Green Room

CIA not too happy with Zero Dark Thirty

posted at 12:48 pm on December 22, 2012 by

“Considerable liberties” with the facts were taken in the film Zero Dark Thirty, according to a letter sent out to CIA employees from acting DCI Michael Morrell.  In other news, water is wet:

The CIA on Friday said that a Hollywood movie portraying the hunt for Osama bin Laden “departs from reality” in significant ways, and emphasized that despite assistance it provided to the filmmakers, the agency had no control over the final product.

In an unusual letter to CIA employees, acting Director Michael Morell said that the highly anticipated film, “Zero Dark Thirty,” leads viewers to believe that a “few individuals” were behind the hunt for the al-Qaeda leader, instead of the “hundreds of officers” who were involved over the course of a decade. He also rejected the film’s depiction of the CIA’s interrogation program — and the implication that it helped extract valuable information from detainees.

“The film takes considerable liberties in its depiction of CIA personnel and their actions, including some who died while serving our country,” Morell said. “We cannot allow a Hollywood film to cloud our memory of them.”

Hollywood departs from reality in almost every attempt to tell history.  Take a look at almost any biopic or historical epic, and you usually find highly-manipulated storytelling masquerading as history.  The Elizabeth films starring Cate Blanchett are good examples of this.  On the other hand, Sofia Coppola did a pretty good job in sticking with the historical facts in Marie Antoinette, but that didn’t save it from being a monumental bore.  (By the way, if you want a good cinematic version of Elizabeth I’s life that comports somewhat to reality, try Helen Mirren’s Elizabeth I two-part miniseries.)

If the CIA is unhappy with the product in Zero Dark Thirty, maybe they should get their Vickers in a twist?

 

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“We dumped him in the sea like Megatron.”

Abobo’s just waiting for the sequel.

abobo on December 22, 2012 at 12:56 PM

Wonder how long it is going to take the rop type devils spawn to start their riots, burning, killings over this film? At least if this happens, IT WILL BE A FILM that was responsible, not with the benghazi attack bho/team said started the killings of four American’s!
L

letget on December 22, 2012 at 1:18 PM

As far as I’m concerned, the CIA is a leftist political organization.

Blake on December 22, 2012 at 1:18 PM

But it got President Choom re-elected, to it served its purpose.

RoadRunner on December 22, 2012 at 1:19 PM

On the other hand, Sofia Coppola did a pretty good job in sticking with the historical facts in Marie Antoinette, but that didn’t save it from being a monumental bore.

Oh, Ed, they did not wear sneakers back then or listen to rock music.

(By the way, if you want a good cinematic version of Elizabeth I’s life that comports somewhat to reality, try Helen Mirren’s Elizabeth I two-part miniseries.)

Try Glenda Jackson’s Elisabeth R.

Blake on December 22, 2012 at 1:21 PM

Oh, Ed, they did not wear sneakers back then or listen to rock music.

Clearly, those were style choices (which I found very annoying, too). I’m talking about historical facts about the people and the period. Coppola did a pretty good job sticking to those, or at least better than most of her filmmaking colleagues.

Ed Morrissey on December 22, 2012 at 1:24 PM

Clearly, those were style choices (which I found very annoying, too). I’m talking about historical facts about the people and the period. Coppola did a pretty good job sticking to those, or at least better than most of her filmmaking colleagues.

Ed Morrissey on December 22, 2012 at 1:24 PM

I own a dvd copy of it (I don’t know why) I’ll have to watch it again. I thought The Tudors did a pretty good job, allowing for some artistic license. At least it inspired people to create hundreds of historical websites on the subject.

Blake on December 22, 2012 at 1:30 PM

Shove off, can’t-C-IA. My Fallout3 character has more Intelligence than you lot.

MelonCollie on December 22, 2012 at 1:41 PM

They are upset that it shows waterboarding working. They want people to believe it doesn’t even though the CIA director, at the time, said waterboarding got us valuable intel. They spent so much energy trying to convince the public that harsh interrogations don’t work. Now they realize a movie is going to destroy what they worked so hard for in only a couple hours.

The Notorious G.O.P on December 22, 2012 at 1:47 PM

Vickers is a decent guy and dedicated professional. He will get bi-partisan and institutional support.

lexhamfox on December 22, 2012 at 3:33 PM

I thought The Tudors did a pretty good job, allowing for some artistic license.

Blake on December 22, 2012 at 1:30 PM

You wha-a-a-at????? Oh. My. God.

That dreadful thing was so far off the mark it gave me indigestion for a month. There isn’t enough writing room or time to point out the numberless, unfathomable mistakes. Just a small example: Mary, Henry’s youngest sister, was married off to the King of France, not Portugal. (Of course, given the state of education in today’s world, the makers of the series may have had no idea that France and Portugal are two entirely different countries.) And Jonathan Rhys-Meyer bears no resemblance to Henry outside of the fact they are both male. (Yes, young Henry was much skinnier than old Henry, but even young Henry was known for his muscular, sturdy build. And Henry had strawberry blond hair and a very ruddy complexion.)

Try Glenda Jackson’s Elisabeth R.

Blake on December 22, 2012 at 1:21 PM

And if you don’t have six hours to burn, rent a copy of Mary, Queen of Scots starring Jackson and one of the Redgraves. (That’s the Readers Digest version of Elizabeth R.)

catsandbooks on December 22, 2012 at 3:37 PM

I personally love the way that Mitch Rapp takes a no BS attitude to standup to the spineless bureaucrats in the CIA and the weasels on Capitol Hill.

LevinFan on December 22, 2012 at 4:05 PM

That dreadful thing was so far off the mark it gave me indigestion for a month. There isn’t enough writing room or time to point out the numberless, unfathomable mistakes.

As I said, allowing for artistic license. The series touched on enough of what occurred during Tudor England to encourage people to seek additional info. Again, there were numerous websites as a result that both explained the story and compared and discussed the actual historical record.

Just a small example: Mary, Henry’s youngest sister, was married off to the King of France, not Portugal. (Of course, given the state of education in today’s world, the makers of the series may have had no idea that France and Portugal are two entirely different countries.) And Jonathan Rhys-Meyer bears no resemblance to Henry outside of the fact they are both male. (Yes, young Henry was much skinnier than old Henry, but even young Henry was known for his muscular, sturdy build. And Henry had strawberry blond hair and a very ruddy complexion.)

Portugal — oh, noesss! Wrong color hair — more oh noessss!!1!!! Nobody wants to watch a series with an old smelly fat guy. The series & Rys-Meyer did an excellent job portraying Henry’s cruelty.

And if you don’t have six hours to burn, rent a copy of Mary, Queen of Scots starring Jackson and one of the Redgraves. (That’s the Readers Digest version of Elizabeth R.)

catsandbooks on December 22, 2012 at 3:37 PM

Saw it. It was crap.

Blake on December 22, 2012 at 5:29 PM

Hey, its Hollywood. As long as the fans are happy, who cares what the alphabet soup agencies and a few politicians think?

tommy71 on December 23, 2012 at 12:23 AM

implication that it helped extract valuable information from detainees

Thanks to Hollywood, this is now what low information voters will remember about water-boarding.

agmartin on December 23, 2012 at 3:11 PM