Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., recently slammed the Oscar-contending film “Zero Dark Thirty,” claiming that scenes which show U.S. intelligence personnel engaged in the process of the torture of an al Qaeda prisoner, are not only untrue but could also be a dangerous influence on attitudes held by Islamic radicals toward the U.S.
“Obviously movies by very highly credentialed producers, directors, and casts do have an effect on public opinion, not only in the United States, but also around the world,” the Arizona senator said during an appearance on CNN.
McCain called the brutality depicted in the movie “very disturbing,” and pointed out that although one watching the movie might believe that water boarding and other torture produced the information that led to the elimination of Osama bin Laden, “that's not the case.”
McCain and two other senior senators, Sen. Diane Feinstein, D-Calif., and Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., sent a letter to Sony Pictures, objecting to the film’s content concerning the water boarding scenes. In the letter, McCain called for Sony Pictures to add a disclaimer to “Zero Dark Thirty,” due to the fact that the film puts forth the notion that it is a true accounting of the actual events leading up to the eventual death of bin Laden.
The Arizona senator indicated in the aforementioned cable television appearance that enhanced interrogation techniques did not contribute to the acquisition of information that led to the killing of Osama bin Laden, but rather resulted in the obtaining of misleading and false material by interrogators.
McCain explained that when Khalid Shaikh Mohammad, mastermind of the 9/11 terrorist acts, was subjected to water boarding “he gave information that was false.”
The senator posed the following question: “Do we really want to do things that are inhumane and basically immoral—torturing people?”
He added, “And what is the impact on our image in the world, when we do that? We are in a long ideological struggle with the forces of radical Islam. This gives them all kinds of ammunition when they have a movie that shows that we are torturing people.”
“The moral of the story is torture does not work. It is hateful. It is harmful, incredibly harmful to the United States of America. To somehow make people believe that it was responsible for the elimination of Osama bin Laden is, in my view, unacceptable,” McCain stated.
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