[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
50°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
February 28
1890 - Jenkins ranch hands Dolores Cook and George Walton of Castaic slain by rival William Chormicle and W.A. Gardener [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.

0 Comments

You can be the first one to leave a comment.

Leave a Comment


ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT LINKS
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
Monday, Feb 27, 2017
Walt Disney Animation Studios' "Zootopia," which was co-directed by a CalArts alumnus, took home Oscar gold at the 2017 Academy Awards on Sunday night.
Friday, Feb 24, 2017
Shakti Fest returns for its seventh season, this year on Mother’s Day weekend itself: May 12 to 14 at the Joshua Tree Retreat Center, in Joshua Tree, CA.
Wednesday, Feb 22, 2017
Instagram and photography lovers, this one is for you: there is a free exhibit featuring Instagram photos taken by community members on display at the Newhall Community Center.
Friday, Feb 17, 2017
The city of Santa Clarita’s Thursdays@Newhall series, presented by Galpin Subaru, will kick off its 2017 March through October season on Thursday, March 2, 2017 with a fresh lineup of events on Main Street in Old Town Newhall.
Thursday, Feb 16, 2017
The Santa Clarita Philharmonic "pops" concert is back, and will feature a special performance of Emeralde, a singer songwriter duo team, on Sunday, February 26, 2017 at 3 p.m. at the Hart High Auditorium.
Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1890 - Jenkins ranch hands Dolores Cook and George Walton of Castaic slain by rival William Chormicle and W.A. Gardener [story]
The County Interim Health Officer is issuing a Cold Weather Alert due to the National Weather Service’s forecast for low temperatures. Wind chill temperatures are expected to be below 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cold Weather Alert Issued for SCV, Low Temps Forecasted
Tonight on SCV NewsBreak, a $20,000 reward is now offered for anyone with information that can help in the search for the hit-and-run driver who is responsible for the death of 15 year old Desiree Lawson. Plus, a CalArts alumnus took home an Oscar for his work on "Zootopia". Watch these stories and more on tonight's edition of SCV NewsBreak.
SCV NewsBreak for Monday, February 27, 2017
The city of Santa Clarita has been ranked as one of the top cities to start a family in the United States by LendEDU.
Santa Clarita Ranks as One of the Best Cities to Start a Family in U.S.
See what's coming from the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce.
Upcoming SCV Chamber of Commerce Events
The Castaic Union School District is having a Special Meeting of the Governing Board on February 28, 2017 in the District Office Board Room. The Governing Board is directing the Superintendent to place a resolution, which would make a Provisional Appointment to fill a vacancy on the board.
Feb. 28: CUSD Special Meeting of the Governing Board
In a report released for the March 1 Board meeting, Hart District staff is recommending denial of a 5-year extension of Einstein Academy's charter. Initially approved for 2 years in 2010, Einstein received a 5-year renewal in 2012 that expires June 30.
Staff Urges Denial of Einstein Charter Renewal; Board Decides Wed.
Habitat for Humanity San Fernando/Santa Clarita Valleys honored seven surviving World War II veterans from Santa Clarita at the Princess Cruises and the Princess Cruises Community Foundation annual Hearts for Heroes Builders Ball.
Habitat for Humanity Honors Princess Cruises, Local WWII Veterans
The William S. Hart Governing Board Agenda Regular Meeting is scheduled for March 1, 2017 at 7 p.m. Agenda topics include Albert Einstein Renewal Petition Request, construction of new classrooms on certain campuses, and authorization to attend out-of-state conferences for two high schools.
March 1: William S. Hart Union H.S.D. Governing Board Meeting
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is warning residents of a political mailer that has circulated depicting an official-looking document from the Sheriff’s Department.
LASD Warns of Fake Eviction Mailers
Commercials and television shows are filming in Santa Clarita this week.
Currently Filming in SCV: Scorpion, NCIS, Nickelodeon Commercial
Walt Disney Animation Studios' "Zootopia," which was co-directed by a CalArts alumnus, took home Oscar gold at the 2017 Academy Awards on Sunday night.
CalArts Alum Takes Home Oscar Gold for ‘Zootopia’
West Ranch High School baseball faced off against Santa Barbara High School in their season opener, with West Ranch being triumphant over Santa Barbara with a 10-3 win.
