The real problem is what this movie says about us. When those Abu Ghraib pictures came out years ago, at least half of America was horrified. The national consensus (albeit by a frighteningly slim margin) was that this wasn’t who we, as a people, wanted to be. But now, four years later, Zero Dark Thirty comes out, and it seems that that we’ve become so blunted to the horror of what we did and/or are doing at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo and Bagram and other places that we can accept it, provided we get a boffo movie out of it. That’s pathetic. Bin Laden was maybe the most humorless person who ever lived, but he has to be laughing from the afterlife. We make an incredible movie that celebrates his death – a movie so good it’ll be seen everywhere in the world – and all it does is prove him right about us.
Matt Taibbi, ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ Is Osama bin Laden’s Last Victory Over America
… in the end, the film makes a mockery of all those who protested America’s regime of secret prisons and abuse. Zero Dark Thirty premieres nationwide on Jan. 11 — and it just picked up a New York Film Critics award last night. During the acceptance speech, Boal suggested that his situation was similar to John Kiriakou, a CIA whistleblower who spoke out publicly against torture in 2007, and was recently given a 30-month jail sentence. Kiriakou was accused of leaking one piece of classified information to a journalist, but his true crime was that he spoke out against the enhanced interrogation program. Ironically, the information Kiriakou leaked is probably as sensitive as what the CIA gave the filmmakers for Zero Dark Thirty. At this stage, contrary to the filmmakers fears, it appears unlikely that they, or anyone at Sony, will get prison time for producing a movie that endorses the worst human rights abuses of the War On Terror. As the film showed us, those who tortured, and supported torture, got away with it.
Michael Hastings, “Zero Dark Thirty” And The CIA’s Hollywood Coup
› Newsweek’s Manipulative Propaganda on Drones | Kevin Gosztola
We all need to stop worrying and love the drone. Or something. Whatever the message, this video reeks.
[Newsweek’s Daniel] Klaidman [suggests in this video], “It is hard to imagine any president not taking advantage of weapons that are so precise in targeting but do not expose service members to any danger. That’s why drones are here to stay. Instead of railing against them as illegal assassination, liberal critics should concentrate their efforts on pushing the government to be more transparent. Survival depends on making tough choices. When it comes to the drone program, liberals should too.”
Klaidman wants the few outspoken liberals opposed to drone warfare to make the “tough choice” of accepting this new revolution in warfare that appears to be free from legal constraint. He wants “liberal critics” to stop scrutinizing this policy and pretend what the Obama administration is doing shouldn’t be controversial at all. And instead of suggesting the drone wars in Pakistan, Somalia or Yemen are disgraceful, just ask for transparency on what is happening. Once the truth is known, it will be clear this program is not as bad as “liberal critics” want the public to believe.
The tone of the video is accentuated by awkwardly eerie music. The chalk drawings are also, as a companion to Klaidman’s pronouncements, creepy. The entire production seems to indicate this is what people who are granted interviews with members of presidential administrations on national security matters must do. They must make any contestable aspects seem unexceptional so the public will not take issue with the administration when previously unknown details become known.
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