Finally, the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence has been allowed to tell us the truth about torture: It doesn’t work. The CIA-endorsed lie that evidence obtained by waterboarding led U.S. Navy Seals to al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was strategically planted by the agency in the script for the film Zero Dark Thirty. The ineffectiveness of the cruel and archaic “enhanced intelligence technique,” which predates the Spanish Inquisition, now stands fully exposed.
On the very day the film premiered in December 2012, it was denounced by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-California), chairman of the Intelligence Committee, in a bipartisan letter to Sony Pictures Entertainment cosigned by Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Michigan) and Senator John McCain (R-Arizona). They deemed Zero Dark Thirty as “grossly inaccurate and misleading in its suggestion that torture resulted in information that led to the location of Osama bin Laden.”
In a separate statement, Senator Feinstein cited the Intelligence Committee’s 6,000-page “Study of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Detention and Interrogation” to back up her assertions but to little effect: When she and the other senators wrote to Sony Pictures, the report was classified. The recent release of a redacted summary now validates their point.