Osama bin Laden may be dead, but the controversy over his pursuit has never been more alive.
Protests are springing up against the film "Zero Dark Thirty," which opened in 25 cities on Friday, including Emeryville. Demonstrators outside a theater there warned that it inaccurately depicts torture as a helpful tool in hunting down the Al Qaeda leader.
California Sen. Dianne Feinstein has waded into the controversy as well, demanding that the CIA account for the way it influenced the film.
Here's how Guardian columnist Glenn Greenwald, who has been engaged in an online debate over the film, describes his main objections:
It immediately goes from its emotionally exploitative start - harrowing audio tapes of 9/11 victims crying for help - into CIA torture sessions of Muslim terrorists that take up a good portion of the film's first forty-five minutes. The key evidence - the identity of bin Laden's courier - is revealed only after a detainee is brutally and repeatedly abused.
According to Feinstein's media release, it just didn't happen that way:
The Senate Intelligence Committee’s recently-adopted Study of the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation program concluded that the CIA did not first learn about the existence of the bin Laden courier from CIA detainees subjected to coercive interrogation techniques and that the CIA detainee who provided the most accurate information about the courier provided the information prior to being subjected to coercive interrogation techniques.
Feinstein, who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee, and Senate Armed Service Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and Senate Armed Service Committee Ranking Member John McCain (R-Ariz.) are asking the CIA to to document how the agency communicated with the filmmakers and its own employees about the film.