1. The full statement attributed to John Ford is: “My name is John Ford. I make Westerns.” There is a dispute over the exact quote as well as the context in which John Ford made this statement. See, for example, Gaylyn Studlar and Matthew Bernstein, Editors, John Ford Made Westerns: Filming the Legend in the Sound Era (Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press 2001), Introduction, n. 1, and Brian Spittles, John Ford (New York: Rutledge 2014), 41.  [return to page 1]

2. Kathryn Bigelow’s commentary to the Special Feature “No Small Feat” of the Columbia Pictures DVD of Zero Dark Thirty.

3. Ben Affleck directed the movie Argo. In an article in The Washington Post largely focused upon Zero Dark Thirty the writer claims that the CIA assisted Affleck, too, in the production of his movie. Assuming that such was the case, it is unclear, however, from the article as to the nature of that assistance. Thus, the article describes in full that assistance as follows: 

“The government cooperated as much, if not more, on "Argo," the film about the 1979-81 hostage crisis in Iran that won the best picture Oscar. Actor-director Ben Affleck and his team were allowed to film scenes in the lobby of the CIA building in Langley, Virginia; the "Zero Dark Thirty" crew did no such filming.”

Mark Hosenball, “Senate Intelligence Committee Drops bin Laden Film Probe,” The Washington Post, February 25, 2013, accessed on September 7, 2015,

4. A few reviewers at the time of the film’s initial release briefly mentioned the connection to The Searchers. See David Stratton, “Zero Dark Thirty tackles an unsettling obsession with Osama Bin Laden,” The Australian, January 26, 2013 (“As it unfolded I was reminded of a classic Hollywood film on a similar subject, John Ford's The Searchers…”), accessed on September 7, 2015,
and Jeff Simon, “Brilliant ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ a high point in American film,” The Buffalo News, January 11, 2013, (“The classic American movie I couldn’t forget while watching it is John Ford’s “The Searchers”), accessed on September 7, 2015,
. Simon concludes his review by wondering if the racism depicted in The Searchers is only now beginning in the contemporary world of Zero Dark Thirty. And in The Washington Post, July 4, 2013, Gene Frankel in “‘The Searchers’ was influential film in its day and still resonates today” comments,

“Ethan represents the macho, war-without-end, take-no-prisoners solution to ethnic conflict and terrorism. His modern heir is Maya, the do-whatever-it-takes heroine of “Zero Dark Thirty” — like Ethan a loner who alienates potential allies and co-workers in a single-minded pursuit of justice and retribution against the enemy.”

Accessed on September 7, 2015,
http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/the -searchers-was-

5. James Gandolfini was, of course, best known for his role as the mafia boss Tony Soprano in the TV series The Sopranos.

6. For a detailed discussion of the U.S. Navy’s SEAL Team 6, see Mark Mazzetti, Nicholas Kulish, Christopher Drew, Serge F. Kovaleski, Sean D. Naylor and John Ismay,  “SEAL Team 6: A Secret History of Quiet Killings and Blurred Lines,” The New York Times, accessed on September 7, 2015,

7. Bin Laden acts, in effect, as Maya’s doppelganger.  Bigelow’s movies consistently focus upon such figures for its central characters.  See Robert Alpert, “Kathryn Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker: a jack-in-the-box story,” Jump Cut, No. 52, summer 2010,

8. In the retelling of the Seal Team 6 raid, “Mark Owen” (the pseudonym for Navy SEAL Matt Bissonnette) describes how Jen, the basis for the Maya character, cried during the identification of bin Laden’s body:

“Back in the hangar, Jen stayed on the perimeter of the crowd. She didn’t say anything, but I knew from her reaction she could see Bin Laden’s body on the floor. With tears rolling down her cheeks, I could tell it was taking a while for Jen to process. She’d spent half a decade tracking this man. And now there he was at her feet.”

Mark Owen and Kevin Maurer, No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission that Killed Osama Bin Laden (New York: New American Library 2014), 267.

9. Bigelow has commented that we watch Maya grow up during the movie to the point that she doesn’t know who she is. Kathryn Bigelow’s commentary to the Special Feature “Targeting Jessica Chastain” of the Columbia Pictures DVD of Zero Dark Thirty.

