Friday, December 21, 2012

Feinstein, Levin & McCain Denounce Torture

On December 19, 2012, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and Senate Armed Services Committee Ranking Member John McCain (R-Ariz.) sent a letter to Sony Pictures Entertainment, distributors of the forthcoming movie Zero Dark Thirty.

The Senators noted that "the filmmakers and your production studio are perpetuating the myth that torture is effective.  You have a social and moral obligation to get the facts right."

The Senators wrote, "We understand that the film is fiction, but it opens with the words 'based on first-hand accounts of actual events'....  Regardless of what message the filmmakers intended to convey, the movie clearly implies that the CIA's coercive interrogation techniques were effective in eliciting important information related to a courier for Usama Bin Laden.  We had reviewed CIA records and know that this is incorrect."

Among important facts the Senators raised in the letter, available here, "The CIA did not first learn about the existence of the Usama Bin Laden courier from CIA detainees subjected to coercive interrogation techniques."

In 2004, the Pew Research Center found that Sen. McCain's age group had higher opposition to torture than any other age group, or any group based on income, education or religion.  
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