News24

CIA chief unhappy with Osama movie

2012-12-22 22:05

Washington - Acting CIA director Michael Morell said that Zero Dark Thirty,  the Hollywood take on the hunt for Osama bin Laden, exaggerates the importance of information obtained by harsh interrogations.

The movie by Academy Award-winning director Kathryn Bigelow tells the story of the decade-long search after September 11 2001, climaxing in last year's dramatic and deadly raid in May on the al-Qaeda terror leader's hideout in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

The film shows US personnel using harsh interrogation techniques like water-boarding - a method many consider torture - to force captives to speak.

The information obtained was crucial, according to the movie, in piecing together the trail that eventually lead to bin Laden.

Morell disagreed.

In a message to Central Intelligence Agency employees on Friday, he said that the movie "creates the strong impression that the enhanced interrogation techniques that were part of our former detention and interrogation programme were the key to finding bin Laden.

"That impression is false"

Morell's message, released to AFP, states that "multiple streams of intelligence" led CIA analysts to conclude that bin Laden was hiding in Abbottabad.

He acknowledged that "some" of the information "came from detainees subjected to enhanced techniques.

"But there were many other sources as well."

Morell said that "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."

Morell is widely believed to be a top candidate for the job of CIA director after the resignation of David Petreaus, America's most celebrated military leader in a generation.

Petreaus stepped down in November after admitting to an extra-marital affair with his biographer.

Morell's message also follows a similar statement decrying the Zero Dark Thirty interrogation scenes signed by three senators, including Republican John McCain, himself a prisoner of war and torture victim during the Vietnam war.

Comments
  • Truth.speak - 2012-12-22 23:13

    Methinks the CIA doth protesteth too much

      jeeves.eddings - 2012-12-22 23:38

      O! but she’ll keep her word!

      Peabo Siphelele Mkhize - 2012-12-23 00:16

      Seriously! Of course they wont make it exactly as it happened ... it's just a movie.

      jacob.molife - 2012-12-23 10:02

      Yes, its only a movie. But it makes an impression. A lasting impression.

  • theMichaelHawthorne - 2012-12-23 02:47

    More lies we all know bush and bin laden was in business.... it was easier to fake his death than having him be trailed in court... osama is still alive today. 9/11 was an inside job and if it hurst a us citizen to read this then it serves you right for believing lies... the governments of the world is teaching kids how to be norrowminded and they only teach people what they want you to know because if you know to much about everything its hard to keep you in line...

      joe.smit.549 - 2012-12-23 04:48

      Most governments can't keep themselves in line, never-mind a bunch of school kids!

      Philip - 2012-12-23 06:55

      Shoe! Your eyes are red. Lay off the Ganga it' s rotting your brain!

  • Sibusiso - 2012-12-23 06:27

    To hell with both CIA and bin Laden.

  • Peter Zylstra - 2012-12-23 06:45

    So what the hell........the yanks got the scumbag bin laden and he is dead, never mind the manner of interrogation used! You don't treat a mass murder and his followers with kid gloves!

      taariq.halim - 2012-12-23 08:17

      I sure as hell hope he's dead. The US televised Saddam's hanging but not Bin laden's death or burial. The world's most wanted man and he's body has never been seen.

  • robert.reeve.7564 - 2012-12-23 06:47

    It's a movie. There's only a trail of deception, even Hilary Clinton playing up watching the footage that the public never saw and the sudden burial at sea. Did they really get him? Or is this just another Hollywood and the Pentagon drama like, "Saving Jessica Lange." Rumours are that Osama was killed 5 years before by British and Pakistan special forces, who were told to keep it secret to expose new leaders. Actually, the Pentagon were miffed because they didn't get him.I think that sounds more like the truth and the CIA protesting just adds reality to the lies.

      Philip - 2012-12-23 06:56

      You also smoking Ganga?

  • croix.mactee - 2012-12-23 07:46

    Funny how we ALL have this "false impression" about the 'honourable' methods employed by the CIA (and others) in the U.S.

  • taariq.halim - 2012-12-23 08:25

    I hope the movie deals with the cover-up. World's most dangerous man - and no one's seen his body. Conveniently dumped in the sea and some US has the ignorance to say this was done according to Muslim rites??? Compare Bin Laden's top secret death with the US' televised execution of Saddam. Does not add up...

  • theMichaelHawthorne - 2012-12-23 08:52

    Joe if you have worked for minimum wage then they have been keeping you inline for years my friend. Philip ganja is your friend and please do get tested for colorblindness as the colour you are refering to is indeed orange not red.

      Philip - 2012-12-23 17:51

      Orange? Even worse... That's crack smoke!

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