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Mon Jan 14, 2013, 09:45 AM

Academy member calls for Oscars boycott of Zero Dark Thirty

January 14, 2013

David Clennon has urged others to snub Kathryn Bigelow film at awards for 'promoting acceptance of the crime of torture'

Hollywood studio Sony has been forced into a fresh defence of the controversial film Zero Dark Thirty, about the hunt for Osama bin Laden, after a member of the body that organises the Oscars called for a boycott.

Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (Ampas) member David Clennon said last week he would not be voting for Kathryn Bigelow's film, which has been nominated for five Oscars, and urged others to snub a movie that he said "promotes the acceptance of the crime of torture, as a legitimate weapon in America's so-called War on Terror". Writing on the truth-out.org website, he added: "I cannot vote for a film that makes heroes of Americans who commit the crime of torture."

In response, Sony president Amy Pascal said she was "outraged" that an Academy member would try to influence the voting process. "Zero Dark Thirty does not advocate torture," she said on Friday. "To not include that part of history would have been irresponsible and inaccurate. We fully support Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal and stand behind this extraordinary movie. We are outraged that any responsible member of the Academy would use their voting status in Ampas as a platform to advance their own political agenda."

While Zero Dark Thirty remains in the running for five Oscars, it already appears to have slipped behind frontrunners such as Steven Spielberg's Lincoln and Ang Lee's Life of Pi owing to the ongoing controversy over whether Bigelow and Boal endorsed torture by their depiction of its use in the film, and whether that depiction was accurate. Bigelow surprisingly failed to receive a nod for best director when the Oscar nominations were announced on Thursday, and Zero Dark Thirty will compete only for best film, best original screenwriting, best actress (Jessica Chastain) and two editing prizes.

in full: http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2013/jan/14/oscars-boycott-zero-dark-thirty

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Arrow 148 replies Author Time Post
Reply Academy member calls for Oscars boycott of Zero Dark Thirty (Original post)
Jefferson23 Jan 2013 OP
no_hypocrisy Jan 2013 #1
Jefferson23 Jan 2013 #2
NYC_SKP Jan 2013 #3
think Jan 2013 #4
proverbialwisdom Jan 2013 #62
AntiFascist Jan 2013 #139
JustABozoOnThisBus Jan 2013 #5
Jefferson23 Jan 2013 #6
Stringfellow Hawke Jan 2013 #44
hootinholler Jan 2013 #7
Jefferson23 Jan 2013 #9
hfojvt Jan 2013 #36
WCGreen Jan 2013 #54
ButterflyBlood Jan 2013 #89
graham4anything Jan 2013 #82
Sekhmets Daughter Jan 2013 #96
graham4anything Jan 2013 #98
Sekhmets Daughter Jan 2013 #105
TheMadMonk Jan 2013 #114
pnwmom Jan 2013 #120
ellenfl Jan 2013 #140
99Forever Jan 2013 #8
Jefferson23 Jan 2013 #10
Schema Thing Jan 2013 #11
think Jan 2013 #13
leftstreet Jan 2013 #24
think Jan 2013 #31
KansDem Jan 2013 #126
kenny blankenship Jan 2013 #41
obamanut2012 Jan 2013 #75
99Forever Jan 2013 #14
think Jan 2013 #17
99Forever Jan 2013 #19
think Jan 2013 #21
99Forever Jan 2013 #22
think Jan 2013 #23
tabasco Jan 2013 #56
99Forever Jan 2013 #59
tularetom Jan 2013 #83
99Forever Jan 2013 #100
LanternWaste Jan 2013 #97
99Forever Jan 2013 #103
Bjorn Against Jan 2013 #117
99Forever Jan 2013 #119
Bjorn Against Jan 2013 #121
99Forever Jan 2013 #125
Bjorn Against Jan 2013 #146
99Forever Jan 2013 #147
Bjorn Against Jan 2013 #148
hfojvt Jan 2013 #37
99Forever Jan 2013 #40
Bluenorthwest Jan 2013 #66
Jefferson23 Jan 2013 #67
99Forever Jan 2013 #68
LanternWaste Jan 2013 #99
Bluenorthwest Jan 2013 #129
sad-cafe Jan 2013 #116
Aerows Jan 2013 #25
SoCalDem Jan 2013 #109
malaise Jan 2013 #12
ButterflyBlood Jan 2013 #85
malaise Jan 2013 #86
ButterflyBlood Jan 2013 #90
malaise Jan 2013 #101
99Forever Jan 2013 #128
progressoid Jan 2013 #15
railsback Jan 2013 #16
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Tempest Jan 2013 #28
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zappaman Jan 2013 #49
marions ghost Jan 2013 #61
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Luminous Animal Jan 2013 #47
nadinbrzezinski Jan 2013 #63
Luminous Animal Jan 2013 #104
nadinbrzezinski Jan 2013 #123
think Jan 2013 #132
nadinbrzezinski Jan 2013 #133
think Jan 2013 #135
nadinbrzezinski Jan 2013 #136
think Jan 2013 #137
nadinbrzezinski Jan 2013 #138
Jefferson23 Jan 2013 #134
railsback Jan 2013 #34
Luminous Animal Jan 2013 #50
obamanut2012 Jan 2013 #76
Schema Thing Jan 2013 #108
Jefferson23 Jan 2013 #45
leftynyc Jan 2013 #30
railsback Jan 2013 #35
leftynyc Jan 2013 #38
Yavin4 Jan 2013 #43
railsback Jan 2013 #69
Jefferson23 Jan 2013 #46
railsback Jan 2013 #70
Jefferson23 Jan 2013 #71
railsback Jan 2013 #115
Jefferson23 Jan 2013 #118
railsback Jan 2013 #141
obamanut2012 Jan 2013 #78
obamanut2012 Jan 2013 #77
kenny blankenship Jan 2013 #39
Yavin4 Jan 2013 #42
ButterflyBlood Jan 2013 #95
Dawson Leery Jan 2013 #48
whatchamacallit Jan 2013 #57
obamanut2012 Jan 2013 #72
whatchamacallit Jan 2013 #111
zappaman Jan 2013 #51
Jefferson23 Jan 2013 #52
zappaman Jan 2013 #53
socialaidem Jan 2013 #55
obamanut2012 Jan 2013 #74
Jefferson23 Jan 2013 #79
obamanut2012 Jan 2013 #81
Jefferson23 Jan 2013 #92
99Forever Jan 2013 #130
tblue Jan 2013 #84
graham4anything Jan 2013 #88
graham4anything Jan 2013 #87
lovuian Jan 2013 #91
mmonk Jan 2013 #93
ButterflyBlood Jan 2013 #94
lovuian Jan 2013 #110
AnnieBW Jan 2013 #112
Iris Jan 2013 #124
Jefferson23 Jan 2013 #127
raouldukelives Jan 2013 #131
kenny blankenship Jan 2013 #143
BarackTheVote Jan 2013 #142
flamingdem Jan 2013 #144
kenny blankenship Jan 2013 #145


Response to no_hypocrisy (Reply #1)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 09:53 AM

2. Thanks for posting that..Amnesty International has released concerns about the film too. n/t

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Response to Jefferson23 (Original post)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 09:59 AM

3. Good (nt)

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Response to Jefferson23 (Original post)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 10:11 AM

4. "Zero Dark Thirty: Torturing the Facts"

Zero Dark Thirty: Torturing the Facts
Marjorie Cohn. Professor, Thomas Jefferson School of Law
Posted: 01/11/2013 12:00 pm


On January 11, eleven years to the day after George W. Bush sent the first detainees to Guantanamo, the Oscar-nominated film Zero Dark Thirty is making its national debut. Zero Dark Thirty is disturbing for two reasons. First and foremost, it leaves the viewer with the erroneous impression that torture helped the CIA find Bin Laden's hiding place in Pakistan. Secondarily, it ignores both the illegality and immorality of using torture as an interrogation tool.

