During George W. Bush’s presidency, it was a matter of liberal faith that the use of enhanced interrogation techniques on al-Qaida members “undermine our moral authority and do not make us safer,” as Barack Obama once put it. According to Obama, “enhanced interrogation techniques” are wrong, and — no matter what common sense tells you — they never work. Asking nicely works best with terrorists.
“Zero Dark Thirty” — Kathryn Bigelow’s new thriller about the decadelong quest to bring Osama bin Laden to justice — doesn’t cleave to that liberal orthodoxy.
At a preview Thursday, I saw a steely homage to the hardworking souls who endured the grueling slog to locate the man who ordered the 9/11 attacks. And yes, “Zero Dark Thirty” depicts an al-Qaida detainee who, after being waterboarded, gives up the first information about a courier to bin Laden.
Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein is hopping mad. Last month, her office sent a letter, co-signed by Sens. Carl Levin, D-Mich., and John McCain, R-Ariz., to Sony Pictures that called the movie “grossly inaccurate and misleading” in suggesting that harsh interrogations produced information that led to bin Laden.
The Senate Three now are investigating the CIA’s communications with the filmmakers.
“Some U.S. senators now think they’re film critics,” quipped former CIA spokesman Bill Harlow. “For films they don’t like, they start investigations.”