Sunday, December 9, 2012

Dark Zero Thirty: "No waterboarding, no Bin Laden" (Frank Bruni)

(PHOTO: Jessica Chastain as CIA analyst Maya in "Dark Zero Thirty")


Reading the reviews of the movie "Zero Dark Thirty"--the military
equivalent for half past midnight--I suddenly remembered that in one
of the volumes of his "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire," Edward
Gibbon notes in passing that enemies of the Roman Empire found quickly
enough that the earth had shrunk under their feet, that there was
virtually nowhere they could hide from the wrath of Rome.

After September Eleven, Osama Bin Laden discovered that carrying out
successfully acts of terror on American citizens on US soil was one
thing, but that hiding somewhere in the world from the vengeful wrath
of America was quite an impossible project.

The movie "Dark Zero Thirty"--the local time when the SEALs stormed
the Abbotabad compound--is, according to reviewers who've watched it,
a chronicle of the decade-odd long of the global manhunt to
locate--and kill--the fiend who had transformed mass murders of
civilians into acts of war.

By the way, forget Obama, those reviewers say. It's all about a female
CIA analyst whose "obsession" led straight to the Abbotabad compound.
And this isn't made up Hollywood stuff. It's fact!

The problem with the movie--and the real-life events it is
rendering--is the claim underlying the narrative that enhanced
interrogation techniques (torture) are "something of an information-
extracting necessity, repellent but fruitful," writes Frank Bruni on
The New York Times.

Bruni adds:

"No waterboarding, no Bin Laden: that's what 'Zero Dark Thirty'
appears to suggest."

Well, one would be hard put, I think, to blame those involved in those
waterboarding sessions as movie sequences build a direct correlation
(by juxtaposition) between those "payback" torture scenes and the
"bone-chilling, audio-only prologue of the voices of terrified
Americans trapped in the towering inferno of the World Trade Center."

Find Frank Bruni's op-ed here:

Closer to home here, I feel pretty much a sense of kinship with those
intelligence agents enjoying waterboarding the enemies.

So no "political conundrum" for me and my "Rorschach" take of the
movie would be just this: utter enjoyment!

In fact, I've already waterboarded in my mind the entire cast of the
leadership of M23.

Not in a vain attempt to "extract" from them information implicating
President Kagame in the aggression against Congo, but just for the
sheer sake of waterboarding them for the "bone-chilling" barbaric acts
they've wreaked on innocent civilians.

"Dark Zero Thirty" opens December 19 in the US.


PHOTO CREDITS: Columbia Pictures

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