In a speech he gave on September 10, 2011, President Bill Clinton told Australian businessmen that he had a chance to kill Osama bin Laden in 1998 but passed because it would have required taking out an Afghan village and killing women and children. An audio recording of the speech surfaced this week and his comments are transcribed below. +Continue Reading
Jeremy Fisk, the hero of Law & Order creator Dick Wolf’s new first novel The Intercept, is a detective assigned to the NYPD’s Intelligence Division of the Joint Terrorism Task Force. He’s on the team that goes through the intel pulled out of Osama bin Laden’s compound and he’s convinced that the Al Qaeda mastermind was plotting something big before the SEALs took him out. Fisk’s fears prove true after a civilian takedown of a hijacker on a plane headed for NYC turns out to be a cover for a more nefarious plot aimed at the dedication ceremony for the finally completed One World Trade Center tower. +Continue Reading
Zero Dark Thirty is a great movie, one that shows the men and women responsible for our national security as dedicated, determined, competent, intelligent and brave. Director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal also portray the hunt for Osama bin Laden as a systematic quest for justice rather than an overheated quest for revenge.
It’s not the movie Washington expected, but it’s not the movie that Hollywood expected, either.
Anyone who wants their art to conform to a set of political beliefs (or even just hew closely to a particular version of the facts) will immediately have a lot of issues with Zero Dark Thirty. It’s neither the pro-Obama hagiography that pre-release critics claimed it would be, nor is it the pro-torture apology that some have claimed since its first screenings in late November. +Continue Reading
It’s pretty hard to write about Zero Dark Thirty right now because very few people can actually see the movie yet. As of December 19th, it’s playing in NYC and LA but the film won’t open in the rest of the country for over three weeks (January 11th). Since folks who live in NYC and LA don’t really think much about the rest of the country and since most people who write about movies live in one of those two places, the media has already started slinging spoilers around like it’s no big thing.
If you do happen to live in NYC or LA, stop reading now and go see the movie before you get exposed to all the online “discussion” about a movie that very few people have seen. I got to see Zero Dark Thirty before the articles started showing up and it’s definitely the kind of movie best experienced before you hear a lot of half-informed opinionated noise about what the filmmakers’ agenda.
If you can’t see the movie until January, there’s a lot of opinion flying around out there that might color your experience if you pay too much attention. There are a couple of debates worth looking at. +Continue Reading
Zero Dark Thirty is a great picture, one that deserves all the awards that’s it’s starting to receive. Very few of us have actually seen the movie yet, but its matter-of-fact portrayal of enhanced interrogation techniques is generating controversy. California Senator Diane Feinstein says that an early scene where CIA operatives waterboard a terror suspect is “completely fabricated.” David Edelstein of New York Magazine calls it the best movie of the year yet still freaks out and says Zero Dark Thirty “borders on the politically and morally reprehensible.”
Of course, information revealed in the interrogation is the starting point for a long, frustrating investigation that finally leads to the bin Laden compound in Abbottabad. Director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal’s dispassionate suggestion that waterboarding played a necessary role in finding bin Laden is sure to set off a media firestorm once more people have a chance to see the film.
Bigelow and Boal were interviewed last night on ABC’s Nightline. Correspondent Martha Radditz called the movie “riveting” and gave the duo a chance to deny accusations that their screenplay was based on illegally leaked classified information. +Continue Reading
Here’s a clip from the National Geographic Channel’s Seal Team Six: The Raid On Osama Bin Laden movie, the one that premieres on Sunday, November 4th. For those of you keeping track, that’s two days before the presidential election. And for those of you who’ve had trouble keeping them straight, this movie has nothing to do with Zero Dark Thirty (which won’t open in theaters until December).
There’s a reason you might get confused, but here’s a guide for anyone looking for a conspiracy: this Kill Bin Laden movie was produced by Nicolas Chartier, the French guy who financed The Hurt Locker but didn’t get an Oscar for it because he was banned from the ceremony after sending out emails to voters that hyped his movie and badmouthed Avatar. That stunt cost him a relationship with director Kathryn Bigelow, so Chartier has zero to do with Zero Dark Thirty. +Continue Reading
How factual does a movie have to be when it’s inspired by real events? Can a filmmaker really tell a story without filtering it through a hardline political perspective? We’ve finally got a trailer forZero Dark Thirty that gives some idea of how director Kathryn Bigelow decided to tell the story of the hunt for Osama bin Laden, so let’s check it out.
Let’s get some facts out of the way here: none of us here at Military.com has a security clearance that gives us access to the classified files that would allow us to come up with any kind of informed opinion about the technical accuracy of this movie. But it’s also true that anyone who’s ever had access to truly classified material of any kind would probably admit that it’s often (read: always) full of conflicting information. An objective retelling of any true life event is pretty much impossible. +Continue Reading