The CIA have entered the fiery debate surrounding Kathryn Bigelow's latest movie Zero Dark Thirty, claiming the Hollywood portrayal of the hunt for Osama Bin Laden "departs from reality" in significant ways.
In a strange letter to CIA employees - obtained by the Washington Post - director Michael Morell said that the Oscar tipped movie leads viewers to believe that a "few individuals" were behind the hunt for the al-Qaeda leader, instead of the "hundreds of officers" who were involved in the case. He also rejects the film's depiction of CIA interrogation and the implication that it helped extract key intelligence from detainees. "The film takes considerable liberties in its depiction of CIA personnel and their actions, including some who died while serving our country," Morell said. "We cannot allow a Hollywood film to cloud our memory of them". Though based on true events, Bigelow has made no secret of the fact that her latest movie is just that, a Hollywood movie, driven by the actress Jessica Chastain. However, it did little to perturb senators John McCain, Dianne Feinstein and Carl Levin, who noted that the film was "grossly inaccurate and misleading."
In his letter, Morell signed off by reminding colleagues that "the Bin Laden operation was a landmark achievement by our country, by our military, by our Intelligence Community, and by our Agency."