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I'm no John McCain fan, but he is right about this.  The movie Zero Dark Thirty, supposedly based on the mission that killed Osama Bin Laden, is full of shit.  It glorifies torture and GETS THE FACTS WRONG.  I don't know what the agenda is, but I will not enrich these lying pigs by seeing it.

The movie “Zero Dark Thirty” suggests the CIA’s harsh interrogation techniques led the U.S. to Osama bin Laden. Sen. John McCain watched the movie Monday night and says it left him sick - because it’s wrong.

snip

Last year, McCain asked then-CIA Director Leon Panetta for the facts, and he said the hunt for bin Laden did not begin with fresh information from Mohammed. In fact, the name of bin Laden’s courier, Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti, came from a detainee held in another country.

Not only did the use of enhanced interrogation techniques on Khalid Sheikh Mohammed not provide us with key leads on bin Laden’s courier, Abu Ahmed, it actually produced false and misleading information,” McCain said in a speech on the Senate floor.

Politico: McCain: 'Zero Dark Thirty' wrong

On this one, Senator McCain is right.  There is no reason to glorify our war crimes (yes, torture is a war crime) and even less reason to so when the supposed benefits were false and demonstrably so.

Update I: well some who have seen the film disagree about whether the film claims that torture led to good info.  Not having seen it, I don't know.  I don't know why McCain would be upset otherwise.

I've seen Zero Dark Thirty (1+ / 0-)

And am a bit conflicted. It doesn't really show torture leading to good intel. The guy they torture in the beginning, a 'composite character', only gives up good info after being given a big meal and a cigarette.
 However, the movie fully ignores President Obama's massive role in getting Bin Laden, so that was a bit of a red flag for me.
 The last 45 minutes -- the actual raid -- are must-see, IMO.

I ♥ President Barack Obama.

by ericlewis0 on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 08:04:44 PM CST

[ Reply to this ] Recommend Hide

Update II: and there is this review (hat tip to uintas)
The suspect finally gives up a name: Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti, whom he claims works as a courier for bin Laden. Part of the power of Zero Dark Thirty is that it looks with disturbing clarity at the ''enhanced interrogation techniques'' that were used after 9/11, and it says, in no uncertain terms: They worked.
Reviewed by Owen Gleiberman

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (14+ / 0-)

    Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

    by TomP on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 05:52:05 PM PST

  •  One question (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wendys Wink

    Have you seen the movie?

    I have.

    It is the best film of the year as far as I am concerned. The idea that it glorifies torture is a wacky as much of what comes out of Bill O'Reilly about movies.

    It isn't a polemic. It is art.

    Please read Manohla Dargis' rave review in the NYTimes today. She deals with all the issues raised (mainly by people who haven't seen the movie).

    But best of all - don't believe me, don't believe TomP - just see the movie for yourself.

    Oh and the Village Voice - a bastion of very liberal opinion - also just gave the film a rave review.

    Somehow a whole bunch of liberal film critics who have actually seen the movie have a different opinion.

    •  I will read the review, but to falsely (0+ / 0-)

      attribute getting the name to torture is a problem with me.

      Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

      by TomP on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 06:04:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  What? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TomP

        not sure what you just said - the name didn't come under torture; numerous sources have said that info from torture did help in the hunt, though it was a small factor.

        The movie is a testament to the FAILURE of torture, not its success. It spends a good deal of time showing what a waste of effort, how much false info, how deadly attacks weren't stopped, that BL was only found when they moved from that.

        It shows how awful it was - something the US public has yet to digest. It reopens the issue, which has been basically dead. It is a very sad movie that despite the success of the raid clearly leaves any viewer with half a brain to question at what moral cost it came.

        That's the movie I saw, and the one, without seeing, you call a piece of shit.

        I have no respect when Bill O'Reilly does this, and none for you either when you do.

        •  I have not seen it so I cannot confirm or (0+ / 0-)

          rebut your position, although I do have the story from McCain.

          Oh, and you can kiss my ass with your comparison of me to Bill O'Reilly.    

          Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

          by TomP on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 06:14:33 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Denouncing an artistic creation (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            VClib

            particularly one which has gotten universal acclaim (from mainly liberal film critics) without seeing it is EXACTLY how Bill O'Reilly operates.

            I won't accept it from the left any more than I will from right. We are better than that.

            •  Many professional reviewers who have (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              gramofsam1

              seen the film have interpreted it as supporting the idea that torture led to bin Laden. Are they all misinterpreting the film? It's possible. But if the film is that easily misinterpreted, that's a problem.