~snip~

The letter explains that after a review of more than six million pages of CIA records, Feinstein and Levin made the following determination:

" The CIA did not first learn about the existence of the UBL courier from CIA detainees subjected to coercive interrogation techniques. Nor did the CIA discover the courier's identity from CIA detainees subjected to coercive techniques. No CIA detainee reported on the courier's full name or specific whereabouts, and no detainee identified the compound in which UBL was hidden. Instead, the CIA learned of the existence of the courier, his true name, and location through means unrelated to the CIA detention and interrogation program."

In a speech on the Senate floor, McCain declared,"It was not torture, or cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment of detainees that got us the major leads that ultimately enabled our intelligence community to find Osama bin Laden." McCain added: "In fact, not only did the use of 'enhanced interrogation techniques' on Khalid Sheik Mohammed not provide us with the key leads on bin Laden's courier, Abu Ahmed; it actually produced false and misleading information."

~snip~

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marjorie-cohn/zero-dark-thirty-fact-check_b_2452721.html

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Response to think (Reply #4)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 04:19 PM

62. Thanks for that info. nt

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Response to think (Reply #4)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 11:51 AM

139. Exactly...

not only does the film promote torture, but it is also torturing the truth. Many people will watch this film, which has received great reviews, and accept it as fact.

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Response to Jefferson23 (Original post)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 10:12 AM

5. Moot, since Lincoln will win, but ...

I agree with Amy Pascal. The members should keep their opinions to themselves until the prizes are handed out.

Or add a category "Best Picture that doesn't offend anyone".

Personally I don't think ZDT deserves Best Picture. But maybe Best Actress.

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Response to JustABozoOnThisBus (Reply #5)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 10:17 AM

6. Wouldn't be a protest if they waited until after the Oscars were over. n/t

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Response to JustABozoOnThisBus (Reply #5)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 03:18 PM

44. Just a comment - never thought about this - but ZDT is my initials

 

and never saw the movie.

Eerie, huh?

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Response to Jefferson23 (Original post)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 10:27 AM

7. Haven't seen it yet...

But I am curious about how this propaganda piece got 5 nominations. Now I'm wondering if the torture depicted was shown as being useful. I'm not aware of any case where torture yielded good and actionable intelligence. All the reports I've seen (which admittedly are few) present quite the opposite, that good intel was received before torture was employed.

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Response to hootinholler (Reply #7)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 10:34 AM

9. You're correct:

3 Things You Should Know About “Zero Dark Thirty” and Torture ( Amnesty International )
After seeing the new film Zero Dark Thirty, I think there are three things everyone should know:

1) Zero Dark Thirty is not a documentary. The film’s screenwriter, Mark Boal, said: “It’s a movie. It’s not a documentary… My standard is not a journalistic standard of ‘Is this a word-for-word quote?’ I’m not asking to be held to that standard and I’m certainly not representing my film as that. The standard is more, ‘Is this more or less in the ballpark?’”

2) Torture did not help find Osama bin Laden. This is established by the public record and verified by people who have access to classified information. For example, yesterday, Senator John McCain (R-AZ), Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) sent this letter to the head of Sony Entertainment with citations pointing out that torture and other abuses did not help find Osama bin Laden.

3) The most important point is this: torture is immoral, always unlawful, and never permitted. Torture and ill-treatment are unequivocally prohibited under the U.S. Constitution and under international law. No derogation or exceptional circumstances can be invoked as justification for torture or ill-treatment. Senator Jim Risch (R-ID) put it this way:

“The issue isn’t ‘Does torture work or not.’ The issue is ‘Is torture right, or is torture wrong?’ And the answer to that is torture is wrong.”

http://blog.amnestyusa.org/americas/3-things-you-should-know-about-zero-dark-thirty-and-torture/

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Response to Jefferson23 (Reply #9)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 01:32 PM

36. in practice I am not sure we believe that

recently I saw a re-run of Law and Order SVU, where this guy had killed several people, and kidnapped another woman. After their investigation figured out who he was, they tortured him to make him tell where the kidnapped woman was being kept.

In the book "The Bad Place" a female private detective tortures a guy they had just captured to make him tell them who hired him.

Just two of the many examples of torture that can be found in our books, television shows, and movies. Torture being done by the "good guys" for a "good reason".

Torture is wrong, but if it can prevent a "greater" wrong, such as the death of a kdinap victim or the future mayhem of the criminal mastermind, then it is likely to be accepted. We have probably been taught to accept it hundreds of times in stories.

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Response to hfojvt (Reply #36)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 03:33 PM

54. The ends should never justify the means....

But then again we are supposedly a "christian" nation and "we" condone executions, poor people to be left on their own and a society that worships wealth and material things...

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Response to Jefferson23 (Reply #9)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 06:51 PM

89. Mark Boal also helped write In The Valley of Elah, a movie very critical of the Iraq War

He is far from some neocon hack.

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Response to hootinholler (Reply #7)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 06:46 PM

82. Torture was shown to not work. Real police detective work was shown to work.

 

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Response to graham4anything (Reply #82)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 07:08 PM

96. That's your take as a reasonbly intelligent Democrat....

I'm not so sure the wing nuts will see it that way.

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #96)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 07:17 PM

98. Yup. It's the opposite of the Tarentino Django movie

 

where, even if it was a satire, farce, irony, Quentin is selling that movie knowing full well the money coming in will be from republicantealibertarians who do not at any time get
satire,farce,irony and QT himself loves the violence, racism and controversy he so often achieves. (and only QT himself would be able to say what he honestly wished to say, assuming he even cared.)
The gun people ate up the line he sold in Inglorious Bastards and I have seen that logic
(if only the victims had guns) way too many times, and don't recall QT ever once saying that was not what he was trying to show.(Just like he refused to answer the other day...he never denied anything, he like W, just refused to answer).

President Obama wanted nothing more than to try KSM in a federal court in NYC
The President and Eric Holder were treated miserably by the rightwing, especially republican
Peter King for even suggesting that.
Yet noone blames Peter King.

I just don't get it.

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Response to graham4anything (Reply #98)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 07:42 PM

105. Republicans have no limits on their outrageous behavior...haven't had any

since Nixon messed up Johnson's negotiations with the North Vietnamese. Democrats are a bunch of wusses in comparison.

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Response to hootinholler (Reply #7)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 09:56 PM

114. Like that line from Dark Night. "I know you're going to enjoy...

 

...this, so I'm just going to have to enjoy it more."

By the time interogators resort to torture, it's pretty much a given that they're facing someone totally invested in "The Cause." Torture is their vindication, and little more than an opportunity to keep sticking it to the enemy.

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Response to hootinholler (Reply #7)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 11:50 PM

120. I'm boycotting it because it does show the torture as being useful,

according to reviews.

And that's what many people, including Diane Feinstein and John McCain, are objecting to. They said that torture didn't lead to any useful information and that this part of the movie was fiction.

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Response to hootinholler (Reply #7)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 01:06 PM

140. apparently you never watched '24'.

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Response to Jefferson23 (Original post)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 10:29 AM

8. Saw the movie last night.

Does that make me a "supporter of torture?"

So now, acknowledging that something happened in our history, is the same as endorsing it?

I guess by pretending it didn't happen, it'll stop it from happening in the future, correct?

Somebody help me out here, just what the fuck is it with these silly fools?

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Response to 99Forever (Reply #8)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 10:35 AM

10. See post #9. n/t

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Response to 99Forever (Reply #8)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 10:38 AM

11. huh?


"To not include that part of history would have been irresponsible and inaccurate."


Except that is the problem, "that part of history" was depicted in an irresponsible and inaccurate way.

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Response to Schema Thing (Reply #11)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 10:53 AM

13. Next they can make a fictional Iraq war movie

"based on first-hand accounts of actual events.".