10. Maureen Dowd, “A Tale of Two Women,” The New York Times, December 11, 2012, accessed on September 7, 2015,

11. Kathryn Bigelow’s commentary to the Special Feature “Targeting Jessica Chastain” of the Columbia Pictures DVD of Zero Dark Thirty.

12. Offices of CIA, Public Affairs, Entertainment Industry Liaison, accessed on September 7, 2015,

13. Letter from Mark Boal to George Little, CIA Office of Public Affairs, dated May 10, 2011, accessed on September 18, 2016, https://www.judicialwatch.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Judicial-Watch-Bin-Laden-Movie-CIA-Full-Production.pdf.

14. On the other hand, the U.S. government’s facilitating of the movie’s production resulted in widespread, adverse publicity. Thus, for example, Peter Maass’ article in The Atlantic, December 12, 2013, criticized the movie not only for its inaccurate portrayal of the effectiveness of torture but also, and more importantly, for how “Zero Dark Thirty represents a new genre of embedded filmmaking that is the problematic offspring of the worrisome endeavor known as embedded journalism.“ Peter Maass, “Don't Trust 'Zero Dark Thirty,'” accessed on September 7, 2015,

15. Email of Robert Mehal to Michael Vickers, dated July 8, 2011, accessed on September 7, 2015,

16. Alan A. Stone, “Bin Laden: The Movie”, Boston Review, July-August 2011, accessed on September 7, 2015, http://new.bostonreview.net/BR36.4/

17. Ford and Hawks represent the two directors who best defined Wayne’s persona. Ford made Wayne a star through his portrayal of the Ringo Kid in Stagecoach (1939), and Hawks introduced a complexity of character to Wayne in his portrayal of Thomas Dunson in Red River (1948).

18. See “Report of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Detention and Interrogation Program Senate Select Intelligence Committee Report on Torture” (redacted), 402, which may be found at the following site, which may be found at the following site, accessed through browser pasting on September 18, 2016, https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CRPT-113srpt288/pdf/CRPT-113srpt288.pdf

19. Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Defense (D.D.C. 2013), accessed on September 7, 2015

20. The extent of the assistance to the filmmakers by the DOD is suggested by the DOD’s memorialization of a meeting between the filmmakers and the DOD’s Undersecretary Michael Vickers in a minimally redacted memorandum titled  “Transcript from background interview with Marl Boal and Katherine Bigelow (15 Ju12011),” accessed on September 7. 2015,

21. Boal met twice with White House as evidenced by the White House’s Visitor Records, accessed on September 7, 2015,

22. In return for the government’s assistance in helping him achieve an accurate recreation of an historical event, Boal seemingly undertook to maintain the government’s confidentiality to the same extent that he had successfully done on The Hurt Locker. Email from Robert Mehal to Michael Vickers dated June 9, 2011, accessed on September 7, 2015,
Apparently, however, neither Bigelow nor Boal signed a non-disclosure agreement, since no such document was disclosed in response to the FOIA request seeking documents relating to the U.S. government’s assistance to the filmmakers.

23. The changes consisted of a reworking the early torture scenes so that Maya does not participate in the torture itself and the deleting of a party scene in which a military officer is both drinking and fires a weapon. Adrian Chen, “Newly Declassified Memo Shows CIA Shaped Zero Dark Thirty's Narrative,” Gawker, May 6, 2013, accessed on September 7, 2015,

24. See, for example, “Report of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Detention and Interrogation Program Senate Select Intelligence Committee Report on Torture” (redacted), 455 (“CIA Destruction of Interrogation Videotapes Leads to Committee Investigation”) and ix (“The CIA's use of its enhanced interrogation techniques was not an effective means of acquiring intelligence or gaining cooperation from detainees.”), which may be found at the following site, accessed through browser pasting on September 18, 2016, https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CRPT-113srpt288/pdf/CRPT-113srpt288.pdf

26. In contrast to the executive branch, the U.S. Congress took a more openly hostile attitude toward the filmmakers, considering that it undoubtedly viewed the CIA’s assistance to the filmmakers as more cooperative than the CIA’s disclosures to the Congressional oversight committees. Thus, the U.S. Senate launched an investigative probe into the filmmakers’ contacts with the CIA, though it dropped that probe only days following the movie’s failure to win the Academy Awards for Best Picture or Best Original Screenplay. Mark Hosenball, “Senate Intelligence Committee drops bin Laden film probe,” Reuters, February 25, 2013, accessed on September 7, 2015, 

