If you’re not in a member of critic’s organization that gives year-end awards or a guild (director’s, writer’s etc.) that does same, chances are, you may not have heard about the controversy over whether Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty (which has been nominated for best picture by virtually every critic’s association and guild) is “pro torture.” There’s something unspeakably obnoxious about a controversy over a movie no one in the general public has seen, not to mention awards going to a movie no one but awards voters have seen. Anyway, I was content to ignore it for as long as possible (or at least until I’d actually seen it), and normally I’d value John McCain’s opinion somewhere below John McClane’s opinion, but as a normally-hawkish person who has actually experienced torture, McCain’s input on this one might board some water. Uh, hold some water. And he says it gets the facts wrong.
Sen. John McCain watched the movie Monday night and says it left him sick — because it’s wrong.
McCain, who spent 5 1/2 years enduring brutal treatment by his North Vietnamese captors during the Vietnam War, has insisted that the waterboarding of al-Qaida’s No. 3 leader, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, did not provide information that led to the bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan.
Yet the movie, of copy of which McCain said he received Monday, indicates that’s how the United States found the al-Qaida leader. The filmmakers fell for it hook, line and sinker, McCain, R-Ariz., said Tuesday.
Last year, McCain asked then-CIA Director Leon Panetta for the facts, and he said the hunt for bin Laden did not begin with fresh information from Mohammed. In fact, the name of bin Laden’s courier, Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti, came from a detainee held in another country.
“Not only did the use of enhanced interrogation techniques on Khalid Sheikh Mohammed not provide us with key leads on bin Laden’s courier, Abu Ahmed, it actually produced false and misleading information,” McCain said in a speech on the Senate floor. [Yahoo/AP]
Whoa, bro, how about a “spoiler alert?” Anyway, like I said, I HAVEN’T SEEN THE DAMNED MOVIE, NOR HAS HARDLY ANYONE ELSE… And while you can trust John McCain to speak with some authority about the value of torture, I’m not sure how to take his interpretations as a film critic. I guess we’ll see. Personally, I don’t know much about waterboarding, I just think it’s a crime what they did to that poor man’s collar.
Also, I don’t want to alarm anyone, but it’s two days before the Mayans predicted the apocalypse and John McCain and Bret Easton Ellis are agreeing.
The US critics lauding Zero Dark Thirty need to admit that they’re admiring a morally indefensible movie. I don’t care how “exciting” it is.
— Bret Easton Ellis (@BretEastonEllis) December 19, 2012