West Ranch Baseball Wins Big Over Santa Barbara H.S.
Canyon Country (West) Crime Report for February 13-19, 2017
Crime Blotter: Commercial Burglaries, Vehicle Burglary in West Canyon Country
Newhall Crime Report for the Week of 02/13/17 to 02/19/17
Crime Blotter: Commercial Burglaries, Petty Thefts in Newhall
Valencia Crime Report for the Week of 02/13/2017- 02/19/2017
Crime Blotter: Vehicle Burglaries, Petty Thefts in Valencia
Saugus Crime Report for the Week of 02/13/17- 02/19/17
Crime Blotter: Grand Theft Auto, Petty Theft in Saugus
1950 - Ex-Mrs. William S. Hart appears in court to challenge will that leaves Hart Park & Mansion to L.A. County [story]
1996 - SCV historian Jerry Reynolds dies at age 58 [story]
Master’s University second baseman Matt Janes fields a hit ball by William Jessup’s Joshua Duitsman for the final out of the first inning Friday Feb. 24, 2017 at Lou Herwalt Stadium. Master’s beat William Jessup 7-3 in the first game of a three game series. [/caption]David Sheaffer belted a two-run, go-ahead home run in the last of the sixth inning Friday afternoon and The Master’s University rallied past William Jessup University 7-3 at Lou Herwaldt Stadium.
Sheaffer Slugs TMU Mustangs Past William Jessup
1936 - U.S. release of Charles Chaplin film "Modern Times," partially shot in SCV [story]
Tonight on SCV NewsBreak, LASD announces the Inaugural Trail Ride benefiting local youth. Plus, make sure to get your vote by mail ballot before the March election. Watch these stories and more on tonight's edition of SCV NewsBreak.
SCV NewsBreak for Friday, February 24, 2017
Zonta Club of the Santa Clarita Valley is currently offering sponsorship opportunities as well as individual tickets for its 2017 LUNAFEST,®, a festival of short films by, for and about women.
Zonta Offers Sponsorships,Tickets for 2017 LUNAFEST
Twenty-one outstanding community volunteers have been nominated by local non-profit organizations to be honored at the annual Women in Service Celebration sponsored by Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley.
21 Nominated for Zonta’s Women in Service Celebration
In support of Augie's Quest, LA Fitness announced plans to host its seventh annual in-club event, Action for ALS, across the company's over 690 locations on Saturday, February 25, 2017. Augie's Quest is a nonprofit research initiative dedicated to finding a cure for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
LA Fitness Supports Augie’s Quest, Research for ALS Cure
Princess Cruises, the top North American cruise line in Japan, today announced its longest Japan cruise season yet with an array of voyages from Tokyo and Kobe in 2018 that circumnavigate the country, visiting top-rated cultural ports.
Princess Cruises Unveils 2018 Japan Cruise, Cruisetour
Everyone is invited to Santa Clarita Christian Fellowship to see Pastor Harper, his wife Cecile and congregation of SCCF honor Bishop Henry Hearns, author of "How Odds Even Through Grace," former Chief of Environmental Planning for Edwards Air Force Base, and the first African American mayor of Lancaster.
Feb. 26: SCCF to Honor Revered Engineer, Mayor, Author Bishop Hearns
Seniors who have saved up for years to take a vacation abroad could arrive at their dream destination only to find that they have been conned.
Fraud Friday: Watch Out for Tourist Visa Scams
Join Providence Holy Cross Foundation at Six Flags Magic Mountain for A Day in the Park and Picnic on Saturday, March 18.
March 18: Join Providence for A Day in the Park and Picnic at Magic Mountain
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Inaugural Trail Ride will be honoring Sergeant Steve Owen, who was killed in the line of duty in early October 2016, on Saturday, April 29 in Castaic.
April 29: LASD Inaugural Trail Ride to Honor Sgt. Steve Owen
Shakti Fest returns for its seventh season, this year on Mother’s Day weekend itself: May 12 to 14 at the Joshua Tree Retreat Center, in Joshua Tree, CA.
May 12-14: Shakti Fest in Joshua Tree National Park
Stevenson Ranch Crime Report: Week of 02/13/17- 02/18/17
Crime Blotter: Petty Thefts in Stevenson Ranch
JAM session, 10 by 10, SENSES, Revved Up, more.
Upcoming Arts & Culture Events for March
The County Interim Health Officer is issuing a Cold Weather Alert due to the National Weather Service’s forecast for low temperatures. Wind chill temperatures are expected to be below 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
Feb. 25-28: Cold Weather Alert Issued for SFV, Mountains, AV
1956 - Baseball Hall of Famer Eddie Murray born in Los Angeles; later SCV resident & car dealer [story]