America will find the WMDs. Curveball will be a hero and get a parade. And Iraqi oil profits will pay for the war with interest.

Ya we went off script a bit but it's a much better movie now!....

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Response to think (Reply #13)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 11:54 AM

24. ...and the protagonist finds those pallets of cash!

That'd be cool

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Response to leftstreet (Reply #24)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 12:20 PM

31. Now that's one happy ending.

I think we can squeeze that into the directors cut....

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Response to think (Reply #31)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 08:41 AM

126. And don't forget! The guy gets the gal at the end!

Gotta have a really happy ending!

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Response to think (Reply #13)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 02:36 PM

41. And Birth of A Nation was just entertainment!

Honestly - can you believe the way some people will kick up a fuss about an exciting story well told?

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Response to kenny blankenship (Reply #41)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 06:33 PM

75. Except that movie was supposed to be racist

And was written and directed by an out and proud extreme racist.

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Response to Schema Thing (Reply #11)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 11:05 AM

14. "Except that.. "that part of history" was depicted in an irresponsible and inaccurate way."

It was?

Were you there to know better? If so, what did you do to try and stop it?

I didn't get the impression from this movie that it was in any way making a case for the use of torture, at all. Or against, either. It had about a decades worth of events crunched down to less than 2 hours, sorry it wasn't up to your high standards and didn't present things the way YOU would have preferred.

Maybe when your film come out, we'll get the real story, huh?

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Response to 99Forever (Reply #14)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 11:22 AM

17. Real story perhaps goes more like this?:


The CIA did not first learn about the existence of the UBL courier from CIA detainees subjected to coercive interrogation techniques. Nor did the CIA discover the courier's identity from CIA detainees subjected to coercive techniques. No CIA detainee reported on the courier's full name or specific whereabouts, and no detainee identified the compound in which UBL was hidden. Instead, the CIA learned of the existence of the courier, his true name, and location through means unrelated to the CIA detention and interrogation program.

http://www.feinstein.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/files/serve/?File_id=d5bcc8f1-4ac5-4d25-9371-4f748c225597

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Response to think (Reply #17)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 11:30 AM

19. What's your point?

I went to see the film KNOWING it wasn't a documentary. And I'll ask again, HOW does this movie make a case for torture? Lay it out for me, because apparently I'm too fucking stupid to understand what my own eyes and ears said to me. Save the c&P spinwork and use plain English, so us dumbasses won't get lost.

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Response to 99Forever (Reply #19)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 11:43 AM

21. You made a statement as to the real story.

I responded with a letter signed by 3 senators stating what they regard as to the official facts were in regards to finding OBL.

Sorry it bothers you that I respond with those details.....

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Response to think (Reply #21)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 11:50 AM

22. "made a statement as to the real story"...

... my ass. So 3 fucking senators ran their spiel about it? Were they there? I'm supposed to take their fucking word as gospel? Like fucking politicians are always so honest and never have an agenda.

Maybe you should try doing what your User Name says instead of letting the authoritarians use you as a tool.

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Response to 99Forever (Reply #22)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 11:53 AM

23. My bad. How about you made a statement in regards to the real story

yikes.....

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Response to 99Forever (Reply #22)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 03:42 PM

56. Senators are privy to classified information

and when you see senators from both parties joining in a statement, the credibility of the statement is high.

So sorry if you are unable to comprehend.

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Response to tabasco (Reply #56)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 04:05 PM

59. "Credibility" with who?

You? BFD. They are fucking politicians, all of them. Sorry if YOU are unable to comprehend.

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Response to 99Forever (Reply #22)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 06:49 PM

83. So you're gonna believe what some Hollywood liberal puts in a film

over what war hero John McCain says on the floor of the Senate?

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Response to tularetom (Reply #83)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 07:19 PM

100. Here's a really crazy thought!

I don't wholesale "believe" any of them.

But what IS becoming evident to me, is that there is someone, somewhere, VERY determined to make sure this film doesn't succeed. I don't know or care why that is, but that even more than that Old Fool running his yap on the Senate floor, makes me wonder...

BTW, I seen far worse "torture scenes" in many "PG" rated flicks, and not a murmur of dissent about that from our now, Oh-So-Concerned Democrats.

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Response to 99Forever (Reply #22)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 07:15 PM

97. Did someone tell you to "take their word as gospel"?

"I'm supposed to take their... word as gospel?" Who asked you to do that? A voice inside your head?

" Like fucking politicians are always so honest and never have an agenda..." Much like movie makers... and righteous posters on internet boards. Bless your little heart.

"instead of letting the authoritarians use you as a tool..." A rather convenient and simplistic way of trivializing those who may disagree with your opinion, lacking in any real substance, but the melodrama is cute, and I bet it has a really groovy soundtrack by Hans Zimmer .

Your righteous rage is noted, and will be given all the credibility it indeed warrants.

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Response to LanternWaste (Reply #97)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 07:21 PM

103. Bu bye...

... should have added you to my Ignore List last time you insulted me. Live and learn, you're gone.

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Response to 99Forever (Reply #22)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 10:35 PM

117. Were the filmmakers there?

If not why are you not holding them to the same standard?

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Response to Bjorn Against (Reply #117)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 11:44 PM

119. What?

What the fuck are you on about?

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Response to 99Forever (Reply #119)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 11:51 PM

121. Twice in this thread you dismissed people's take on the issue of the movie's portrayal of torture...

In post 14 you said "Were you there to know better? If so, what did you do to try and stop it? " and in post #22 you dismissed the three Senators on the basis that they were not there to witness it.

The fact is however that the filmmakers were not there either, so if you are going to dismiss critics of the movie on the basis that they were not there to witness the torture it would seem that the filmmakers should be held to the same standard because they were not there either.

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Response to Bjorn Against (Reply #121)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 08:30 AM

125. "The filmmakers" ...

.. made no claim to this being a documentary. In fact, if you had bothered to see it BEFORE clutching your pearls and wringing your hands, you would know that it SAYS at the start, it was based accounts of those that were there. Furthermore, the movie WAS NOT about torture, that was more or less secondary to the actual story.

If you and your buds don't like "how" it told the story, fine, make your own fucking movie, but sitting around playing critic of something you haven't even seen, just because something someone else told you about it, is fucking ridiculous.

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Response to 99Forever (Reply #125)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 06:07 PM

146. You could answer without the personal attacks

Sorry, but the Senators got their info from first hand accounts as well. I still don't see why the movies account of events should be taken any more seriously than theirs especially considering that even the filmmakers have admitted that there are parts of the movie that are not factually accurate.

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Response to Bjorn Against (Reply #146)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 06:43 PM

147. Pot...

... meet kettle.

You infer shit about, then act like a victim when they bite back. Grow up and own your own crap before pointing fingers at other people.

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Response to 99Forever (Reply #147)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 06:50 PM

148. I am not acting like a victim, I am merely stating my opinion

I never made a single personal attack against you, not once. I merely disagreed with your opinion, I really don't see why you are so upset with me for that.

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Response to 99Forever (Reply #14)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 01:35 PM

37. what exacty did the movie say about torture?

That's what I would like to know, and I probably will not see the movie. I still have not seen Blackhawk Down.

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Response to hfojvt (Reply #37)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 02:08 PM

40. It didn't really "say" much about it at all...

... that I could hear. The scenes it was in, weren't really all that graphic IMO, an dI didn't get the feeling it was taking a "stand" either way on the subject. Seemed to merely acknowledge it happened. The taking of the compound by Seal Team 6 was much more intense and violent, for me at least. I also didn't get the impression that it was trying to sell that UBL was found by info garnered from torture, but then maybe I just missed something. I knew going in it wasn't a documentary, so wasn't really looking to parse it to pieces.