27. “Statement to Employees from Acting Director Michael Morell: "Zero Dark Thirty," December 21, 2012, accessed on September 7, 2015, https://www.cia.gov/news-information/press-releases

28. “As Boal, the screenwriter, has protested in recent interviews, ‘It’s a movie, not a documentary.’” Jane Mayer, “Zero Conscience in ‘Zero Dark Thirty,’” The New Yorker, December 14, 2012, accessed on September 7, 2015,

29. David Haglund, Aisha Harris, and Forrest Wickman, “Who Are the People in Zero Dark Thirty?” Slate’s Cultural Blog, January 14, 2013, accessed on September 7, 2015, 

30. Boal expressed his desire to make “an accurate recreation of a historical event.” See email from Robert Mehal to Michael Vickers dated June 9, 2011, accessed on September 7, 2015,

31. Mark Boal’s commentary to the Special Feature “The Compound” of the Columbia Pictures DVD of Zero Dark Thirty.

32. Kathryn Bigelow interviewed on The Colbert Report, January 22, 2013, accessed on September 7, 2015, http://thecolbertreport.cc.com/videos/u2sxvp/

33. Kathryn Bigelow’s commentary to the Special Feature “Targeting Jessica Chastain” of the Columbia Pictures DVD.

34. Of course, Oliver Stone throughout his career has routinely directed movies in which the events of contemporary history are made personal and dramatized, e.g. The Doors (1991), JFK (1991), Nixon (1995), World Trade Center (2006) and most recently Snowden.

35. Samantha, the AI operating system in Spike Jonze’s Her (2013), makes this observation to Theodore, the person who purchases and forms a romantic relationship with this operating system. Director Sarah Polley applies this same observation to her own life in her purported documentary titled Stories We Tell (2012) in which she mixes investigative documentary techniques with a fictional recreation of the past. [return to page 2]

36. See, for example, Mohamed v. Jeppesen Dataplan (9th Cir. 2010), accessed on September 7, 2015,

37. The Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, where many FOIA lawsuits against the U.S. government are heard, has made clear that a waiver will not easily be found. See, for example, Students Against Genocide v. Department of State (D.C. Cir. 2001) (public disclosure requires disclosure in the form of a permanent, pubic record; no waiver where the photographs released to third parties were shown only to members of the UN Security Council), accessed on September 7, 2015,
Cottone v. Reno (D.C. Cir. 1999)(tapes introduced at trial and not under seal must be disclosed; however, neither constitutionally required disclosure to defense counsel nor tapes withdrawn from the public record fall within a waiver exception), accessed on September 7, 2015, 
But see for a contrary view, Watkins v. U.S. Bureau of Customs (9th Cir. 2011)(holding that the D.C. Circuit test is not the only way in which
waiver may be found and finding a waiver of the trade secret exemption under FOIA where no strings were attached to information disclosed by U.S. Customs to trademark owners), accessed on September 7, 2015,

Of course, the ninth circuit was not addressing the national security exemption but instead the disclosure of information relating to an intellectual property case and the trade secrets exemption.

38.   Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Defense and Central Intelligence Agency (D.D.C. 2013), accessed on September 7, 2015,

39. The documents disclosed can be found on the website of Judicial Watch, which brought suit under FOIA,

with the documents available on a separate page,
The full disclosure by the CIA, in particular, may be found at
All of these pages were accessed on September 7, 2015, with the last accessed through browser pasting on September 18, 2016.

40. Nate Jones and Lauren Harper, Editors, with Documents from Jeffrey T. Richelson and Barbara Elias, “The Zero Dark Thirty File: Lifting The Government's Shroud Over the Mission That Killed Osama bin Laden,” The National Security Archive, National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 410, posted on January 17, 2013, accessed on September 7, 2015,
This archive includes links to about 20 documents or websites relating to the Abbottabad raid an d the killing of bin Laden.

