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View Diary: Congress Condemns "Zero Dark Thirty" as Grossly Inaccurate (153 comments)

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  •  ? (20+ / 0-)

    John McCain, for all this gigantic flaws, has been quite good on torture. The McCain Amendment, passed in 2005 as the Detainee Treatment Act, banned "cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment" of any prisoner of the U.S. Government. And when in the wake of the Bin Laden killing, the torture lobby claims vindication, McCain rebutted their lies.

    Sure, despite the McCain Amendment and despite President Obama' EO banning torture, official cruelty persists, but it's strange to present McCain's objection to the movie as a departure of some sort.

    I'm always leery when pols start commenting on movies, but I'm basically okay with it as along as it's not an official measure (I'd changed the title of this post from 'Congress' to 'Senators.')

    •  Yes, I found the (5+ / 0-)

      title almost comically misleading. Call me when we can scrape more than a handful of Senators together who actually condemn torture. I also don't believe the film has been 'universally condemned' by the blogosphere, opinons have differed. I'm reserving judgment until I see it myself.

      •  you'll pay to see it? fine for you. I won't (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mrkvica, JesseCW, PinHole, snoopydawg, newfie

        and I'll urge everyone I know who regularly goes to movies (what with $15 tickets and $7 popcorn and $5 cokes, not many of my friends can afford 'em) NOT to pay to see this piece of torture porn too.

        We were and are wrong as a nation to torture POWs, and we ought to be ashamed enough of that to at least not enrich the propagandist / pornographers who made this "film".

        LBJ, Lady Bird, Anne Richards, Barbara Jordan, Sully Sullenberger, Ike, Drew Brees, Molly Ivins --Texas is no Bush league! -7.50,-5.59

        by BlackSheep1 on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 08:57:15 AM PST

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        •  You haven't seen it, (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JBL55, DoobyOne, gramofsam1

          yet you state definitively it's 'torture porn'? From a review in the NYT:

          The scarcity of fiction films about Sept. 11 only partly explains why this movie has provoked debate. Primarily, though, it is the representation of torture — and, more important, the assertion that such abuse produced information that led to Bin Laden — that has provoked outrage in some quarters. We are clearly hungry to work through this raw subject. The most difficult scenes occur early and set the grim mood and moral stakes. (Later there are other, briefer visions of detainees being treated harshly.) It is hard to imagine anyone watching them without feeling shaken or repulsed. Some of the worst is implied: You see a bruised face, not the punch that battered it. You see a man forced into a small box, rather than hear his screams inside it. In these early scenes there is also talk — threats and pleas.

          If Ms. Bigelow leaves some of this to your imagination, it is because, I assume, she knows that the viewers for a movie like this one have been following the news for the past decade. They have read the articles, books and legal arguments about the C.I.A.’s use of what was called “enhanced interrogation” and that others have condemned as torture. Trusting the audience in this fashion is gutsy and all too rare in a movie released by a major studio. But it is an article of faith in “Zero Dark Thirty” that viewers are capable of filling in the blanks, managing narrative complexity and confronting their complicity. This is unusual territory for American moviegoers habituated to an industry that preaches simplified morality even as it turns torture into entertainment.

          Doesn't sound like torture porn to me, nor is it clear to me that the supposed link between torture and the information is explicit even implicit. Some critics are saying it exists, but the lead actress says otherwise (link to youtube interview).

          Andrew Sullivan (who, whatever else you want to say about him, has been a steadfast opponent of American torture) also praised the film after initially criticizing it sight-unseen.

          Like I said I'm reserving judgment until I see it.

          •  Me, too. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cato, gramofsam1
            I'm reserving judgment until I see it.
            From what I heard on NPR this morning, the point is clearly made that locating OBL was the result of a lot of hard work by people in back offices putting the pieces together, such as the Jessica Chastain character who goes against CW by insisting one cannot run a world-wide terrorism network from a cave.

            "The fears of one class of men are not the measure of the rights of another." ~ George Bancroft (1800-1891)

            by JBL55 on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 09:58:57 AM PST

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      •  I won't see it.. (6+ / 0-) avoid rewarding the filmmakers for their bad behavior. But yeah, agree that 3 senators is not a congressional condemnation.

    •  McCain was silent about it during much of campaign (3+ / 0-)

      There were times when Republicans charged that torture and GWB "caught" bin Laden, not Obama (when campaigning for Romney).  McCain was noticeably silent.

      West. No further west. All sea. --Robert Grenier

      by Nicolas Fouquet on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 08:10:49 AM PST

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    •  I suggest you go back and watch the Senate (5+ / 0-)

      hearings.John McCain had a chance to stand up and condemn turture on national Television but chose to walk out of those hearings instead and allow his fellow Republican senators and his good freind Joe Lieberman make the case that waterboarding isn't torture and that even if it is nobody should be held accountable for it.

      by ctkeith on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 08:47:36 AM PST

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