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Response to 99Forever (Reply #40)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 05:51 PM

66. To depict torture without taking a stand at least artistically about it makes that depiction

exploitative, done for the sake of doing it rather than to make any point at all. Torture is not morally neutral, to stage and photograph such a thing is not like taking a picture of the Grand Canyon. She spent days recreating this torture. She was not recreating a known fact, she was inventing in meticulous detail a specific bit of story that she later claims is not specific. To explain what the scenes meant to her, she does not need to know what 'really happened' as she directed a fictional film not a documentary. What is on the screen was made by her alone. She does know what she was saying. If she didn't, the scene would not be in the film.

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #66)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 05:57 PM

67. +1 n/t

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #66)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 05:58 PM

68. Well then...

... don't go see the movie if you don't want to. Doesn't make a shittin' bit of difference to me.

(I stopped reading your drivel when I got to the holier-than-tho content.)

Have a nice day.

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #66)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 07:18 PM

99. Illustrating a thing in fictional detail without taking a moral stance is then condoning a thing?

Illustrating a thing in fictional detail without taking a moral stance is then condoning a thing? Does this apply to R. Crumb also?

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Response to LanternWaste (Reply #99)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 09:03 AM

129. This is not what I said. What I did say is that her contention that she made a neutral reporting

of what happened is bullshit. It is not possible to create that depiction without a point of view. I gladly accept an artist who says 'I"m not telling my point of view' but the idea that the hundreds of specific choices a director must make over months of preparation and the necessity of communicating those choices to the dozens who must carry them out could be made without her own point of view being present is just absurd.
Of course depiction is not always condoning, but condoning is not the only possible objective. Without condoning, one can advocate necessity or one can seek to normalize that which should not be normalized. One can both abhor a practice and yet accept it as reality. That allows for action without moral consideration. Also, depiction can be used to condone or to condemn and many things in between. Depiction is a tool and how that tool is used is what matters.
I personally know Bigelow's point of view and I have little disagreement with it. To me, the failure of the work is seen in the confusion around it. Not her best. She is one of my favorite directors and has been for many years. Also, for those who are all politics, I am a film guy, so this film is a film to me, the political content or accuracy could be perfect in my eyes or utterly wrong in my eyes while the film itself could be good or bad independent of those things.
I am also just this specific and particular about other films, all films, not just this one or films with politics. I can sound just as pompous about Hangover 2.
And of course I think everyone should see the film and decide what they think about it on their own. Would I vote for the film? No. But not for reasons of content, this is just not her best work which is why she did not get a Best Director nod. She's been the best once or twice and won once, this time, not so much.

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Response to 99Forever (Reply #40)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 10:11 PM

116. I feel the same way

 

and did not feel it was much different than the Seal Team 6 docu-movie that was on TV before the elections.

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Response to Schema Thing (Reply #11)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 11:57 AM

25. Exactly

It depicts torture as a functional way to retrieve information, which it isn't and never has been. The movie is nothing more than a propaganda piece to excuse war crimes.

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Response to 99Forever (Reply #8)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 08:44 PM

109. Probably goes back to when Hitler bombed Pearl Harbor



LIES do not necessarily become truth when put on the big-screen..

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Response to Jefferson23 (Original post)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 10:47 AM

12. Good - history must not be rewritten to suit Bushco

Fuck that!

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Response to malaise (Reply #12)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 06:49 PM

85. How does the movie do that?

It doesn't portray Bush in a good light at all. In fact the main reason why a character I think was supposed to be Leon Panetta is so skeptical of the compound containing bin Laden is because "we were also told there were WMDs in Iraq".

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Response to ButterflyBlood (Reply #85)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 06:50 PM

86. The torture link to evidence n/t

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Response to malaise (Reply #86)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 06:52 PM

90. Have you seen it?

Because from what I saw in it the torture came across as rather ineffective. The main torturing CIA guy never gets any real intel that way. The protagonist just kind of sits by uncomfortable when she sees people waterboarded, and gets her intel lady through some psychological manipulation tactics, nothing to do with waterboarding or beating.

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Response to ButterflyBlood (Reply #90)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 07:21 PM

101. I was going to add that I hadn't seen it yet

Maybe I should wait and not listen to others

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Response to malaise (Reply #101)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 08:45 AM

128. Exactly.

There is clearly a push to diss this film. Why I can only guess, but when that happens, it's hardly ever about what those doing say it is.

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Response to Jefferson23 (Original post)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 11:06 AM

15. From the clips I've seen, it doesn't look that good anyway.

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Response to Jefferson23 (Original post)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 11:14 AM

16. Ridiculous.

 

Sure, there was torture in the film. It happened in real life. ALOT. Ignoring that fact doesn't t make it go away. AND, there was the big dramatic scene in the CIA conference room, where the head was furious that they had only taken out 4 high level targets. 4. Torture works? Right. But the breakthrough came through our agents doing work. 'Human Error' assumed that one of eight brothers was killed because of the resemblance to each other, when in fact, the wrong brother was listed as dead. Paperwork.

I think Zero Dark Thirty is the best in the lot so far. Haven't seen Argo but will tonight. Lincoln was fine, but not 'the best' by a long shot.

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Response to Jefferson23 (Original post)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 11:28 AM

18. it's not surprising that Zero Dark Thirty would have innacuracies in it

after all, The Hurt Locker was the most ridiculous military film I've ever seen that ever attempted to look authentic.

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Response to WooWooWoo (Reply #18)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 12:14 PM

28. I watched Hurt Locker with a real explosives expert from Afghanistan.

He couldn't believe how unrealistic it was and how people were fawning all over it.

It was such a bad movie and he was complaining about it so much, we turned it off after about 45 minutes.

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Response to Tempest (Reply #28)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 12:39 PM

33. Do not watch Hunt for Red October with a Submariner

Do not watch any cop film with a cop.

Do not watch... Traffic with a witness to the whole mess.

I could go on. These movies will have inaccuracies in them. It's a movie, not a documentary. There are things done all the time for plot that are not always "accurate."

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #33)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 03:23 PM

49. I watched SHOWGIRLS with a stripper

She said it was pretty accurate, so your blanket statement isn't always true...

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #33)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 04:19 PM

61. Agreed

but in the inaccuracies may lie the slant.

Just sayin. Haven't seen it. But if there's an implied connection between the torture and the successful outcome, as some say--then it may be condoning torture.

Movies are often calculated to persuade.

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Response to marions ghost (Reply #61)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 04:22 PM

64. And the other half will tell you it does not work

This is one where the bias is truly shades of gray.

Been following the controversy. It's fascinating. First Roeshart test in film, from what I can tell.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #64)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 04:30 PM

65. Sounds like a good way to

get us all to see this film....

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Response to marions ghost (Reply #65)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 02:11 AM

122. Yup

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #64)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 06:44 PM

80. Don't you mean Rorschach test?

 

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #64)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 07:52 PM

107. "First Roeshart test in film, from what I can tell."

Anyone know what this means?

Anyone?

Bueller?
Bueller?
Bueller?

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #33)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 06:30 PM

73. Do NOT watch any movie about airliners or aviation with a pilot

Pilots have an insane attention to detail, and will notice EVERYTHING that is a little off...

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #33)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 07:21 PM

102. I watched Star Wars with a member of the Rebellion...

I watched Star Wars with a member of the Rebellion... 90 minutes and all this guy could go on about was that it was a propaganda piece for the Empire, and that every Rebellion fighter-jock actually hated flying the X-Wings.

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Response to LanternWaste (Reply #102)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 07:51 PM

106. LOL!

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #33)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 09:43 PM

113. I did just that

A former roommate's fiancee was a submariner. We went to see "Red October" with her and him. He laughed himself silly.

My husband had the same reaction to "Skyfall", when Q plugs the laptop into the main network.

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Response to Jefferson23 (Original post)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 11:40 AM

20. Has Anyone Asked The Author(s) What Their Intention Was For Including Torture In This Movie?....nt

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Response to global1 (Reply #20)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 11:59 AM

26. The fact that it happened

They tried to balance that reality...it happened.

