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January 3, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

While some conservative lawmakers and commentators have praised the Zero Dark Thirty filmmakers for making a convincing case that the use of torture was justified in tracking down Osama bin Laden, several have also expressed concern that the film may have revealed too much about the inner workings of the CIA. Several liberals have also weighed in on the movie, insisting that, notwithstanding the waterboarding scenes in it, torture played no part in the hunt. On Wednesday the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee launched an investigation to look into those issues, and especially to determine whether director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal were granted “inappropriate access” to classified material as they developed the Zero Dark Thirty script. California Senator Dianne Feinstein, who is the chairman of the Intelligence Committee, together with Senators Carl Levin and John McCain, issued a statement last month rebuking the filmmakers for their “grossly inaccurate” suggestion that torture was instrumental in gathering information about bin Laden’s whereabouts. Acting CIA director Michael Morell, who presumably will be called as a witness during the investigation, has acknowledged that the filmmakers were briefed by the CIA, but has insisted that the resultant film is a “dramatization,” not a documentary. He has hedged on the torture question, however, saying, “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.”