[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

SCVNews.com | ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ Prompts Feinstein, McCain, Levin to Question CIA | 01-04-2013
Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Partly sunny
Partly sunny
59°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
March 1
1916 - Newhall County Library established inside Robert F. and Christine Woodard's ice cream parlor [timeline]


ZeroDarkThirty2012PosterSenate Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Senate Armed Service Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and Senate Armed Service Committee Ranking Member John McCain (R-Ariz.) have sent two letters to Acting CIA Director Michael Morell seeking information provided to the filmmakers of the film Zero Dark Thirty and clarification of comments made to CIA employees related to the use of coercive interrogation techniques on CIA detainees.

In the first letter, dated December 19, 2012, Feinstein, McCain and Levin stated their concern that “given the CIA’s cooperation with the filmmakers [of the film Zero Dark Thirty] and the narrative’s consistency with past public misstatements by former senior CIA officials, that the filmmakers could have been misled by information they were provided by CIA” and requested “all information and documents provided to the filmmakers by CIA officials.” The film credits CIA detainees subjected to coercive interrogation techniques as providing lead information on the courier that led to the UBL compound.

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.

The senators sent a second letter to the CIA on December 31, 2012, following a message the Acting Director sent to CIA employees on December 21. In his message, Acting Director Morell stated that “Some [intelligence related to bin Laden’s location] came from detainees subjected to enhanced techniques, but there were many other sources as well.” The senators’ letter asks Acting Director Morell to provide information obtained from CIA detainees subjected to enhanced interrogation techniques and whether such information was provided prior to, during, or after the detainee was subjected to such techniques.

Full text of both letters follows:

December 19, 2012

Mr. Michael Morell
Acting Director
Central Intelligence Agency

Dear Acting Director Morell,

We are writing to request information and documents related to the CIA’s cooperation with the makers of the film, Zero Dark Thirty. We are concerned by the film’s clear implication that information obtained during or after the use of the CIA’s coercive interrogation techniques played a critical role in locating Usama Bin Laden (UBL).

As you know, the film depicts CIA officers repeatedly torturing detainees. The film then credits CIA detainees subjected to coercive interrogation techniques as providing critical lead information on the courier that led to the UBL compound. While this information is incorrect, it is consistent with public statements made by former Director of the CIA Counterterrorism Center, Jose Rodriguez, and former CIA Director Michael Hayden.

The CIA cannot be held accountable for how the Agency and its activities are portrayed in film, but we are nonetheless concerned, given the CIA’s cooperation with the filmmakers and the narrative’s consistency with past public misstatements by former senior CIA officials, that the filmmakers could have been misled by information they were provided by the CIA.

In an unclassified letter you provided to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on May 31, 2012, you wrote that the CIA engaged with the filmmakers “to ensure an appropriate portrayal of the Agency’s mission as well as the dedication of the men and women of the CIA who played a key part in the success of that mission.” The film opens with the words “based on first-hand accounts of actual events,” and according to now publicly released CIA records, the filmmakers met extensively with CIA personnel. Specifically, one publicly released email notes that the filmmakers met with you for forty minutes, during which you provided “substance again.” Another publicly released CIA email states that “As a [sic] Agency, we’ve been pretty forward-leaning with [the filmmaker], and he’s agreed to share scripts and details about the movie with us so we’re absolutely comfortable with what he will be showing.”

Pursuant to the Committee’s recently-adopted Study of the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation program, Committee staff reviewed more than 6 million pages of CIA records. Based on that review, and with prior notification to the CIA, Chairman Dianne Feinstein and Senator Carl Levin released the following findings on April 30, 2012, regarding the UBL operation:

  • The CIA did not first learn about the existence of the UBL courier from CIA detainees subjected to coercive interrogation techniques. Nor did the CIA discover the courier’s identity from CIA detainees subjected to coercive techniques. No CIA detainee reported on the courier’s full name or specific whereabouts, and no detainee identified the compound in which UBL was hidden. Instead, the CIA learned of the existence of the courier, his true name, and location through means unrelated to the CIA detention and interrogation program.
  • Information to support the UBL operation was obtained from a wide variety of intelligence sources and methods. CIA officers and their colleagues throughout the Intelligence Community sifted through massive amounts of information, identified possible leads, tracked them down, and made considered judgments based on all of the available intelligence.
  • The CIA detainee who provided the most accurate information about the courier provided the information prior to being subjected to coercive interrogation techniques.

In addition to the information above, former CIA Director Panetta wrote Senator McCain in May 2011, stating:

“…no detainee in CIA custody revealed the facilitator/courier’s full true name or specific whereabouts. This information was discovered through other intelligence means.”