It is not an endorsement.

Their goal was that it would make audiences think. Some are left with it works, som that it does not. Their test audiences were at about fifty/fifty.

For the record, it does not work.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #26)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 03:51 PM

58. So they never actually stated in the movie

that the torture directly led to the capture of Bin Laden? I have the movie, but haven't wanted to watch it because I was worried that this was what they were trying to communicate..

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Response to bama_blue_dot (Reply #58)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 04:14 PM

60. No. They go through the mishaps

And errors.

It is pretty much a to audience member.

They, from interviews, considered not going not the torture, nut it happened.

So they were nuanced about it.

We watched Django Unchained, which is quite graphic as well. But like the issue of texture, how do you deal with the horrors of slavery?

Some subjects...you just go for it I s'pose. Several DU'ers have watched Zero, and Altman posted a viewer perspective this morning. You might want to read it. I have, mostly, followed the controversy.

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Response to Jefferson23 (Original post)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 12:02 PM

27. Should we sanitize us history and ignore we did torture people?

How many know May Lai happened a generation ago? By this, I suspect in a generation this will be conveniently forgotten.

I wonder if Amnesty has an issue with the overt torture in Django Unchained?

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #27)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 12:16 PM

29. The issue is the false narrative the movie creates

The movie makes it look like torture was how they found the courier, but in real life it didn't.

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Response to Tempest (Reply #29)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 12:33 PM

32. No it does not

They were careful about that. Some of the audience will conclude that, one will not. It's about fifty/fifty. I suspect the audience member will conclude it works if they already thought so, and will conclude it did not, if they already thought so.

For the record they also portray the other tactic used, which did work, and goes back to WW II, cigs and food.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #32)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 03:22 PM

47. Yes it does...

What they (the defenders) leave out, as Cornell and the clip he posted below show, is that he provides the name just seconds after the CIA guy threatens to string him up "from the ceiling" once again.

You can view the clip of that scene here:

http://gregmitchellwriter.blogspot.com/2013/01/this-blogger-matt-cornell-makes-fine.html

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Response to Luminous Animal (Reply #47)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 04:20 PM

63. You can talk to actual audience members like Altman

Who watched the whole thing and did not reach tat conclusion.

Movies, like fiction, have to be watched fully at times. What you did is extract a quote.

I understand the controversy...torture should be controversial. But people who have watched the movie in it's entirety reach one f two conclusions, it works or it does not. The film mares wanted that result. They also say it is confirmation bias. I'd your RW uncle believes it works, they will use it...if your liberal uncle elevens it does not, they will use it as well.

That is partly what they wanted...get te discussion going.

I expect people on both sides, as usual, to miss the shades of gray. In my mind it actually shows what the marines learned in WW 2, cigs, food and empathy work. Why are you not including those scenes in your quotes?

Shades of gray, I know, not as easy to deal with.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #63)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 07:27 PM

104. I did not include those scenes because the movie did not portray that they worked.

The timeline is thus:
1) Torture / no co-operation
2) Food and cigarettes / no co-operation
3) Threat of more torture / co-operation

There is nothing gray about that.

Right wing John McCain saw what I saw and also concluded that the movie mislead the audience.

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Response to Luminous Animal (Reply #104)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 02:12 AM

123. McCain has an agenda

But you knew that.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #123)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 11:01 AM

132. This whole debate is over a very very small part the movie. But

it is a very important part to the whole was torture used to help find OBL debate.

Here is what concerns us unhappy campers in regards to this movie:

1. The film is not a documentary BUT the film opens with the statement:

"based on first-hand accounts of actual events."


2. The CIA helped with this film to ensure high accuracy as to the events that occurred. So even though this film is not a documentary it makes extraordinary claims as to the validity of it's storyline.

3. Overall the film does not shine a positive light on torture. But it does show a detainee who was tortured willingly giving the name of the courier for OBL when threatened with more torture:

http://gregmitchellwriter.blogspot.com/2013/01/this-blogger-matt-cornell-makes-fine.html

According to the CIA's own official story THIS NEVER HAPPENED IN REAL LIFE.


4. Three Senators, including two Dems, on the Senate Select Committee for Intelligence, the committee overseeing CIA activities, were concerned enough to write two letters to the head of the CIA demanding more information.

Either the Senators and the American people were lied to by the CIA (highly plausible). Or the CIA and/or the film director took the liberty of adding the clip where the threat of being tortured again produced significant information that helped find OBL. Either way the two stories are inconsistent. There is the movie version and there is what happened according to the CIA & Senate's version based on the CIA's own information.

I'm sure the movie is a great and entertaining show. BUT if they make statements that the movie is based on true and actual events and the director goes to the effort to use the help of the CIA to ensure accuracy, this is a big issue in regards to the validity of the film against the background of the use of torture.

From that standpoint the minor inclusion of the scene with the detainee spilling the beans when threatened with more torture becomes a huge deal.

However, as even you have pointed out, of people who saw the film a full 50% consider torture a valid way to get information. How did they walk away from the film with any impression torture could work outside of seeing the inaccurate addition of a detainee willingly giving the name of OBL's courier when threatened with torture?

The fact that 50% of the people who see this film think torture works concerns me greatly especially if the official story which claims torture was not in any way involved in getting OBL are true as they seem to be.



Here are the letters from the Senators on the Intelligence Committee to the CIA director. (Bold added for emphasis on the main sticking point):


Full text of both letters follows:


December 19, 2012

Mr. Michael Morell
Acting Director
Central Intelligence Agency

Dear Acting Director Morell,

We are writing to request information and documents related to the CIA’s cooperation with the makers of the film, Zero Dark Thirty. We are concerned by the film’s clear implication that information obtained during or after the use of the CIA’s coercive interrogation techniques played a critical role in locating Usama Bin Laden (UBL).

As you know, the film depicts CIA officers repeatedly torturing detainees. The film then credits CIA detainees subjected to coercive interrogation techniques as providing critical lead information on the courier that led to the UBL compound. While this information is incorrect, it is consistent with public statements made by former Director of the CIA Counterterrorism Center, Jose Rodriguez, and former CIA Director Michael Hayden.

The CIA cannot be held accountable for how the Agency and its activities are portrayed in film, but we are nonetheless concerned, given the CIA’s cooperation with the filmmakers and the narrative’s consistency with past public misstatements by former senior CIA officials, that the filmmakers could have been misled by information they were provided by the CIA.

In an unclassified letter you provided to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on May 31, 2012, you wrote that the CIA engaged with the filmmakers “to ensure an appropriate portrayal of the Agency’s mission as well as the dedication of the men and women of the CIA who played a key part in the success of that mission.” The film opens with the words “based on first-hand accounts of actual events,” and according to now publicly released CIA records, the filmmakers met extensively with CIA personnel. Specifically, one publicly released email notes that the filmmakers met with you for forty minutes, during which you provided “substance again.” Another publicly released CIA email states that “As a Agency, we’ve been pretty forward-leaning with , and he’s agreed to share scripts and details about the movie with us so we’re absolutely comfortable with what he will be showing.”

Pursuant to the Committee’s recently-adopted Study of the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation program, Committee staff reviewed more than 6 million pages of CIA records. Based on that review, and with prior notification to the CIA, Chairman Dianne Feinstein and Senator Carl Levin released the following findings on April 30, 2012, regarding the UBL operation:

The CIA did not first learn about the existence of the UBL courier from CIA detainees subjected to coercive interrogation techniques. Nor did the CIA discover the courier's identity from CIA detainees subjected to coercive techniques. No CIA detainee reported on the courier’s full name or specific whereabouts, and no detainee identified the compound in which UBL was hidden. Instead, the CIA learned of the existence of the courier, his true name, and location through means unrelated to the CIA detention and interrogation program.

