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View Diary: Why is "Zero Dark Thirty" being unfairly singled out? (113 comments)

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  •  Are they angry that the movie implied torture (7+ / 0-)

    worked or are they angry that the movie exposed our use of torture in a graphic way so that the American public would be shocked out of their stupor on the subject, inquiring minds want to know.

    •  The former, I'd think (6+ / 0-)

      because there's no way in hell that the American public is going to be shocked out of their stupor on this subject . .. .  that would have happened long ago if an option.

    •  The problem with torture is that (5+ / 0-)

      anyone will tell you anything that they think you want to hear in order to get it to stop.  It still works great in fantasy fiction as far a ratings and I keep thinking of the TV show 24 and how they had an agent whose sole expertise was torture which they even used on their own employees; who then then go back to work 30 minutes later.

      •  Fortunately, other shows are better sometimes. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TKO333

        Burn Notice had a line something like, “The problem with torture is that it only gives you the first lie that will make the pain go away.” Of course, that's the functional problem, not the moral problem, but even hearing that much on television was pretty nice.

        Not to say that undoes 24, but still.

        Code Monkey like freedom / Code Monkey like peace and justice too
        Code Monkey very nerdy man / With big warm fuzzy bleeding heart
        Code Monkey like you!

        Formerly known as Jyrinx.

        by Code Monkey on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 03:05:59 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Who's Angry? (11+ / 0-)

      I'm angry that the government used my money and my legitimacy to run this immoral program.

      If the movie was going to shock the American public out of their stupor it would have shown how fruitless this torture was and would have ended with the people doing it being discovered and put on trial. That would be truly shocking!

    •  Gee (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      filby, rbird, timelad, lotlizard

      I wonder which?

      This is the disingenuous tack taking by the ZDT filmmakers and their supporters.

      It's not working.

    •  I thought the torture scenes were (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mumtaznepal, Mindtrain, eztempo

      shocking. The effect on the audience in the theater was palpable.

      I'm puzzled by the controversy as to whether the movie legitimized the use of torture or not.  Frankly, I thought the results of the brutal interrogations depicted in the film were ambiguous. And anyway, does it matter? Torture is wrong regardless of its effectiveness.

      Victory is sweet-November 6, 2012

      by al23 on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 09:28:50 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It seems to be in the eye of the beholder- (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mumtaznepal

        Some thoughtful people see that the torture was in fact shocking and that ultimately no useful information came out of it.

        Some other thoughtful people see that the torture has a horrifying entertainment element and will be attractive to simple minds.

        Simple minds are attracted to the simplicity of the solution- torture until you get what you want.

        There are probably more nuances yet.

        •  I disagree (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Code Monkey, TKO333, Armando, lotlizard

          I disagree.

          I just watched it, and there's a man tortured for a long time at the start of the film, I mean it's not just a quick scene but goes on and on. Then this same man is being given tea and food by the interrogator, but when he doesn't say enough, the interrogator says "Listen i can go eat with some other dude and hang you back up to the ceiling" and the man immediately starts naming names, including the name of Osama Bin Laden's courier, which we all know is what led to finding him.

          The head of the CIA interrogation program said this gives a wildly false impression, that waterboarding was used very early on and yielded nothing, that he told them that, that he got information finally by building trust (not by threatening to start torturing people again after doing so earlier) and that the hanging from the ceiling and the rest was taken from the stories of the abuse in Iraq by military guards, not the CIA at all.

          No "simple mind" was required to think that was being portrayed was "torture got us Bin Laden". It's up to each individual to know whether this is true or false of course, but the criticisms of the movie for depicting something that was false as if it had actually happened are perfectly valid.

          •  I saw the movie too, and disagree with you :-) (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Mindtrain, Ray Blake

            I thought it was pretty clear in the movie that torture of all of the involved yielded nothing.

            Yes, courier names were given, but the significance of that wasn't put together until nearly a year later by the CIA agent.

            The most interesting line of the movie was the lead actress being introduced to torture her first arrival in the middle east, and her subsequent dedication to finding bin Laden after the murder of her friends (CIA agents) in a terrorist attack.

            "Privatize to Profitize" explains every single Republican economic, social and governing philosophy. Take every taxpayer dollar from defense, education, health care, public lands, retirement - privatize it, and profit from it.

            by mumtaznepal on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 01:24:21 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Lost me (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Code Monkey, eztempo, Armando, lotlizard

              I don't understand, what is it you don't agree with?

              "Yes, courier names were given, but the significance of that wasn't put together until nearly a year later by the CIA agent."

              So what?

              By "were given" I assume you're referring to the scene I described, which is very definitely showing a man giving up the courier's name because of the threat of torture. After showing him being tortured for a long part of the film.

              So watching the film, someone who knew nothing from other sources would think okay, torture, and then threatening to do it again, led to learning the courier's name. The attention that the woman, Maya, shows, asking him to repeat the name, at the particular moment is clearly meant to show the significance.

              This is what critics are complaining about, and they're right.

              •  Maybe I'm misunderstanding your posts, but I (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                al23, Ray Blake

                didn't think the movie implied torture worked at all.

                Yes, the line when they were eating, when torture was threatened again (where the lead prisoner was eating) to me showed that it wasn't the torture that got results. Torture didn't result the courier name being given.  And the name being given was only a small piece of the puzzle, not an "aha, we have it!" moment.  

                The CIA agent put the courier names together a year later, and figured out alias were being used by the brothers.