For a description of the U.S. government’s civil settlement reached with former Navy SEAL Matt Bissonnette, see Christopher, Drewaug, “Ex-SEAL Member Who Wrote Book on Bin Laden Raid Forfeits $6.8 Million, The New York Times, August 19, 2016, accessed on August 20, 2016, http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/20/us/bin-laden-book-seal-team-6.html?ref=todayspaper. Not surprisingly, Bissonnette’s lawyer commented on the arguable inequity of the settlement imposed on Bissonnette:  “Mr. Luskin also noted that a number of high-level officials have assisted other authors writing about the Bin Laden raid as well as the creators of the movie ‘Zero Dark Thirty.’ But, he said, only Mr. Bissonnette has paid any penalties for the disclosures.”

41. Judial Watch Watch v. U.S. Dept. of Defense, 857 F. Supp. 2d 44 (D.D.C. 2012), aff’d., 715 F.3d 937 (D.C. Cir. 2013). The trial court’s decision may be found at

and the appellate court’s decision may be found at
both accessed on September 7, 2015.

42. Judicial Watch v. U.S. Dept. of Defense (D.D.C. 2012), at 2, accessed on September 7, 2015, at

43. For an excellent article discussing the distinction between traditionally classified documents, such as face recognition software, and classified material based on the speculative to harm to national security, see Matthew Birkhold, “Unclassified Fictions: The CIA, Secrecy Law, and the Dangerous Rhetoric of Authenticity,” Berkeley Journal of Entertainment and Sports Law, Vol. 3, No. 1 (May 2014), accessed on September 7, 2015,

44. Judial Watch v. U.S. Dept. of Defense (D.C. Cir. 2013), 3 – 4 and 9, accessed on September 7, 2015,

45. Judicial Watch v. U.S. Dept. of Defense (D.C. Cir. 2013), 10- 11, accessed on September 7, 2015,
The two key affidavits submitted in support of the government’s claim that national security was at risk consisted of the
Declaration of John Bennett, Director, National Clandestine Service, CIA,  
and the Declaration of Robert B. Neller. Lieutenant General, U.S. Marine Corps,
both accessed on September 7, 2015.

46. For example, one appellate court reversed a trial court’s dismissal of a lawsuit against the U.S. National Security Agency (or NSA), held that the NSA had exceeded its statutory authority under the U.S.A Patriot Act in engaging in the collection of “bulk telephone metadata,” but nevertheless remanded the case to the trial court to determine whether a preliminary injunction was the appropriate remedy. ACLU v. Clapper (2nd Cir. 2015), accessed on September 18, 2016, https://www.aclu.org/sites/default/files/field_document/clapper-ca2-opinion.pdf

On the other hand, another court in a per curiam opinion vacated a trial court’s preliminary injunction against the NSA’s collection of bulk telephone metadata, finding that the individual challenging the collection likely lacked “standing” and remanding to permit discovery on that issue, though with one judge questioning the merits of the claim and other judge dissenting on the remand. Klayman v. Obama (D.C. Cir. 2015), accessed on September 7, 2015,

47. “A picture may be worth a thousand words. And perhaps moving pictures bear an even higher value. Yet, in this case, verbal descriptions of the death and burial of Osama Bin Laden will have to suffice, for this Court will not order the release of anything more.” Judicial Watch v. U.S. Dept. of Defense (D.D.C. 2012), at 1, accessed on September 7, 2015,

48. Maureen Down was among the first journalists who reported on the assistance provided to Bigelow and Boal, focusing upon the political benefit to White House incumbent President Obama:

“The White House is also counting on the Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal big-screen version of the killing of Bin Laden to counter Obama’s growing reputation as ineffectual. The Sony film by the Oscar-winning pair who made “The Hurt Locker” will no doubt reflect the president’s cool, gutsy decision against shaky odds. Just as Obamaland was hoping, the movie is scheduled to open on Oct. 12, 2012 — perfectly timed to give a home-stretch boost to a campaign that has grown tougher.”

Maureen Dowd, “Downgrade Blues,” The New York Times, August 6, 2011, accessed on September 7, 2015,
In fact, the film was not released until after the election presumably in response to the adverse publicity generated by its initial contemplated release date.