              I'm a dyslexic agnostic insomniac. I lie awake at night wondering if there's a dog.

              by rennert on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 06:40:15 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  John McCain got it wrong (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                mskitty

                The film specifically shows how he gave up the information - he was having lunch at a picnic table with Maya, unshackled

                Seriously, we're reduced to believing a crazy Senator who has been showing signs of declining mental faculties for some time?

                It also is amazing how quickly people accept the idea that information that came from torture in some small way contributed to the capture. Do you really think the US gov't - the Obama administration - would be honest about that if it did? They'd want that information to be suppressed. Don't see why people don't think that might be a possibility.

                I opposed torture 100%. But I do so for a whole range of reasons, among then that is often ineffective. But to go around claiming that torture never, ever provides information - come on, folks, of course it could. That doesn't mean it should be allowed. Of course it shouldn't.

                The film deals with a whole range of these issues. No fair-minded person, unless looking for a club-you-over-the-head polemic that only a small number of people would see, will be able to miss the clear negative attitude attitude toward torture in the film.

                Again, see it for yourselves.

                •  That should be (0+ / 0-)

                  how people "reject" the idea, not accept

                •  What I'm telling you is that it's not (0+ / 0-)

                  just John McCain who "got it wrong". It's many professional movie reviewers. Either they're all idiots or the movie is very easily misinterpreted. If it is so easily misinterpreted by professionals, how do you think the masses who see it at the local multiplex will see it?

                  I'm a dyslexic agnostic insomniac. I lie awake at night wondering if there's a dog.

                  by rennert on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 08:12:59 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  The masses will see (0+ / 0-)

                    the same movie I saw - where the hideous ugliness done in our name is rubbed in their faces; where torture is shown over and over to have been a failure which prevented major attacks and kept better tactics from being used; where the hunt of OBL only gained speed when torture was abandoned; where the people doing the torture are shown in a bad light.

                    Not a bad thing for people to see.

                    This film will help, not hurt, the opposition to torture.

                    I'm with Andrew Sullivan - I'm glad (from the ant-torture standpoint) the film was made, and think the public is less stupid than a lot of people here do.

                    •  If you're so sure the masses will (0+ / 0-)

                      see it that way, how do you explain the movie reviewers who didn't?

                      I'm a dyslexic agnostic insomniac. I lie awake at night wondering if there's a dog.

                      by rennert on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 08:39:30 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Most of the movie critics (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        mskitty

                        see it as being anti-torture.

                        Go to Metacritic, start reading them. It is the best reviewed film of the year (easily) and these critics are nearly all progressives (I know many of them personally).

                        There seem to be a whole lot of people here who don't want to allow movies the same artistic freedom they easily grant Shakespeare or Tolstoy or Twain or others, but rather criticize a movie (mostly unseen) that isn't what they want to see. That's not how intelligent people respond to art - they analyze what it is, try to figure out what it is trying to say. Great movies don't spell out their message in neon signs flashing the message of good and evil - they deal with the greater human condition, and let the viewer decide what the messages are.

                        The sense here is that because she didn't make an implicitly political film, Bigelow is somehow bad. Well, that's a horrifying notion. Movies have the ability to be great and profound. Occassionally an American studio one - recently, both The Social Network and Zero Dark Thirty - have taken huge risks and been presented with enormous skill and craft. People should welcome that. But the limitations an awful lot of progressives want to put on cinematic art is incredibly restrictive. And even worse, they are willing to judge before even seeing it themselves.

                        It's pathetic and sad.

                        •  Progressives will see it one way and (0+ / 0-)

                          it's nice that all these "progressive" movie reviewers you know personally see it as anti-torture. I'm telling you that non-political, non-"progressive" reviewers aren't seeing it that way and that gives me a hint about how the non-political, non-"progressive" movie viewing public may see it.

                          I'm a dyslexic agnostic insomniac. I lie awake at night wondering if there's a dog.

                          by rennert on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 05:07:58 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                •  I think John McCain's opinions on torture (0+ / 0-)

                  deserve to be discussed with more respect than this.

                  It's not a matter of agreeing or disagreeing with what he says.

                  Just that a torture victim's opinions on torture shouldn't be dismissed and put down in this manner.

                  Sen. John McCain watched the movie Monday night and says it left him sick - because it’s wrong
                  It was pretty brave of him to have gone to see a modern movie depiction of torture, really. Not at all an easy or casual thing for him to do, I'd guess.
    •  Critics love it because it is a very (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ericlewis0

      well-made movie. A lot of cinephiles love "Birth of A Nation" and "Triumph Of The Will" for exactly the same reasons.

