by observers who believe it justifies the use of torture, and now acting CIA director Michael Morell has written a letter undermining the movie’s accuracy.
Morell’s memo to CIA employees was made public on Friday.
“I would not normally comment on a Hollywood film, but I think it important to put Zero Dark Thirty, which deals with one of the most significant achievements in our history, into some context,” writes Morell.
He states that the movie “takes significant artistic license, while portraying itself as being historically accurate.”
“What I want you to know is that Zero Dark Thirty is a dramatization, not a realistic portrayal of the facts,” continues the intelligence chief. “CIA interacted with the filmmakers through our Office of Public Affairs but, as is true with any entertainment project with which we interact, we do not control the final product.”
Morell finds that the movie “departs from reality” in boiling down the efforts of hundreds of officers “to just a few individuals” and in creating “the strong impression that the enhanced interrogation techniques that were part of our former detention and interrogation program” were to key to locating Bin Laden.
“That impression is false,” write Morell.
In his letter, the nation’s top spy raises other issues with Zero Dark Thirty and tells his CIA personnel to remember that it is “not a documentary.”