Senators John McCain, Dianne Feinstein (Chair, Intelligence Committee) & Carl Levin (Chair, Armed Services Committee):
Regardless of what message the filmmakers intended to convey, the movie clearly implies that the CIA’s coercive interrogation techniques were effective in eliciting important information related to a courier for Osama bin Laden. We have reviewed CIA records and know that this is incorrect”. . . .
The use of torture in the fight against terrorism did severe damage to America’s values and standing that cannot be justified or expunged. It remains a stain on our national conscience. We cannot afford to go back to these dark times, and with the release of Zero Dark Thirty, the filmmakers and your production studio are perpetuating the myth that torture is effective.Acting CIA Director Michael Morrell:
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. The film. . . the film takes significant artistic license, while portraying itself as being historically accurate.
[T]he film creates the strong impression that the enhanced interrogation techniques that were part of our former detention and interrogation program were the key to finding Bin Ladin. That impression is false.Dan Froomkin, The Huffington Post:
Zero Dark Thirty is a despicable movie, even if Bigelow and Boal didn't intend it that way. . . . Do yourself a favor, and don’t go see this movie. Don’t encourage film-making that at best offers ambiguity about torture, and at worst endorses it. Spend the two and a half hours and the $10 on something more valuable, and moral.