Acting CIA Director Michael Morell has come forth to add his two cents to the controversy surrounding Kathryn Bigelow‘s “Zero Dark Thirty.” He has now officially clarified that the film is not an accurate portrayal of the events that led to the death of Osama bin Laden.
“The film takes significant artistic license, while portraying itself as being historically accurate. What I want you to know is that ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ is a dramatization, not a realistic portrayal of the facts,” he writes in a letter posted on the CIA’s website. “CIA interacted with the filmmakers through our Office of Public Affairs but, as is true with any entertainment project with which we interact, we do not control the final product.”
Morell clarifies three specific points about the film: The hunt for bin Laden was a team effort, enhanced interrogation sequences were not the key to finding the al Qaeda leader and the depiction of some CIA personnel has been exaggerated. The letter concludes by reminding viewers that they’re watching a Hollywood film, not a documentary.
“Commentators will have much to say about this film in the weeks ahead. Through it all, I want you to remember that ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ is not a documentary. What you should also remember is that the Bin Ladin operation was a landmark achievement by our country, by our military, by our Intelligence Community, and by our Agency,” Morell writes.