Information to support the UBL operation was obtained from a wide variety of intelligence sources and methods. CIA officers and their colleagues throughout the Intelligence Community sifted through massive amounts of information, identified possible leads, tracked them down, and made considered judgments based on all of the available intelligence.

The CIA detainee who provided the most accurate information about the courier provided the information prior to being subjected to coercive interrogation techniques.

In addition to the information above, former CIA Director Panetta wrote Senator McCain in May 2011, stating:

“…no detainee in CIA custody revealed the facilitator/courier’s full true name or specific whereabouts. This information was discovered through other intelligence means.”

Given the discrepancy between the facts above and what is depicted in the film, previous misstatements by retired CIA officials, as well as what appears to be the CIA’s unprecedented cooperation with the filmmakers, we request that you provide the Committee with all information and documents provided to the filmmakers by CIA officials, former officials, or contractors, including talking points prepared for use in those meetings. Furthermore, we request copies of all relevant records discussing the cooperation between CIA officials, former officials, or contractors and the filmmakers, including records of the meetings that occurred, notes, internal emails, Sametime communications, and other documentation describing CIA interactions with the filmmakers.

Thank you for your assistance on this matter.

Sincerely,

Dianne Feinstein
Chairman
Senate Select Committee on Intelligence

Carl Levin
Chairman
Senate Armed Services Committee
Ex-Officio Member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence

John McCain
Ranking Member
Senate Armed Services Committee
Ex-Officio Member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence



December 31, 2012

Mr. Michael Morell
Acting Director
Central Intelligence Agency

Dear Acting Director Morell:

In your December 21, 2012, statement to CIA employees regarding the film, Zero Dark Thirty, you state that “the film creates the strong impression that enhanced interrogation techniques” were “the key to finding Bin Ladin” and that this impression “is false.” However, you went on to refer to multiple streams of intelligence that led CIA analysts to conclude that Bin Ladin was hiding in Abbottabad and stated that “Some came from detainees subjected to enhanced techniques, but there were many other sources as well. And, importantly, whether enhanced interrogation techniques were the only timely and effective way to obtain information from those detainees, as the film suggests, is a matter of debate that cannot and never will be definitively resolved.”

In our previous letter of December 18, 2012, we made several points based on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence’s Study of the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation program that are potentially inconsistent with your press release. Principal among those points was that “The CIA detainee who provided the most accurate information about the courier provided the information prior to being subjected to coercive interrogation techniques.”

Accordingly, we would ask that you provide the following to the Committee:

In regards to the Bin Laden operation, what information was acquired from CIA detainees subjected to enhanced interrogation techniques? When was this information provided: prior to, during, or after the detainee was subjected to the CIA’s enhanced interrogation techniques? If after, how long after? Please note whether such information corroborated information previously known to the CIA.

Please provide specific examples of information that was obtained in a “timely and effective” way from CIA detainees subjected to the CIA’s enhanced interrogation techniques? When was this information provided: prior to, during, or after the detainee was subjected to the CIA’s enhanced interrogation techniques? If after, how long after? Please note whether such information corroborated information previously known to the CIA.

Thank you for your assistance on this important matter.

Sincerely,

Dianne Feinstein
Chairman
Senate Select Committee on Intelligence

Carl Levin
Chairman
Senate Armed Services Committee
Ex-Officio Member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence

John McCain
Ranking Member
Senate Armed Services Committee
Ex-Officio Member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence



http://www.feinstein.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases?ID=0d4e72c7-361a-4271-922f-6e2ccaa3f609

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Response to think (Reply #132)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 11:09 AM

133. The rubb you run into is

That audience members are split on whether that scene worked as you think, or it did not.

They put it in there cause, shit it happened. The Senate is pissed because it s now in the culture...and they have been trying hard to erase that part of history. If we never speak of it, it never happened. Worst...do you remember Mai Lai? They want this to go down the same memory hole.

It happened... It is ok that it s there.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #133)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 11:15 AM

135. I am not disagreeing that torture happened. Only that it helped find OBL

as the film implies in that very brief but significant clip.

So who is lying the Senators, the CIA, or the film director?

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Response to think (Reply #135)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 11:22 AM

136. Audience members are split

Those who come out thinking it helped, already believed that. Those who did not, come out thinking it did not.

That is what they were shooting, no pun, for. There is no way to get around confirmation bias.

So you would rather we do not talk of it in any way? That is what McCain and the rest of the jokers want.

This is about the hunt for Bin Ladin, not adding the fucked up torture would have been a disservice.

For the record, there are also scenes involving food and cigs later in the movie. They are portraying what we know works going back to WW2, none is speaking of that. The plot also goes into a classic error in Intel, mis-identification of your subject.

The controversy is good, IMO...cause none was talking of these nasty bits anymore. And quite frankly, I suspect people want to forget it.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #136)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 11:45 AM

137. Yes. Keep the torture in. Still either the CIA, the Senators, or the director is lying

Or there would not be a discrepancy in the facts.

Based on your replies I am getting the idea you feel that the Senators are involved with white washing what actually happened including the threat of using more torture revealing key information. I apologize if I am not understanding you correctly. This could be but according to the official story it did not happen.

I don't doubt any of the 3 parties could be lying about what transpired.

But the movie account of a previously tortured detainee spilling the beans either never happened or the official story is a fabrication.

If the official story is a fabrication then the CIA needs to come clean on what truly happened to the Senators or make a statement to the effect that the event in the movie is fictitious and never happened.

It's not splitting hairs. There is no grey area. Either the event happened as depicted in the movie or it did not.

Yes, I know it is not a documentary but as I mentioned previously the film claims to be based on actual events. This is an extraordinary claim especially in light of the CIA's cooperation in ensuring the accuracy of the events portrayed.

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Response to think (Reply #137)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 11:51 AM

138. There was torture

Plenty of it.

Quite frankly...war crimes were committed. The Senators want this deep sixed and forgotten.

On and the movie gets o far s to imply it did not work.

You know when you know they were close? When was the last time that hearings were requested over a movie...closed door hearings?

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Response to think (Reply #132)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 11:14 AM

134. That's it in a nutshell..thanks think. n/t

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Response to Tempest (Reply #29)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 12:51 PM

34. Negative

 

The movie does no such thing. In fact, it makes a very deliberate statement that after years of torture, they had gotten NOWHERE. And they found the courier by going through years of data files, discovering they made a mistake by declaring the courier dead when in fact it was his brother.

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Response to Tempest (Reply #29)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 03:23 PM

50. You are right.

http://gregmitchellwriter.blogspot.com/2013/01/this-blogger-matt-cornell-makes-fine.html

What they leave out, as Cornell and the clip he posted below show, is that he provides the name just seconds after the CIA guy threatens to string him up "from the ceiling" once again.


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Response to Tempest (Reply #29)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 06:35 PM

76. No, it doesn't

That wasn't my takeaway at all. My takeaway was that it didn't lead to anything, thus showing torture is useless.

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Response to obamanut2012 (Reply #76)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 08:41 PM

108. Then you didn't watch very closely.


The movie is clear that, in the narrative of the movie, the first link to the courier comes through torture, and less clear but very much implied is that other confirming links to the courier also came through torture. The torture does not provide ALL the info needed to eventually find the courier, but puts them on the right track.

And that all may well be true, but that doesn't mean that torture was the only way to get that info. In fact, almost certainly it was not the only way nor the most accurate and quick way. There WHERE voices in the interrogation community (including CIA and FBI and DOD investigators) speaking out back then, and the movie could have and I believe should have included that argument. It would not have taken more than 30 seconds.

the movie further shows CIA personnel frustrated that in later years torture is not available to them when they want to extract information from a set of detainees. (this frustration may well be true).

