Acting CIA Chief shoots down Osama bin Laden film, ‘Zero Dark Thirty,’ as ‘not a realistic portrayal of the facts’

The enhanced interrogation techniques portrayed in the film are being decried as inaccurate.

Acting CIA Director Michael Morell critized “Zero Dark Thirty” as a “dramatization, not a realistic portrayal of the facts” in a letter to employees released Friday.

“Zero Dark Thirty” isn’t getting five stars from the CIA.

The acting head of the agency shot down the highly-anticipated movie that chronicles the hunt for Osama bin Laden in a rare letter to employees, adding to the controversy already brewing over the flick’s factuality.

“What I want you to know is that ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ is a dramatization, not a realistic portrayal of the facts,” Michael Morell wrote in a memo posted on the CIA’s website Friday.

“CIA interacted with the filmmakers through our Office of Public Affairs but, as is true with any entertainment project with which we interact, we do not control the final product.”

Morell slammed the Oscar-contender, which he said “departs from reality,” for suggesting that “enhanced interrogation techniques,” or what some would call torture, “were the key” to locating and killing the Al Qaeda leader.

MOVIE REVIEW: ‘ZERO DARK THIRTY’

The film, which hit theaters Dec. 19, shows agents using waterboarding and other extreme techniques to force Guantanamo Bay detainees to speak.

Jonathan Olley
The film, starring Jessica Chastain, follows the hunt and May 2011 killing of Osama bin Laden by Navy SEAL Team 6.

“That impression is false,” Morell wrote. “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.”

The acting CIA director also blasted “Zero Dark Thirty” for taking “considerable liberties in its depiction of CIA personnel and their actions, including some who died while serving our country.”

“We cannot allow a Hollywood film to cloud our memory of them,” he added.

Morell’s note comes just two days after three senators, Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.), John McCain (R-Az.) and Carl Levin (D-Mich.), condemned the flick for being “grossly inaccurate and misleading” in suggesting that torture led to the May 2011 killing of bin Laden by Navy SEAL Team 6.

The trio sent a letter to Sony Pictures, the film’s distributor, calling for the studio to add a disclaimer to the film.

By Christine Roberts / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Sunday, December 23, 2012, 12:35 PM

MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images

Find this story at 23 December 2012

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