[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
Clear
Clear
58°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
April 24
1962 - SCV residents vote to connect to State Water Project, creating CLWA [story]


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
Wednesday, Apr 23, 2014 3:57 pm
The Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival 2014 will ride into the Santa Clarita Valley this weekend at Melody Ranch Motion Picture Studio with four stages of all-star entertainment and a new look.
Tuesday, Apr 22, 2014 3:40 pm
The first Santa Clarita Cowboy Poetry & Music Festival, almost rolled into the Wm. S. Hart High School Auditorium instead of Melody Ranch back in March 1994. The deadly and destructive Northridge earthquake on Jan. 17 bumped the first festival from Hart High to Melody Ranch, just weeks before the first cowboy poets and Western musicians were scheduled to take the stage.
Monday, Apr 21, 2014 4:38 pm
Santa Clarita Shakespeare Festival officials are holding auditions May 17 for this year’s production, SCSF officials announced Monday.
Friday, Apr 11, 2014 8:41 pm
Legendary California cowboy band New West takes the stage on an all-new edition of SCVTV’s popular “House Blend” series hosted by Santa Clarita journalist Stephen K. Peeples, premiering Saturday, April 12, at 10 p.m. (Pacific).
Friday, Apr 11, 2014 4:04 pm
The College of the Canyons theatre department will host an evening of unscripted laughter and excitement as the college’s student improv troupe, Comedians of the Canyons, presents its first show of the spring semester.
Friend Activity
Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1962 - SCV residents vote to connect to State Water Project, creating CLWA [story]
Santa Clarita Valley residents and business owners should prepare themselves for a rate hike in their sewer fees; The winners of the 2014 Santa Clarita Municipal Eection were sworn into office Tuesday evening at City Hall; Plus more local news.
SCV NewsBreak for Wednesday, April 23, 2014
The Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival 2014 will ride into the Santa Clarita Valley this weekend at Melody Ranch Motion Picture Studio with four stages of all-star entertainment and a new look.
Music and More: The 2014 Cowboy Festival Lineup
Santa Clarita Valley Sanitation District officials introduced a rate-hike proposal to pay for chloridetreatment the Santa Clarita Valley, which they’re hoping to have approved by June, district officials said Wednesday.
Rate Hike Could Pay for SCV Chloride Treatment
Casting Director Jane Livshin is looking for families in the Santa Clarita Valley and Los Angeles County to cast in the pilot of a new reality television show, “Backyard Makeover,” for the A&E network FYI.
TV Show Looking for Backyards In Need of a Makeover
Santa Clarita residents of all faiths and perspectives can come together for a prayer circle May 1 on the National Day of Prayer. Members of the Santa Clarita Valley Interfaith Council, which has representatives from a variety of religions, are holding their annual National Day of Prayer Interfaith Prayer Circle, council officials announced Wednesday.
Interfaith Council Holding Inclusive Prayer Circle
“Learn Facebook Secrets” is both the name and purpose of the next free “Internet How” workshop for Santa Clarita business owners who use Facebook for marketing. Los Angeles SEO expert and Internet marketer Chaz Key of Nine Eye Interactive Media (http://nineeye.com) is hosting the workshop in Valencia on Tuesday, April 29, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Free Marketing Workshop to Unlock Facebook Secrets
The West Ranch softball team beat Saugus, 2-1, and is in sole possession of first place in the Foothill League standings.
West Ranch Moves to First Place in Foothill Standings
Starting as a small, family-oriented school to support a growing Mandarin-speaking community, the SCV Chinese School now teaches the language to hundreds of Santa Clarita Valley families.
With Growth, SCV Chinese School Has Bolstered Offerings
When we go to a store to purchase something, we exchange money for the object that we want. The store owner does not simply give the entire stock away. If we were to take something without paying for it, it is called theft and this may have serious consequences. Something similar happens in nature.
Grand Theft Nectar | Commentary by Paul A. Levine
Former TMC women's basketball head coach Ken Sugarman has been named head coach for The Master's College men's team.
Ken Sugarman Named Men’s Basketball Coach
1986 - COC board votes to allow Argentine cliff swallows to nest forever on sides of buildings [story]
Good grades and regular attendance has paid off for one lucky Hart District student who will be driving around town in a brand new car, courtesy of Nissan of Valencia. That story plus more local news, tonight on NewsBreak.
SCV NewsBreak for Tuesday, April 22, 2014
A courtroom official confirmed prosecutors dropped assault with a deadly weapon charges against Robert Arvizu, 47, of Newhall on Tuesday morning. Arvizu was arrested shortly after a pair of stabbings that took place following an altercation in a parking lot near the bar.
Charges Dismissed in Newhall Stabbing Incident
In an effort to help local business owners see their enterprises thrive and expand, Rick Hernandez, President, Syntesis Global, LLC will deliver the presentation “Growing Your Business in the 21st Century, A New Era” during the spring 2014 College of the Canyons Chancellor’s Circle Breakfast Briefing.
COC Breakfast Briefing Aimed at Business Success
Soroptimist International of the Americas Camino Real Region will install Santa Clarita Valley resident Dora Zavala as its new governor on Saturday during ceremonies at its 2014 Spring Conference to be held in Valencia.
Dora Zavala Being Installed as Soroptomist Area Governor
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to approve a new crosswalk and new crossing guard for Pico Canyon Elementary School on Tuesday.
County OKs Crosswalk for Pico Canyon School
Santa Clarita City Council members are set to approve Tuesday a new five-year contract likely to include more than $21 million of service from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, which is the major funding mechanism for the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station.
How Santa Clarita Funds Its Crime Fighters
The first Santa Clarita Cowboy Poetry & Music Festival, almost rolled into the Wm. S. Hart High School Auditorium instead of Melody Ranch back in March 1994. The deadly and destructive Northridge earthquake on Jan. 17 bumped the first festival from Hart High to Melody Ranch, just weeks before the first cowboy poets and Western musicians were scheduled to take the stage.
Santa Clarita Saddles up for 21st Annual Cowboy Festival
The shade structure for Carousel Ranch in Agua Dulce is nearing completion, after nine years in the works. Construction workers were putting up the steel supports for the roof of the structure on Tuesday and the arena will be open again for lessons in about three weeks, said Denise Tomey-Redmond, executive director of Carousel Ranch.
Carousel Ranch Arena Shade Structure Nears Completion
The West Ranch and Saugus softball teams meet today in a battle for first place in the Foothill League standings.
West Ranch and Saugus Battle for First Place in Girls Softball
Each William S Hart Union High School District junior or senior who maintained at least a 97 percent attendance record, a 2.0 GPA and had no expulsions or suspensions was eligible for the car giveaway.
Good Attendance Pays Off During Nissan of Valencia’s New Car Giveaway
At the close of March 2014, preliminary reported crime data for the City of Santa Clarita shows a 35.4 percent decrease in overall Part One crimes compared to the first three months of 2013. The report also shows a 27.1 decrease in Grand Theft Auto crimes for the first quarter of 2014 compared to 2013.
Preliminary Data Shows Crime on the Decline in Santa Clarita