#CIA #ZeroDarkThity Osama bin Laden

zero dark thirty
Sony / Columbia Pictures
"Zero Dark Thirty" has always been controversial. The movie depicted the CIA’s hunt for Osama bin Laden and the eventual Navy SEAL raid that killed him.

Even before it was released in December 2012, the movie had kicked off a firestorm among both politicians and citizens.

Containing details and narratives that weren’t included in previous news reports about the May 2, 2011 raid, "Zero Dark Thirty" also raised questions about the CIA’s involvement in the making of the movie.

Declassified documents from 2013 revealed the CIA did indeed work with Mark Boal, the movie’s screenwriter, on the script. Boal vetted CIA members for feedback and made changes accordingly, such as removing a scene where an agent drunkenly fires his AK-47 into the air. He also made Maya, the movie’s main character, less involved in torture scenes.

Not only did the CIA provide privileged information to Boal, but Leon Panetta, the Director of the CIA under President Obama from 2009 to 2011, personally offered to help Boal with obtaining information from the CIA while writing a screenplay and gave him classified information about the bin Laden raid,according to new documents obtained by Vice.

Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal made "Zero Dark Thirty" with the goodwill and cultural capital that came out of making "The Hurt Locker" in 2009.

Boal’s next project after "The Hurt Locker" was supposed to be called "Tora Bora". It was intended to be about the US’s failure to capture Osama bin Laden. That was before bin Laden was caught and killed.

He then changed tack and starting writing the script that eventually became "Zero Dark Thirty." For research, he could rely on Panetta, who offered Bigelow and Boal help with the creation of "Tora Bora," according to the documents obtained by Vice.

Days after the bin Laden raid, Boal met with officials in the CIA and other counterterrorist units to discuss ethical violations by CIA officers involved in the raid. Panetta, Bigelow, and Boal had all met earlier — the three sat at the same table at the 2010 Washington Correspondents’ Association. Panetta had first met Bigelow earlier that year at another dinner in Washington.

Jessica Chastain as "Maya" in "Zero Dark Thirty.

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