The two CIA "heroes" in the movie both engage in torture. One of them, the male, is shown as eventually choosing not to partake in it any more, and come back to a desk job, though he doesn't imply that it the torture is wrong or noneffective, only that it is wearing on him and the political landscape is changing and could come back to haunt torturers (little did he know how "forward" looking Obama would be) and he doesn't want to engage in it anymore.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #27)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 03:19 PM

45. AI has issued statements regarding the film. see post #9. n/t

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Response to Jefferson23 (Original post)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 12:19 PM

30. Was it nominated as a documentary?

If not, this whole boycott thing is bullshit. Did they boycott Oliver Stone's JFK even thought it was conspiracy theory nonsense? Some people have too much time on their hands and unless a story is told "their way", they have hissy fit.

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Response to leftynyc (Reply #30)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 12:58 PM

35. It doesn't seem like too many here actually saw it.

 

Those criticizing the movie sound like those who accuse Obama of suddenly adding $16 trillion to debt out of thin air.. because they were told he did it.

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Response to railsback (Reply #35)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 01:37 PM

38. I haven't seen it and

likely wont because I tend to go to escapist movies (romantic comedies, like that) and heard it's uncomfortable to watch some of the scenes. I just don't see knocking something for being "not the whole truth" unless it's selling itself as truth (documentaries).

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Response to railsback (Reply #35)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 02:43 PM

43. I Saw It Before It Opened, and I Posted About It

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Response to Yavin4 (Reply #43)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 06:01 PM

69. Propaganda?

 

I think not. The movie showed the complexities of carrying out an overseas manhunt for a needle in a haystack. It also showed that with all their torture and black sites, the results were very limited. In the end, it WAS the CIA that tracked him down, and they deserve credit where credit is due.

Excellent movie.

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Response to leftynyc (Reply #30)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 03:21 PM

46. Not a documentary, and the boycott is due to the implication that torture

was successful at acquiring information to find OBL.

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Response to Jefferson23 (Reply #46)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 06:09 PM

70. The implication in the movie was that torture didn't work.

 

That was pretty clear when Mark Strong tore everyone's head off in that conference meeting for only getting him 4 high level 'kills' since 9-11.

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Response to railsback (Reply #70)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 06:17 PM

71. I don't think so.

The offensive issues behind the boycott is two fold, torture did not
give them helpful info and that even if torture worked, it would not change that it is illegal.

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Response to Jefferson23 (Reply #71)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 09:59 PM

115. The boycott is ridiculous

 

and unwarranted. If people are offended by what we did, then they shouldn't see it. But the movie makes NO statement that how Bin Laden was taken out was a direct result of torture. Quite the contrary.

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Response to railsback (Reply #115)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 10:53 PM

118. That is not what the boycott is establishing as a criticism. n/t

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Response to Jefferson23 (Reply #118)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 01:09 PM

141. Oh, really?

 

So, in other words, this boycott is really a boycott against acknowledging what we did? Got it.

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Response to Jefferson23 (Reply #46)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 06:38 PM

78. I saw it, and my takeway was that the torture yielded nothing

Zip. It was useless.

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Response to leftynyc (Reply #30)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 06:37 PM

77. I saw it

And what's being discussed, including Chastain being a horrible actress and Bigelow being a Nazi (:wtf, is not the movie I saw. At all. My God, I am totally anti torture. I'm a Buddhist.

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Response to Jefferson23 (Original post)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 01:38 PM

39. Absolutely Warranted

Good for whoever that was.

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Response to Jefferson23 (Original post)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 02:41 PM

42. I Concur. It's Pure, Manipulative CIA Propaganda

Which is ironic because Argo is also about pure, manipulative CIA propaganda.

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Response to Yavin4 (Reply #42)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 07:06 PM

95. LOL. Argo is quite critical of US foreign policy and backing the Shah

You think Ben Affleck is some neocon? He's been fairly active in supporting Democratic candidates.

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Response to Jefferson23 (Original post)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 03:23 PM

48. Kathryn Bigelow is the auditioning for the role of Leni Riefenstahl.

Torture does not work.

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Response to Dawson Leery (Reply #48)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 03:44 PM

57. +1 (nt)

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Response to Dawson Leery (Reply #48)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 06:28 PM

72. What a horrible and ridiculous thing to say about her

Wow.

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Response to obamanut2012 (Reply #72)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 08:52 PM

111. Not far off IMO

n/t

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Response to Jefferson23 (Original post)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 03:25 PM

51. It's an excellent movie

But I enjoyed LIFE OF PI much more!

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Response to zappaman (Reply #51)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 03:28 PM

52. The PI movie looks to be a visual wonder, I want to see it. n/t

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Response to Jefferson23 (Reply #52)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 03:31 PM

53. It is!

I usually don't care for 3D, but in this film it really worked since it is subtle.
The fact that the tiger is not real is astounding!

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Response to Jefferson23 (Original post)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 03:37 PM

55. This just sounds like someone looking to get their name in the spotlight.

It's a movie. Plain and simple. Not a documentary.

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Response to Jefferson23 (Original post)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 06:31 PM

74. It is a good movie and does not advocate torture

I found it much the opposite of that, actually. Like the wonderful HBO Taking Chance, it doesn't take sides, it just shows you the story. Jessica Chastain. is, as always, very good, and Bigelow is a gifted director. Having people in this thread calling her a Nazi is ridiculous.

I understand not everyone like this film, just as many hated Bigelow's The Hurt Locker, but it's good.

I think Lincoln will win Best Picture, since Affleck was snubbed.

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Response to obamanut2012 (Reply #74)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 06:40 PM

79. I think Lincoln is the likely winner too. n/t

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Response to Jefferson23 (Original post)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 06:45 PM

81. A good article answering Bigelow's critics

n the broad scheme of things, the only Oscar snub that qualifies as an outrage is the omission of Kathryn Bigelow for Best Director. Not because it's a bigger slight than snubbing Ben Affleck or Samuel L. Jackson or the like, but because her omission is clearly the result of the kind of smear campaign against the film that has made politics next-to-impossible for the last decade or so. It's the same kind of baseless campaign that prevented Susan Rice from being nominated for Secretary of State, it's the same mud-slinging that caused Obama to (wrongly) dismiss Van Jones early in his term, thus providing the GOP their first scalp. And to add insult to injury, Bigelow has been deemed wholly responsible by those who wrongly believe that Zero Dark Thirty (review) endorses torture, leaving screenwriter Mark Boal (who got a nomination) off the hook. If this kind of stuff happens every time someone tries to make a challenging film for adults, then we can kiss such things goodbye from those who seek award recognition. If this is a sign of things to come, where Hollywood becomes as frenzied and maddening as politics, then that is a troubling thing indeed.

Many who were too timid or wrongheaded to fully voice their opposition to torture back when it was first uncovered back in 2004 are now offering full-throated and fiery condemnations of Ms. Bigelow for showing recreations of torture and accusing her of endorsing the practice merely by refusing to explicitly condemn it. She's been called a warmonger, an apologist, and yes, a Nazi. If this is the kind of reaction we can expect when filmmakers attempt to make adult films with adult sensibilities that speak to its viewers at an adult level, then it's no wonder such films are so increasingly rare in mainstream cinema. The reason this matters beyond mere Oscar prognosticating is that it sends a clear signal to filmmakers who seek to work in the studio system that they shouldn't truly make adult films pitched at adults. The core sin of Zero Dark Thirty is that it didn't have a supporting character on the sidelines talking about the immorality and/or impracticality of torture. It didn't have a big scene where the major characters have a debate on torture. Now such a scene would be implausible considering the film as it exists, yet the absence of this kind of condescending hand-holding has now opened the film up to accusations, from politicians, pundits, even religious leaders (I just received an email from Rabbi Arthur Waskow entitled Should Oscar go to pro-Nazi film Triumph of the Will?).

