A just-released, in-depth Senate report on torture during the Bush years delivers “a sweeping indictment of the C.I.A. interrogation program carried out in secret prisons after the Sept. 11 attacks,” says this morning’s lead N.Y. Times story. The report says that torture practices were much harsher than previously reported or acknowledged. And yet, paradoxically, information disclosed this morning by the CIA validates depictions and confirms indirect results of CIA torture in Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal‘s Zero Dark Thirty, which suggested that torture led to key information about the whereabouts of 9/11 mastermind Osama Bin Laden. If anything the report makes clear that Zero Dark Thirty under-played the use of torture by the CIA.
And yet industry-based ZDT critics claimed the film was condoning torture by depicting that it happened. This led to ZDT suffering a terrible award-season takedown at the hands of knee-jerk lefties in late 2012 and early 2013.
Early today the CIA posted the first public acknowledgement that (a) Ammar al-Baluch (played by Reda Kateb in ZDT) was tortured, and (b) that Ammar provided the first big clue after torture that led to the finding of Osama’s courier.
When will they declassify the part about bribing sources with fancy cars?
Straight from this morning’s CIA disclosure:
“For instance, information that CIA obtained from detainees played a role, in combination with other streams of intelligence, in finding Usama Bin Ladin.
“Information from detainees in CIA custody relating to the involvement of courier Abu Ahmad al-Kuwaiti in delivering messages to and from Bin Ladin fundamentally changed our assessment of his potential importance to our hunt for Bin Ladin.
“As an example, Ammar al-Baluchi, after undergoing EITs, was the first detainee to reveal that Abu Ahmad al-Kuwaiti served as a courier for messages from Bin Ladin after Bin Laden had departed Afghanistan. Before that, CIA had only general information that Abu Ahmad had interacted with Bin Ladin before the group’s retreat from Tora Bora in late 2001, when Bin Ladin was relatively accessible to a number of al-Qa’ida figures.”