Given the discrepancy between the facts above and what is depicted in the film, previous misstatements by retired CIA officials, as well as what appears to be the CIA’s unprecedented cooperation with the filmmakers, we request that you provide the Committee with all information and documents provided to the filmmakers by CIA officials, former officials, or contractors, including talking points prepared for use in those meetings. Furthermore, we request copies of all relevant records discussing the cooperation between CIA officials, former officials, or contractors and the filmmakers, including records of the meetings that occurred, notes, internal emails, Sametime communications, and other documentation describing CIA interactions with the filmmakers.

Thank you for your assistance on this matter.

Sincerely,

Dianne Feinstein
Chairman
Senate Select Committee on Intelligence

Carl Levin
Chairman
Senate Armed Services Committee
Ex-Officio Member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence

John McCain
Ranking Member
Senate Armed Services Committee
Ex-Officio Member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence

 

December 31, 2012

Mr. Michael Morell
Acting Director
Central Intelligence Agency

Dear Acting Director Morell:

In your December 21, 2012, statement to CIA employees regarding the film, Zero Dark Thirty, you state that “the film creates the strong impression that enhanced interrogation techniques” were “the key to finding Bin Ladin” and that this impression “is false.” However, you went on to refer to multiple streams of intelligence that led CIA analysts to conclude that Bin Ladin was hiding in Abbottabad and stated that “Some came from detainees subjected to enhanced techniques, but there were many other sources as well. And, importantly, 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.”

In our previous letter of December 18, 2012, we made several points based on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence’s Study of the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation program that are potentially inconsistent with your press release. Principal among those points was that “The CIA detainee who provided the most accurate information about the courier provided the information prior to being subjected to coercive interrogation techniques.”

Accordingly, we would ask that you provide the following to the Committee:

  1. In regards to the Bin Laden operation, what information was acquired from CIA detainees subjected to enhanced interrogation techniques? When was this information provided: prior to, during, or after the detainee was subjected to the CIA’s enhanced interrogation techniques? If after, how long after? Please note whether such information corroborated information previously known to the CIA.
  2. Please provide specific examples of information that was obtained in a “timely and effective” way from CIA detainees subjected to the CIA’s enhanced interrogation techniques? When was this information provided: prior to, during, or after the detainee was subjected to the CIA’s enhanced interrogation techniques? If after, how long after? Please note whether such information corroborated information previously known to the CIA.

Thank you for your assistance on this important matter.

Sincerely,

Dianne Feinstein
Chairman
Senate Select Committee on Intelligence

Carl Levin
Chairman
Senate Armed Services Committee
Ex-Officio Member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence

John McCain
Ranking Member
Senate Armed Services Committee
Ex-Officio Member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

Comments are closed.

