The CIA on Friday said that a Hollywood movie portraying the hunt for Osama bin Laden “departs from reality” in significant ways, and emphasized that despite assistance it provided to the filmmakers, the agency had no control over the final product.
In an unusual letter to CIA employees, acting Director Michael Morell said that the highly anticipated film, “Zero Dark Thirty,” 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 over the course of a decade. He also rejected the film’s depiction of the CIA’s interrogation program — and the implication that it helped extract valuable information 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.”