                You may disagree, and that's fine.  

                I have no problem with liberals who have actually seen the film giving their own assessments of it, based upon our common "liberal" viewpoints.

                "Privatize to Profitize" explains every single Republican economic, social and governing philosophy. Take every taxpayer dollar from defense, education, health care, public lands, retirement - privatize it, and profit from it.

                by mumtaznepal on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 01:50:50 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  That scene (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              lotlizard

              is clear that torture worked.

              I do not understand how you can say it did not

      •  Agree. I finally saw the movie last week. I (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mindtrain, al23

        thought the opening (a black screen where the telephone calls to 911 from victims inside the burning Twin Towers played) was beyond exploitative and shocking.

        The movie then segued pretty quickly into the overly-long torture scenes, where were of course offensive (that our government did this) and I think the audience caught on to that right away (I live in a conservative red state)

        But the torture didn't lead, in the movie, directly to bin Laden.  That connection wasn't really made, other than the lead CIA agent looking at DVD of multiple torture scenes, and seeing all of the tortured mentioned one name as a courier.  (If one picked up on that)

        But the wasted movie time spent torturing one man in gory, long detail, didn't lead to bin Laden. That was clear in the movie.

        To me (who knew the truth, and came with the preconceived idea that the torture was bad and useless) it seemed the whole first hour of the movie was gratuitous and aimless, a good metaphorical description of Bush going for bin Laden (yes, talked about not pursing him in the mountains)

        The heart-rending 911 calls, followed by the too-long torture scenes, seems all gratuitous and useless to me. Then, the movie got interesting.

        Yes, the audience was shocked by the torture scenes.  Hopefully it changed a few minds about allowing our government to act like this.

        "Privatize to Profitize" explains every single Republican economic, social and governing philosophy. Take every taxpayer dollar from defense, education, health care, public lands, retirement - privatize it, and profit from it.

        by mumtaznepal on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 12:52:34 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thought of something else ... the raid on bin (0+ / 0-)

          Laden's house.  

          It showed the Seals putting two bullets into each target male shot and lying unconcious on the floor to ensure they were dead.

          The audience gasped at that.

          Two women were also accidentally shot in the raid, they didn't do that to them, and one of the Seals asked about one of the unintended victim women ("she's still alive now, but she'll bleed out").  

          They also herded the crying children into on room, kept telling them "It's okay" and giving them toys (no, it's not okay, strange men with guns who just shot their parents)

          Anyway, thought how they handled the raid was food for thought (the loss of life of the innocent bystander) and probably very accurate, from what I've read in the news.

          Opening with the playing of the 911 victims last calls to their family, and to 911, was to set the stage for the violence that followed in the search for bin Laden.

          "Privatize to Profitize" explains every single Republican economic, social and governing philosophy. Take every taxpayer dollar from defense, education, health care, public lands, retirement - privatize it, and profit from it.

          by mumtaznepal on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 01:02:17 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  You must have missed a scene (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Armando

          See my comment above.

          •  Nope. I just came out with a different (0+ / 0-)

            interpretation of that than you did, I agree with as23's thoughts after seeing the movie.

            That's what good movies do - engender thought and discussion.

            "Privatize to Profitize" explains every single Republican economic, social and governing philosophy. Take every taxpayer dollar from defense, education, health care, public lands, retirement - privatize it, and profit from it.

            by mumtaznepal on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 01:35:10 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Oh I agree with that (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Armando

              about thought and discussion. What I don't understand is this: You really watched the scene I described above, and didn't think it was portraying torture getting results? How?

              •  The male CIA agent in the scene you discuss, who (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Mindtrain, al23, Ray Blake

                did the torturing, later refuses to torture a different prisoner for Maya.  

                Thus, yes, I think the film does NOT glorify torture.

                There is far more nuance and depth to this film than liberals who have not seen it can appreciate.  Especially in the emotional movement of the lead character, Maya.

                This is a very disturbing film, because it portrays our country in all it's ugliness (waterboarding, politicizing the hunt for bin Laden) to our very best (the Navy Seals bravery, dedication of agents, the difference between Bush and Obama presidencies).

                The film should be seen by all for exactly that reason.  It is very emotional.

                BTW - did you notice the "shift" in the film (towards success and positivity, lack of aimlessness) when it shifted from Bush to Obama administrations, even though little to no focus was on the top political movements?

                 I didn't see this film for a long time, as I was debating whether I wanted to give my money to a film that could be depicting torture as good (according to some reviews).

                I decided to make up my own mind.   I was very glad I saw the film.

                 Many liberal comments about it, from those that have not seen the film themselves, are simply wrong.

                "Privatize to Profitize" explains every single Republican economic, social and governing philosophy. Take every taxpayer dollar from defense, education, health care, public lands, retirement - privatize it, and profit from it.

                by mumtaznepal on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 02:05:34 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  The opening torture scene is 10 minutes long (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mumtaznepal, al23

          And except for a single instance of waterboarding (which fails completely), there's no other infliction of pain. What's awful about the scene is the wretched appearance of the detainee, and the verbal hammering of the CIA agent. When we return to this black site, the detainee's pants are removed and a dog collar is put around his neck. He's dragged over to a cage, lifted inside, and still refuses to give them information about a pending attack, in fact he taunts them. After the attack takes place, the agents con him into believing the attack failed, which is why he talks over lunch. So the torture didn't work, but the deception did.

          I never liked you and I always will.

          by Ray Blake on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 08:29:54 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

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