All because Bigelow and Boal didn't spoon-feed their opinions to the audience in a way that made for easy digestion. They didn't have a fictionalized scene where a character explicitly explains to the audience how they got each piece of vital information over the eight years during which the film takes place. They trusted the audience to make the connections. It's the connection between the opening torture scene and the horrifying terrorist massacre that the torture fails to prevent. It's the connection between the stopping of torture and use of trickery that elicits worthwhile information that eventually, eight years later and only after the discovery of information that had been in an old file all along , leads to bin Laden's compound. It's the connection that bribery elicits the key information late in the game rather than torture. It's the very fact that the film's climactic raid is the least cathartic and least empowering moment of American violence one can imagine. Those whining that the film endorses torture seem to miss the point that the film doesn't entirely endorse the execution of Osama bin Laden, presenting it as perhaps a necessary evil but a vile, horrific and brutish act of foreign aggression nonetheless. One must remember that the film initially began back when bin Laden was still alive and it was presumed that he'd never actually be caught. It was initially a Moby Dick-esque story of futile obsession, and I'd argue the film still stays on that path even with the new ending.

Bigelow and Boal could have pitched the film to the dumber members of the audience. They could have had scenes where characters explicitly explained their own moral stances and/or the progression of information that is discovered over eight long and bloody years. They chose instead to trust the audience and the mainstream media and publicity-hungry politicians have betrayed that trust. Bigelow and Boal trusted our intelligence and the reaction to the picture has now insulted our intelligence. It's really no different than the reaction to Zack Snyder's Sucker Punch, where he was accused of committing the very sin he was criticizing because audiences and critics couldn't look past the short skirts. It's really no different than the rather habitual writing-off of any number of popcorn entertainments because critics and pundits were unwilling to even acknowledge that mainstream studio fare might have some worthwhile ideas beneath the surface. But this time it happened to a major Oscar contender that received glorious reviews. This time it happened to a would-be prestige picture, and the resulting firestorm is far more severe than mere dismissal. Congress wants to launch an investigation, Bigelow and Boal are being compared to Leni Riefenstahl, and one of the best films of 2012, one that dares to not only be critical of the various post-9/11 failures but also one of our alleged successes, is forever tainted by the now accepted notion that it endorses torture on a practical and moral level.

<snip>


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/scott-mendelson/why-kathryn-bigelows-osca_b_2456768.html

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Response to obamanut2012 (Reply #81)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 06:55 PM

92. The Oscars have always been political. Yet I understand the boycott and their concerns.

The film uses torture to tell of a recent event, when torture did not generate any results in capturing
OBL and two, that it does not matter if it worked or not..that is not or should not be a situation posed
to the audience. It is illegal not because it does not produce reliable info, it is illegal b/c it violates
the most basic human rights.

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Response to obamanut2012 (Reply #81)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 09:26 AM

130. Great slapdown of the pearl-clutching...

... hand-wringing crowd trying to bring down a film most of them haven't even bothered to see before passing judgement of.

This line sums it up nicely:

" Don't treat adults like adults or you will be pounced upon like screaming children."

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Response to Jefferson23 (Original post)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 06:49 PM

84. Torture is not legal. Nor is it entertainment.

I won't be seeing it. My family did and they say there were a lot of torture scenes and the 'techniques' were iffy as to their effectiveness in eliciting actionable intelligence. But I don't care. Don't want to see it anyway. Not exactly my idea of a good time.

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Response to tblue (Reply #84)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 06:51 PM

88. I would recommend then you not watching homeland or in the past, 24. There was far more in those

 

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Response to Jefferson23 (Original post)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 06:50 PM

87. If one hasn't seen the movie, how can you judge?

 


Though torture is what those in the WTC on 9-11 who died, went through in the hour or 1/2 hour it took for them to die, breathe by breathe in the fire.

and torture is what society went through afterward.

In actuality, as Richard Clarke has stated, drones on the other hand are the most humane method of warfare there is at this point in time. With far less collateral damage.

remember, 3000 innocents died on 9-11.

people seem to forget that those people had nothing to do with anything

just one CEO died on 9-11.
the others were just the 99%ers at work, hard sweating, hard working, not whining 9 to 5ers who died.

BTW-Harvey Weinstein would love nothing more than to have no one vote for anything but one of his movies.
A movie without a best director nomination has almost never won at the oscars.
So that would indicate anyhow ZDT is not going to win best picture.

Because in Hollywood, a best picture does not get made or won, without a director.

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Response to Jefferson23 (Original post)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 06:53 PM

91. It shows the whole world the Brutality of America

It doesn't deserve an Oscar

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Response to Jefferson23 (Original post)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 06:58 PM

93. Amen.

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Response to Jefferson23 (Original post)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 06:59 PM

94. I've seen the movie. "Torture works" is not a message I got from it at all.

The protagonist never does any. She is only present during some scenes at the beginning, and clearly very uncomfortable. The main CIA guy doing all the waterboarding, beating and shoving the detainee into a small box gets no useful intel at all from it. The protagonist gets her intel mostly from trickery and psychological tricks.

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Response to ButterflyBlood (Reply #94)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 08:51 PM

110. Whoah there did we see the same movie...I saw a woman picking up

a water bucket and handing it to him
and telling him to go in again and
interrogate (torture) him

She witnessed it and when he pulled his pants down to torture him by using humiliation
those tactics were used by HITLER with the Jewish Holocaust
are we going down that road
she stood and watched

She had a computer screen of one after another Bagged head prisoner watching their cells

Ya again tell me she didn't help

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Response to Jefferson23 (Original post)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 09:42 PM

112. Vote for "Les Miz" instead!

It shows the best of humanity, as well as the worst.

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Response to Jefferson23 (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 02:40 AM

124. "Miles Drentell" you never stop surprising!

This is not shocking for anyone who is familiar with David Clennon.

from http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0166359/bio

David Clennon More at IMDbPro »
ad feedback
Date of Birth
10 May 1943, Waukegan, Illinois, USA

Height
6' 1" (1.85 m)

Mini Biography

Political activist known for hands-on approach to politics. Frequently participates in rallies, readings, etc., even if the cameras aren't rolling. Has turned down roles (such as in Just Cause (1995)) because of his political beliefs.

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Response to Iris (Reply #124)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 08:44 AM

127. True, not surprising at all. n/t

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Response to Jefferson23 (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 10:06 AM

131. If Judgement at Nuremeberg can win an Oscar. Why can't the opposite? nt

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Response to raouldukelives (Reply #131)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 02:45 PM

143. LOL. Indeed, why not nominate Jud Süß ?

If it was effectively directed, and many audiences of the time agreed that it was as it ran in theaters for years and was still packing them in as the Red Army rolled across the Polish frontier, shouldn't it's director Veit Harlan have received something better than -or in addition to- his trial for crimes against humanity?

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Response to Jefferson23 (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 02:33 PM

142. I'll be seeing it this week sometime

I'll make up my own choice. From the articles and interviews I've read, the movie was originally about futility and was incredibly critical of the Bush administration because of what happened at Tora Bora; I don't think Bigelow would pull a 180 and become wholly rah rah because they eventually got their guy. I sense James Cameron behind this smear campaign. The guy has a ton of power in the Academy (as evidenced by his shitty films being nominated again and again), is her ex-hubby who cheated on and divorced her, and who got beat by her several years ago for best director and picture. Not buying the criticism; seems like most of the people trashing the movies either have an agenda or haven't seen it.

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Response to Jefferson23 (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 02:48 PM

144. On an ethical level the issue seems to be the truth claim

This has broad implications. People believe big Hollywood movie producers when they state "based on fact".

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Response to flamingdem (Reply #144)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 02:57 PM

145. People tend to believe what they see projected 50 feet high on a screen

even if you tell them "This never happened" in the first frame, and then follow the credits with the standard disclaimer that "the characters and events of (Name of Shitty Movie Here) are fictional; any resemblance to persons now living or tortured to death in US custody is purely accidental."

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