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Sat Jan 26, 2013, 01:03 PM

In Defense of Zero Dark Thirty by Michael Moore



There comes a point about two-thirds of the way through Zero Dark Thirty where it is clear something, or someone, on high has changed. The mood at the CIA has shifted, become subdued. It appears that the torture-approving guy who's been president for the past eight years seems to be, well, gone. And, just as a fish rots from the head down, the stench also seems to be gone. Word then comes down that - get this! - we can't torture any more! The CIA agents seem a bit disgruntled and dumbfounded. I mean, torture has worked soooo well these past eight years! Why can't we torture any more???

The answer is provided on a TV screen in the background where you see a black man (who apparently is the new president) and he's saying, in plain English, that America's torturing days are over, done, finished. There's an "aw, shit" look on their faces and then some new boss comes into the meeting room, slams his fist on the table and says, essentially, you've had eight years to find bin Laden - and all you've got to show for it are a bunch of photos of naked Arab men peeing on themselves and wearing dog collars and black hoods. Well, he shouts, those days are over! There's no secret group up on the top floor looking for bin Laden, you're it, and goddammit do your job and find him.

He is there to put the fear of God in them, probably because his boss, the new president, has (as we can presume) on his first day in office, ordered that bin Laden be found and killed. Unlike his frat boy predecessor who had little interest in finding bin Laden (even to the point of joking that "I really just don't spend that much time on him"), this new president was not an imbecile and all about business. Go find bin Laden - and don't use torture. Torture is morally wrong. Torture is the coward's way. C'mon - we're smart, we're the USA, and you're telling me we can't find a six-and-a-half-foot tall Saudi who's got a $25 million bounty on his head? Use your brains (like I do) and, goddammit, get to work! And then, as the movie shows the CIA abruptly shifts from torture porn to - are you sitting down? - detective work. Like cops do to find killers. Bin Laden was a killer - a mass killer - not a general of an army of soldiers, or the head of a country call Terrorstan.

http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/276-74/15716-in-defense-of-zero-dark-thirty


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Arrow 30 replies Author Time Post
Reply In Defense of Zero Dark Thirty by Michael Moore (Original post)
arely staircase Jan 2013 OP
OKNancy Jan 2013 #1
OldDem2012 Jan 2013 #2
tblue Jan 2013 #4
icarusxat Jan 2013 #9
Kablooie Jan 2013 #26
OldDem2012 Jan 2013 #27
arely staircase Jan 2013 #29
trumad Jan 2013 #3
Pirate Smile Jan 2013 #22
Lex Jan 2013 #5
PDittie Jan 2013 #6
Lex Jan 2013 #7
PDittie Jan 2013 #13
OldDem2012 Jan 2013 #12
PDittie Jan 2013 #14
OldDem2012 Jan 2013 #15
Lex Jan 2013 #16
PDittie Jan 2013 #18
Lex Jan 2013 #20
PDittie Jan 2013 #28
gtar100 Jan 2013 #8
bigwillq Jan 2013 #10
bluestate10 Jan 2013 #23
coalition_unwilling Jan 2013 #25
bigwillq Jan 2013 #30
TeamPooka Jan 2013 #11
Bjorn Against Jan 2013 #17
bennettweiss Jan 2013 #19
Bjorn Against Jan 2013 #21
bluestate10 Jan 2013 #24

Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 01:10 PM

1. good read.. enjoyed going to the link and reading all of it

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 01:12 PM

2. Updated inside: If that's the point the film was trying to make, among others,....

Last edited Sat Jan 26, 2013, 01:54 PM - Edit history (1)

....why haven't the filmmakers come right out and said so instead of leaving the impression that torture gave us information critical to finding Bin Laden?

Oh, by the way, another point Moore has made previously....the Bush and Bin Laden families were very close. Just my opinion, but I think that's exactly why Bush "lost interest" in finding Bin Laden.

===========================================

Okay, I took the time to read Moore's excellent review and I now understand what he's saying about the film and the point they're trying to make. I wasn't going to watch the movie before reading this, but now I will....even though I will have major difficulties with the torture scenes.

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Response to OldDem2012 (Reply #2)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 01:31 PM

4. Yep. I can't watch torture

so I'll never see this film. But, yeah, obviously a lot of moviegoers are missing the point if indeed what Michael Moore says is the point, is the point. And thats prolly cuz the filmmakers weren't making that point at all. They wanted to profit off of this story and they wanted a blockbuster. They weren't all that interested in making a political point one way or another, IMHO. Fwiw.

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Response to OldDem2012 (Reply #2)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 03:44 PM

9. pulled me in as well

great points regarding who knows and who will say anything and what is already obvious but being ignored...gonna go see or buy the film soon

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Response to OldDem2012 (Reply #2)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 02:32 AM

26. The director did say that but the media dismissed her comments as unimportant.

The film showed clearly how torture gave no useful information.
It wasn't until the CIA agents sat down with the prisoner and gave him a decent meal that he began to talk and this is what the director explained.

The fact is that America used torture is part of history whether we like it or not.
To ignore this fact in the telling of the story would be a dishonest whitewashing of history.
And the film does not glorify torture. Just the opposite.
It shows how clever, nonviolent gathering of information will bring much more success than trying to wring it out of someone with torture.


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Response to Kablooie (Reply #26)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 08:53 AM

27. Thanks....appreciate the analysis! nt.

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Response to Kablooie (Reply #26)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 11:13 AM

29. i am so glad to read a review by someone who seems to have

seen the same movie that I did.