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT LINKS
LOCAL ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
Friday, Feb 27, 2015
Top junior high and high school student musicians from throughout the Hart School District will perform on Saturday, March 7, at 7:30 p.m., in the Hart High School Auditorium.
Thursday, Feb 26, 2015
&Now Blast Radius is hosted by the MFA Creative Writing Program in the School of Critical Studies at California Institute of the Arts.
Thursday, Feb 26, 2015
Local business owner and stunt driver Allan Padelford was recognized at the 21st annual Academy Awards Scientific and Technical Awards for The Biscuit Jr., a drivable process trailer.
Thursday, Feb 26, 2015
Friday night movies, Saturday night dinner & show added to Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival lineup.
Thursday, Feb 26, 2015
The City of Santa Clarita’s Thursdays@Newhall series will return for the 2015 season in March with an exciting lineup of locally created art, Bollywood dance, classic cars, Irish culture and the music of Katy Moffat in Old Town Newhall.
Friend Activity
Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
How can we equip upcoming generations with the tools they need to have a sustainable lifestyle? One answer is with a 33-square-foot dumpster and a team of dumpster experts to transform a trash container into a sustainable house.
Dumpster Life
1916 - Newhall County Library established inside Robert F. and Christine Woodard's ice cream parlor [timeline]
1890 - Jenkins ranch hands Dolores Cook and George Walton of Castaic slain by rival William Chormicle and W.A. Gardener [story]
Tonight on SCV NewsBreak: Cemex is moving forward with plans to mine in Soledad Canyon, plus more local news.
SCV NewsBreak for Friday, February 27, 2015
Now nursing homes will be under increased scrutiny with targeted inspections of poorly rated facilities, tougher scoring and verification of reported data on staffing through payroll records. Facilities must perform at a 3-star level in order to receive a rating on the staffing category.
Antonovich Applauds Tougher Nursing Home Rating Standards
The median price of single-family homes sold during January in Santa Clarita came in at $480,000, up 10.9 percent from a year ago. It was down 3.0 percent from the $495,000 median of December, which flirted with the $500,000 benchmark price, a median price not been seen since 2006.
Typical SCV House Cost $480K in January
College of the Canyons freshman forward Monica Friedl has been named a First team All-Western State Conference (WSC) honoree after leading the Cougars in scoring, rebounding and blocked shots during the 2014-15 season. COC sophomore guard Qimmah Russo was named Honorable Mention All-WSC.
COC Women’s Basketball Team Has Two All-Conference Honorees
College of the Canyons men’s basketball players Coley Apsay and Tullio Parry have been named First Team All-Western State Conference (WSC), South honorees, while COC sophomore forward Ricardo Greaves received Honorable Mention recognition for the 2014-15 season.
Three COC Men’s Basketball Players Receive All-Conference Honors
MyLife.com will pay $800,000 over a period of nearly two years in civil penalties to be divided equally by the District Attorney’s Office and the Santa Monica City Attorney’s Office. MyLife.com also will pay $250,000 in restitution to its customers.
Prosecutors: MyLife.com to Pay $1 Mil., Change Its Ways
The 2015-2018 Strategic Plan highlights five service priorities for the library, including enhanced technology, facility improvements, programming for 21st-century literacy, expanded opportunities for residents to use library resources for self-enrichment and increased access to tools needed for academic success.
City Releases 3-Year Strategic Plan for Libraries
College of the Canyons will welcome two new directors to its Economic Development Division, with John Hoskinson and Larry McLaughlin stepping into director roles with the Small Business Development Center and the Center for Applied Competitive Technologies, respectively.
Hoskinson Takes Reins of SBDC; McLaughlin Succeeds Klocko at CATC
The multinational Cemex corporation has let the City of Santa Clarita know it is starting work to update its required mining permits and plans to begin surface mining of aggregate in Soledad Canyon, on city-owned land.
Cemex Notifies City of Intent to Start Mega-Mining
With the help of The Gentle Barn, one fortunate cow named Dudley was fitted Friday with a prosthetic foot after suffering for 10 months with a severed foot.
Gentle Barn Helps Cow Receive Prosthetic Foot
Top junior high and high school student musicians from throughout the Hart School District will perform on Saturday, March 7, at 7:30 p.m., in the Hart High School Auditorium.
March 7: Hart District Honor Band Concert
Jennifer Calderon, who lives in a Valencia Fairways townhome near the golf course, said her 10-year-old daughter was approached Wednesday by a man in a blue, four-door sedan.
Valencia Mom Warns of Man Who Approached Daughter
In this official role, Jens Voigt, who has participated in all nine previous editions of the annual stage race, will serve as an advisor to race organizers in addition to other official duties leading up to and during the race set for May 10-17.
Jens Voigt Named Amgen Tour of California Ambassador
Small, nonfarm businesses in 26 California counties and neighboring counties in Nevada are now eligible to apply for low‑interest federal disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Fed Disaster Loans Available to Non-farm Businesses Hurt by Drought
Assembly Bill 867, authored by Assemblyman Donald Wagner, R-Irvine, would require the state to provide a full refund to all individuals who paid a tax later declared unconstitutional or illegal. The bill is identical to Runner-sponsored legislation that died in committee last year.
Another Try: Runner Still Seeking Return of Illegally Collected Taxes
Barnes & Noble filed papers Friday to effect a separation of Barnes & Noble Education (which comprises the Barnes & Noble College business) from Barnes & Noble’s Retail and Nook Digital businesses. The planned separation will, when consummated, create two independent, publicly traded companies.
Barnes & Noble Keeping Nook After All; Spinning Off College Book Biz
Caltrans announced Friday that Pacific Coast Highway (SR-1) between Sycamore Day Use Area and Yerba Buena Road has opened to public access. An average of 10,000 vehicles uses this section of highway a day.
PCH in Malibu Reopens After Storm Damage
Daylight Saving Time is fast approaching, which means we will be losing an hour of sleep as we set clocks forward on Sunday, March 8, 2015. Losing even one hour of sleep can affect a person’s internal clock and consequently impact their ability to safely drive.
CHP Says: Get Plenty of Sleep
The California Department of Motor Vehicles announces the release of the 2015 Driver Handbook for the Apple iPad tablet.
Learn Driving Rules On Your iPad (*Not at Same Time)
Caltrans’ annual Non-Motorized Transportation Facilities Report is an in-depth look at Caltrans’ successes that emphasize the department’s mission to provide a safe, sustainable, integrated and efficient transportation system to enhance California’s economy and livability
Calif. Jumps from 19th to 9th Friendliest State for Cyclists
In partnership with the Liberian government, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases launched a clinical trial Friday to obtain safety and efficacy data on the investigational drug ZMapp as a treatment for Ebola virus disease.
Clinical Trial of Possible Ebola Drug Starts in Liberia