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December 11, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Films based on real people or real events inevitably stir up controversy between the filmmakers and those who claim that reality has been stage-managed for dramatic effect. Even before its release, Zero Dark Thirty is embroiled in controversy over the seeming suggestion that an al-Queda captive while waterboarded provided information that eventually led to the hideout of Osama bin-Laden. Supporters of the torture technique have hailed the film. On his Morning Joe program on MSNBC, Joe Scarborough said that it “is going to make a lot of people in the mainstream media, in the Democratic party and in the administration uncomfortable … and that is that the CIA [waterboarding] program, whether you find it repugnant or not, actually was effective.” But numerous officials, including a former director of the CIA, have maintained that the technique played no part in tracking down bin Laden. In Britain’s Guardian newspaper, columnist Glenn Greenwald wrote that the movie “propagandizes the public to favorably view clear war crimes by the US government, based on pure falsehoods.” But screenwriter Mark Boal told on Monday that “it’s just misreading the film to say that it shows torture leading to the information about bin Laden.” And Spencer Ackerman wrote in Wired magazine that the torture scenes in the film “can make a viewer ashamed to be American, in the context of a movie whose ending scene makes viewers very, very proud to be American.”