Lawmakers Say CIA May Have Misled Filmmakers
WASHINGTON - Lawmakers accused the CIA of misleading the makers of the Osama bin Laden raid film "Zero Dark Thirty" by allegedly telling them that harsh interrogation methods helped track down the terrorist mastermind.
The film shows waterboarding and similar techniques as important, if not key, to finding bin Laden in Pakistan, where he was killed by Navy SEALs in 2011.
A Senate Intelligence Committee investigation into the CIA’s detainee program found that such methods produced no useful intelligence.
The CIA’s acting director, Michael Morell, recently contradicted that finding. In a statement last month to employees, he said that while the film was wrong to depict harsh techniques as key to finding bin Laden, those interrogations did produce some useful intelligence.
"Some came from detainees subjected to enhanced techniques, but there were many other sources as well," Morell said.
In a letter to the CIA this week, Sens. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., John McCain, R-Ariz., and others asked Morell to back up his claim and to share documents showing what the filmmakers were told.
They asked him to provide what information was acquired from CIA detainees and when. "Prior to, during, or after the detainee was subjected to the CIA’s enhanced interrogation techniques? If after, how long after?"
The senators contend that that the CIA detainee who provided the most accurate information about the courier who was tracked to bin Laden’s hiding place "provided the information prior to being subjected to coercive interrogation techniques," according to a statement Thursday from Feinstein. The senators sent the agency a similar letter last month.
The CIA says it will cooperate.
"As we’ve said before, we take very seriously our responsibility to keep our oversight committees informed and value our relationship with Congress," CIA spokesman John Tomczyk said.