CIA Chief Pans Zero Dark Thirty

Morell complains about emphasis on interrogation

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 22, 2012 1:32 PM CST

(Newser) – Add none other than acting CIA chief Michael Morell to the list of critics of Zero Dark Thirty. In a memo to employees, Morell says the movie about the capture of Osama bin Laden gives too much weight to the use of harsh interrogation, reports E! Online. "The 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 Laden, he writes. "That impression is false."

Morell also complains that the movie suggests only a few people were responsible for the successful raid, when in fact it was the result of a 10-year effort by "hundreds of officers." The CIA's Office of Public Affairs "interacted" with Kathryn Bigelow's film crew to some extent, he says, but the agency had no control over the finished product. Earlier this week, Dianne Feinstein and John McCain were among those who publicly criticized the movie for its emphasis on interrogation.

This publicity film image from Columbia Pictures shows Jessica Chastain in a scene from Zero Dark Thirty.
This publicity film image from Columbia Pictures shows Jessica Chastain in a scene from "Zero Dark Thirty."   (AP Photo/Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc., Jonathan Olley, File)
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