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An Appropriate Portrayal: The CIA Director's Cut of Zero Dark Thirty

by Abby Zimet

Amidst the ongoing debate about Zero Dark Thirty's defense of torture comes a newly released memo, obtained by Gawker under a Freedom of Information Act request, showing just how much the CIA shaped the film's portrayal of the agency. Turns out the screenwriter "verbally shared the screenplay," the CIA asked him to take out particularly unseemly parts - dogs threatening detainees, the mixing of alcohol with firearms, the involvement of "substantive debriefers" with "Enhanced Interrogation Techniques" - and he obligingly did. Thus did the CIA end up "absolutely comfortable" with the movie. No wonder.


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