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Thu Jan 10, 2013, 06:42 PM

Learning to Love Torture, Zero Dark Thirty-Style

from TomDispatch:

Learning to Love Torture, Zero Dark Thirty-Style
Seven Easy, Onscreen Steps to Making U.S. Torture and Detention Policies Once Again Palatable

By Karen J. Greenberg

On January 11th, 11 years to the day after the Bush administration opened its notorious prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Zero Dark Thirty, Kathryn Bigelow’s deeply flawed movie about the hunt for Osama bin Laden, opens nationwide. The filmmakers and distributors are evidently ignorant of the significance of the date -- a perfect indication of the carelessness and thoughtlessness of the film, which will unfortunately substitute for actual history in the minds of many Americans.

The sad fact is that Zero Dark Thirty could have been written by the tight circle of national security advisors who counseled President George W. Bush to create the post-9/11 policies that led to Guantanamo, the global network of borrowed “black sites” that added up to an offshore universe of injustice, and the grim torture practices -- euphemistically known as “enhanced interrogation techniques” -- that went with them. It’s also a film that those in the Obama administration who have championed non-accountability for such shameful policies could and (evidently did) get behind. It might as well be called Back to the Future, Part IV, for the film, like the country it speaks to, seems stuck forever in that time warp moment of revenge and hubris that swept the country just after 9/11.

As its core, Bigelow’s film makes the bald-faced assertion that torture did help the United States track down the perpetrator of 9/11. Zero Dark Thirty -- for anyone who doesn’t know by now -- is the story of Maya (Jessica Chastain), a young CIA agent who believes that information from a detainee named Ammar will lead to bin Laden. After weeks, maybe months of torture, he does indeed provide a key bit of information that leads to another piece of information that leads… well, you get the idea. Eventually, the name of bin Laden’s courier is revealed. From the first mention of his name, Maya dedicates herself to finding him, and he finally leads the CIA to the compound where bin Laden is hiding. Of course, you know how it all ends.

However compelling the heroine’s determination to find bin Laden may be, the fact is that Bigelow has bought in, hook, line, and sinker, to the ethos of the Bush administration and its apologists. It’s as if she had followed an old government memo and decided to offer in fictional form step-by-step instructions for the creation, implementation, and selling of Bush-era torture and detention policies. ...................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175636/tomgram%3A_karen_greenberg%2C_how_zero_dark_thirty_brought_back_the_bush_administration_/#more

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Reply Learning to Love Torture, Zero Dark Thirty-Style (Original post)
marmar Jan 2013 OP
Solly Mack Jan 2013 #1
marmar Jan 2013 #2
Solly Mack Jan 2013 #3
truth2power Jan 2013 #4

Response to Solly Mack (Reply #1)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 07:09 PM

2. Ugh.....I read about half of it and that's all I could stomach.


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Response to marmar (Reply #2)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 07:11 PM

3. There was a time when many people would be outraged...

that the POS dared to justify torture.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 11:00 PM

4. Propaganda. I wouldn't waste my money on it...

I don't suppose the filmmakers mentioned that OBL was a CIA asset back in the day.

Wouldn't want him running off at the mouth. Just like Saadam.

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