  •  I've seen Zero Dark Thirty (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP, VClib

    And am a bit conflicted. It doesn't really show torture leading to good intel. The guy they torture in the beginning, a 'composite character', only gives up good info after being given a big meal and a cigarette.
    However, the movie fully ignores President Obama's massive role in getting Bin Laden, so that was a bit of a red flag for me.
    The last 45 minutes -- the actual raid -- are must-see, IMO.

    I ♥ President Barack Obama.

    by ericlewis0 on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 06:04:44 PM PST

  •  Try reading (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP, ericlewis0, renzo capetti

    this review.

    "The scientific nature of the ordinary man is to go on out and do the best you can." John Prine

    by high uintas on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 06:09:49 PM PST

  •  For what it's worth, many reviewers (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nowhere Man, gramofsam1

    seem to be claiming the movie shows torture leading to the intel that gets bin Laden. I have not seen the film yet and it could very well be the case that that's not what the filmmakers intended or what an intelligent viewing of the film would suggest. BUT, it is a fact that many professional reviewers are interpreting the film that way.

    Are all of those people misinterpreting the film? It's certainly possible. But if that's the case then it means many more ordinary viewers will probably also "misinterpret" it and if a film can be that easily "misinterpreted" then it wasn't very careful in getting its point across.

    I'm a dyslexic agnostic insomniac. I lie awake at night wondering if there's a dog.

    by rennert on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 06:38:24 PM PST

  •  Here's another review that (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Garrett

    interprets the film as supporting torture as a tool.

    John Anderson from Newsday (NY):

    During production, Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford) and others had claimed that the filmmakers were being improperly assisted by the CIA and the Department of Defense in order to make a pro-Obama film. But the finished film is something else: a more-than-implicit endorsement of torture as a legitimate tool of the war on terror, with the current president's stance against "enhanced interrogation" portrayed, however subtly, as a speed bump on the unpaved road to victory.

    I'm a dyslexic agnostic insomniac. I lie awake at night wondering if there's a dog.

    by rennert on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 06:51:23 PM PST

  •  I've seen it as well (0+ / 0-)

    I wouldn't be surprised if McCain slept through hunks of it (even though it's an incredibly compelling 2 hours 45 minutes or so), and I disagree with the Newsday take.  The film certainly suggests that the CIA was gung ho about torture for a number of years, but I didn't get the feeling that Obabma was just a bump in the road.  It seemed very clear to me that torture stopped after Bush, and that the CIA spooks at all levels were well aware that they were facing serious legal consequences if they went back to it.

    I also saw the breakthrough coming about as the result of rethinking what was assumed to be accurate information that had been obtained by torture.  And in the end, the trail only heated up as a result of determined detective work.  

  •  Maybe "Obabma" was just a bump in the road, (0+ / 0-)

    but to me the film implied that Obama moved us away from torture.  (At least I didn't switch Obama and Osama.)

  •  i wouldn't use mccain as an example (0+ / 0-)

    nor give him any credit.

    He is alphabet soup.

    I watched him Senatize regarding torture

    And then promote backdoor field manual exceptions allowing commander discretion. Useless profiling moral sieve failure.

    clime parches on. terms: ocean rise, weather re-patterning, storm pathology, drout-famine, acceptance of nature.

    by renzo capetti on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 07:51:23 PM PST

  •  Kathryn Bigelow is a brilliant director... (0+ / 0-)

    ...but, I'm basing that on my opinion of The Hurt Locker. Earlier tonight, I checked out where in the NY area Zero Dark Thirty would be playing for it's single-day preview, which is tomorrow, December 19th; since it doesn't "open wide" until January 11th.

    I've never seen a movie so well-reviewed, but at the same time so heavily criticized by a few, before it's even released to the public. And, based upon Manohla Dargis' review in the NY Times -- where, in the first sentence of it, she reminds us it's a fictionalized account of the story -- I'm quite fired-up about checking it out. Also based upon her review and my limited knowledge of Director Bigelow's politics, the last thing Ms. Bigelow would EVER do is deliver up a patriotic piece of military-industrial complex propaganda.

    Putting this in simplistic terms, the underlying theme of what little I do know about Bigelow is that her narrative, in The Hurt Locker (and if we're to take Ms. Dargis' review as being accurate, too) and, in general, is that war and torture and our military industrial complex are, to use a technical term, "fucked-up."

    So, maybe we should ALL just watch the damn thing before we start inserting our bias into comments from others who may not have even seen it yet, eh?

    "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

    by bobswern on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 08:39:17 PM PST

    •  Zero Dark Thirty is a fictionalized account! (0+ / 0-)

      So, McCain's commentary is faux outrage about....NOTHING!

      "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

      by bobswern on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 08:45:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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