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Fri Jan 4, 2013, 02:36 PM

CIA Official Who Destroyed Torture Tapes Squirms at Zero Dark Thirty Abuse

Jose Rodriguez thinks the new movie about the hunt for Osama bin Laden is “well worth seeing.” But the retired CIA veteran has reservations about its gut-churning portrayal of the CIA’s treatment of detainees. Which is rich, coming from the man who destroyed the video footage documenting many of those brutal agency interrogations.

In an op-ed for the Washington Post on Friday, the former chief of the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center and its clandestine service takes issue with Zero Dark Thirty’s torture scenes. Those scenes are admittedly hard to watch. They show terrified, disoriented and bloodied detainees kept awake for days on end by having their arms painfully suspended from the ceilings of secret jails; stuffed into tiny wooden boxes when they don’t cooperate with their inquisitors; and waterboarded on soiled mattresses while interrogators bark questions. They also largely match up with the minimal public disclosure of how the post-9/11 program actually operated.

But they offend Rodriguez, who describes himself as “intimately involved in setting up and administering” a program he has steadfastly denied amounted to torture. Most CIA detainees weren’t subject to what he euphemistically calls “enhanced interrogation.” Those who were experienced “harsh measures for only a few days or weeks at the start of their detention.” And director Kathryn Bigelow left out all the bureaucratic red tape CIA interrogators encountered: “To give a detainee a single open-fingered slap across the face, CIA officers had to receive written authorization from Washington.”

Except there’s a problem with Rodriguez’s account that he sidesteps in calling the film inaccurate. While at the CIA, Rodriguez himself destroyed nearly 100 video recordings of brutal interrogations, including those of two al-Qaida figures who most definitely were subjected to “harsh measures,” Abu Zubaydah and 9/11 architect Khalid Shaikh Mohammed. If Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal are in the dark about torture — like the rest of the country — Rodriguez is a big part of the reason why.

READ MORE...

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2013/01/rodriguez-zero-dark-thirty/

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Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 02:40 PM

1. See: The Torturer Movie. Bigelow really sold her soul on ZD30, IMHO.

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Response to grahamhgreen (Reply #1)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 02:57 PM

3. By openly showing US forces engaging in torture she "sold her soul"?

I don't buy that...I haven't seen the movie yet, but from what I have read there are two schools of thought...one is that she glorifies torture as being an effective method to extract information, and the second is that she shows the US as torturers, but that she embellishes what actually happened because the US are really good guys that would only use 'harsh interrogation techniques' in the rarest of occasions...

I think I will wait to watch the movie and make up my own mind which side is true, if indeed either really are..

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Response to truebrit71 (Reply #3)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 08:34 PM

10. The first third of the film is nothing but torture porn,

the torturers are portrayed as good Americans who get information by stripping naked prisoners, humiliating them and torturing them into submission. Any interrogator will tell you these methods only get you the info you want to hear. People will tell you anything when they are tortured. It is the worst way to gather intel. Aside from that, it is immoral and takes a sad toll on the individuals and the countries that engage in torture. Look at how violent our culture is becoming. Look at the lives of those who we have forced to torture innocent people.

If we do torture someone and they are innocent, what should be the punishment of those doing the torture? Should we be allowed to torture criminal in a trial, or CEO's when they are brought up before congress? Why Not?

These are the exact opposite of the ideals our country was founded on. George Washington did not torture prisoners, but insured they were treated well, and thus co-opted them to our cause. Same is true of WWII. We did not even torture people when the Brits burned down the White House in the war of 1812 - surely more serious than 9-11.

Yes, those who torture, or promote torture have quite literally sold their soul to the devil.

It's not that she showed the US engaging in torture that is the problem, it's the fact that she promotes it as part of America's future, and a heroic part of our past. (erroneously I might add)

Aside from that, the acting and story are marginal and the lighting and cinematography are sophomoric.

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Response to grahamhgreen (Reply #1)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 03:03 PM

4. The move is brilliant and hard-hitting

Jessica Chastain is wonderful in it.

I don't think you "get" the movie. Quelle Surprise. You probably think the The Hurt Locker was pro war.

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Response to obamanut2012 (Reply #4)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 05:34 PM

6. May I ask you a question about the film?

I was very, very, VERY excited to see it but -
now that I hear and read they give torture credit for catching OBL I am so angry and disappointed I am not sure if I even want to see it for free! I AM SO PISSED at the filmmakers!

Does it glorify and give undo credit to torture? You write that it is "brilliant" so I am hoping that you might help change my mind. My wife and friends are going to think I am crazy when I tell them I have no interest in going with them anymore after the way we all talked so excited about seeing it.

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Response to Nightjock (Reply #6)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 08:42 PM

14. Yes, it glorifies torture.



"I call on all governments to join with the United States and the community of law-abiding nations in prohibiting, investigating, and prosecuting all acts of torture..."


- George W. Bush, June 2003

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Response to obamanut2012 (Reply #4)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 08:38 PM

11. I suppose, if you like torture porn, and really, the acting was gawd awful, of course,

the dialog they were forced to stutter through was childish.

The only thing hard hitting in the film was my head banging the wall wondering how it ever got green lighted!

I thought it was a long fall from Hurt Locker....

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Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 02:41 PM

2. it is a fucking movie

do these idiots know the difference between movies and real life??

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Response to Angry Dragon (Reply #2)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 03:15 PM

5. Non fiction. As in it is based on real events.

I saw the movie - the torture scenes are quite horrific to watch. The rest of the movie painted a pretty accurate portrayal of the events that led to Osama's capture.

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Response to Initech (Reply #5)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 05:42 PM

7. "Based on actual events" does NOT equal "nonfiction"

This film is no documentary. There is plenty of room for inaccuracy and artistic license in any film that is "based on actual events."

Are you suggesting we should take the movie as portraying precisely what happened?

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Response to TroglodyteScholar (Reply #7)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 05:48 PM

8. Point taken, but if GOODFELLAS could hit close to the actual mark, so can ZD30

Either those terrorism suspects were tortured, or they weren't. I happen to believe that most (if not all) of the so-called enhanced interrogation techniques are indeed torture. And if they were tortured, Americans have a right - nay, a duty to see what was done in their name to track down bin Laden. After all, their tax dollars paid for it.

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Response to derby378 (Reply #8)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 08:39 PM

12. We have a duty to prosecute torture.



"I call on all governments to join with the United States and the community of law-abiding nations in prohibiting, investigating, and prosecuting all acts of torture..."


- George W. Bush, June 2003

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Response to grahamhgreen (Reply #12)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 10:57 AM

16. I couldn't agree more

Too bad there's not enough conviction on Capitol Hill to follow through with prosecution. AGAIN.

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Response to derby378 (Reply #8)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 08:43 PM

15. I don't have any problem with the film portraying torture as an important part of the story.

Whether it's well-informed on any number of matters, though, it's a fictionalized account. Period.

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Response to TroglodyteScholar (Reply #7)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 08:07 PM

9. At what point is it not "just a movie"?

It's not a documentary. I'm well aware of that. I'm not saying it's 100% accurate either. There's lots of movies of this variety that take things out of context but that doesn't take into account the movie's realism or the actual events that happened.

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Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 08:41 PM

13. "I call on all governments to join with the United States and the community of law-abiding nations

"I call on all governments to join with the United States and the community of law-abiding nations in prohibiting, investigating, and prosecuting all acts of torture..."

- George W. Bush, June 2003


Let's get it done.

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Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 10:58 AM

17. kick

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