Earlier today Glenn Kenny (who joined me for an Oscar Poker podcast) said none of the ZD30 opponents would even think about trashing Gillo Pontecorvo‘s The Battle of Algiers (’66), which (a) also deals in torture and (b) says it worked in at least one instance.
Kenny also accurately called them Stalinists, people who want only the morally correct, ethically forward-thinking representations of history in the films they see. Like all political harridans and supporters of p.c. causes, they wanted Zero Dark Thirty to say the right thing about the practice of torture, or to show what en evil thing it is. Because it presents a morally ambiguous portrait of the effort to find Osama bin Laden, they are against it.