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 01:14 PM

3. Excellent review

That's how I felt after watching it --

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Response to trumad (Reply #3)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 01:39 AM

22. Good to know. The Cheneys acting like the movie proved they were right completely

turned me off & made me not want to see it.

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 01:34 PM

5. He makes excellent, salient points about the film. Some people

just don't put any thought into the movies they see (just knee-jerk reactions).





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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 02:27 PM

6. Moore is defending Bigelow and Hollywood here

which leaves him off the rails in his defense of ZDT and by extension, torture... or "the value of enhanced interrogation w/r/t actionable intelligence", as Dick Cheney would say.

I expected better from Michael Moore.

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Response to PDittie (Reply #6)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 02:53 PM

7. Did you even read the article linked?

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Response to Lex (Reply #7)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 03:58 PM

13. Yes.

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Response to PDittie (Reply #6)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 03:58 PM

12. Please read the ENTIRE article. Thanks. nt.

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Response to OldDem2012 (Reply #12)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 03:59 PM

14. I did.

Thanks.

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Response to PDittie (Reply #14)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 04:06 PM

15. Then you should be hearing the sound of "woooosh" sailing over your head at 50,000 feet. nt.

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Response to OldDem2012 (Reply #15)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 04:27 PM

16. I know, right? nt

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Response to OldDem2012 (Reply #15)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 04:35 PM

18. I lately avoid these gauntlets thrown down.

It looks like I should make an exception in this case, due to your persistent rudeness.

Moore makes weak arguments backing Zero Dark Thirty on torture. He calls it a work of "fiction" even though Bigelow says it's based on true events. He claims it is actually anti-torture simply because it shows it, and doesn't care what lesson most people take from it -- and says "artist" has no responsibility to get it right.

He also claims, correctly, that torture rarely gets good intel and 99 times out of 100 gets wrong or bad info -- but isn't bothered by the fact that the film does not show that. In fact, the movie shows not one but several prisoners giving up something vital after, if not during, torture.

Moore is wrong. And so are you.

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Response to PDittie (Reply #18)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 08:36 PM

20. Moore said this in the article:

"Zero Dark Thirty is a disturbing, fantastically-made movie. It will make you hate torture. And it will make you happy you voted for a man who stopped all that barbarity - and who asked that the people over at Langley, like him, use their brains. And that's what worked."


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Response to Lex (Reply #20)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 09:57 AM

28. I hated torture long before MM suggested

this movie would make me do so. If there is anybody who needed his encouragement to dislike torture and might be swayed by his opinion and the viewing of ZDT in order to make that leap... then good for those folks.

In other words, I consider this another example of the weakness of his argument. I expected better from him.

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 03:33 PM

8. Wow. I have never heard that perspective on the movie before now.

Oh how the right wing has the media by the balls. Very interesting take from Michael.

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 03:46 PM

10. Zero Dark Thirty was too long, too boring

But it had some interesting moments.

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Response to bigwillq (Reply #10)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 02:18 AM

23. Tracking down an allusive person is long and boring. 99% of the effort is shifting to

dense information for one clue that stands out. Any pursuit, including business and being a cop is boring, it is about lots of grunt work done to finally bring about a result that is significant.

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Response to bluestate10 (Reply #23)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 02:30 AM

25. Tracking down "allusive" persons is interesting, as they're constantly

 

making allusions to other people's works, some arcane, some obscure. But that little frisson when one recognizes the allusion is oh-so-gratifying. For example, Joseph Heller asks (in 'Catch 22') "Where are the Snowdens of yesteryear?" Only those who have some exposure to French literature will catch the allusion to the 15th-Century French poet Francois Villon who asked 'Where are the snows of yesteryear?"

Tracking down "elusive" persons, on the other hand, may be long and boring. I wouldn't know, as I've never done it.

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Response to bluestate10 (Reply #23)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 05:24 PM

30. Yes, I get that.

But, it's the MOVIES. At least make it more exciting.

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 03:52 PM

11. usually most people commenting and attacking the film in the media have not seen it. nt

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 04:30 PM

17. Michael Moore may have convinced me to watch the movie

I was adament that I was not going to spend a dime to see this movie because I read extensively about it and all the accounts both negative and positive made me think I had a basic understanding of what the film showed and I did not like it. Now Michael Moore has come with a whole new perspective on the movie, and I must admit he makes a much more compelling defense of the film than any defense I have read previously. I am debating watching it now, I am struggling because if Moore is wrong then I don't want to give them my money but if he is right then I would want to see this movie.

I only wish there would be a way to get a refund if Moore was wrong and this movie really is pro-torture propaganda. I hate moral dilemas when you don't know if your money is going to go to something worthwhile or something you would never support in a million years.

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Response to Bjorn Against (Reply #17)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 08:33 PM

19. solution

Go to a multiplex. Buy ticket for another film. Go to a screening room where Zero is playing.

The movie that I would recommend buying a ticket for but not actually seeing is Silver Lining Playbook. It is an superfluous piece of crap that at least does no harm.

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Response to bennettweiss (Reply #19)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 08:44 PM

21. I actually loved Silver Linings Playbook

I grew up with a brother who suffered from mental illness so I could identify with the story in Silver Linings Playbook and it was one of my favorite movies of the year. David O. Russell is one of the most talented and underappreciated directors working today. You do offer a good solution however, I might just have to buy a ticket for Silver Linings Playbook.

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Response to Bjorn Against (Reply #17)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 02:22 AM

24. What are the politics of the producer and director?

If they are generally progressive, they may have been trying to show how torture was leading down the wrong path and when the directive was changed, progress started to happen. In order to prove that premise, the bad, aka torture, has to be dealt with as it was.

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