49. There is sometimes a darker, more pernicious aspect to this cloaking of information under the rubric of “national security” while simultaneously releasing that information, albeit in a different format. As Glenn Greenwald has observed, the U.S. may facilitate “leaks” to promote its own view of events while simultaneously criminally prosecuting those such as Edward Snowden who “leak” information that is inconsistent with the U.S. Government’s view. Glenn Greenwald, No Place to Hide (New York: Metropolitan Books, 2014), 229.

50. A copy of the redacted version of the “Report of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Detention and Interrogation Program Senate Select Intelligence Committee Report on Torture” may be found at the following site, accessed on September 18, 2016, https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CRPT-113srpt288/pdf/CRPT-113srpt288.pdf.

51. “Feinstein Releases Statement on ‘Zero Dark Thirty,’” December 19, 2012, accessed on September 7, 2015,

52. See Finding and Conclusion 10 to the Report of the Senate Select Committee.

53. Jessica Schulberg and Ryan J. Reilly, “U.S. Government Starting To Allow CIA Torture Victims To Discuss Their Own Memories,” The Huffington Post, June 11, 2015, accessed on September 7, 2015,

54. Frontline’s “Secrets, Politics and Torture: the secret history of the CIA’s controversial ‘enhanced interrogation’ methods”, May 19, 2015, accessed on September 7, 2015,

55. See, for example, Shane Harris, “’Zero Dark Thirty’ Was Filled With CIA Lies,” The Daily Beast, May 19, 2015 (summarizing Frontline’s documentary “Secrets, Politics and Torture,” including its interview of U.S. Senator Feinstein, the Chair of the Senate Committee), accessed on September 7, 2015,
The media expressed this same dismay with Zero Dark Thirty when the U.S. Senate Committee released its report in December 2014 on torture. See, for example, Jake Coyle, “CIA report casts new pall over 'Zero Dark Thirty'” Yahoo! Movies, December 10, 2014, accessed on September 7, 2015,

56. Last Week Tonight with John Oliver on Torture, June 14, 2015, accessed on September 7, 2015,
During the show Oliver also notes the results of the poll finding that the majority of Americans believe that torture works and humorously places that belief on the plot demands of the TV series 24 that requires that Jack Bauer’s visually graphic uses of torture be effective. Oliver timed the broadcast of his show to coincide with the imminent U.S. Senate vote on a law that would ban torture and thereby render more permanent President Obama’s ban as set forth in an executive order. Emmarie Huetteman, “Senate Votes to Turn Presidential Ban on Torture Into Law,” The New York Times, June 16, 2015, accessed on September 7, 2015,

57. Seymour M. Hersh, “The Killing of bin Laden,” London Review of Books, Vol. 37, No. 10, accessed on September 7, 2015,

58. Hersh claims that the informant was relocated to Washington, DC, and now works as a consultant for the CIA. The Pakistani press has since identified this “walk-in” as a former official or spy with Pakistani intelligence who has been granted U.S. citizenship. Amir Mir, “Brig Usman Khalid informed CIA of Osama’s presence in Abbottabad,” The International News, May 12, 2015, accessed on September 7, 2015,

59. The Pakistani doctor who obtained the DNA sample apparently shared in the $25 million reward, according to Hersh.

60. The Declaration of John Bennett, Director, National Clandestine Service, CIA, sworn to on September 26, 2011, paragraph 11, characterizes the images as “quite graphic” and  “gruesome” as well as notes that “many of the images were taken… as his corpse was being transported… to the location where he was ultimately buried at sea” and that “[s]everal of the images depict the preparation of his body for burial as well as the burial itself.”
which was accessed on September 7, 2015

61. Hersh devotes much of his article to how the poorly the announcement of the raid was orchestrated so that stories had to be revised in order to be consistent with President Obama’s initial press announcement. For example, Obama’s announcement suggests possible cooperation from the Pakistani government, notwithstanding that the CIA had promised Pakistani officials not to make public that cooperation, and that there was a firefight during the raid, when none had occurred. Moreover, since Obama announced that the SEALs took custody of bin Laden’s body, the government, according to Hersh, had to create a cover story about an Islamic burial at sea of the body, thereby avoiding the need to produce a body.

62. Dan Lamothe, “‘Utter nonsense': CIA and White House blast Seymour Hersh’s explosive Osama bin Laden raid story,” The Washington Post, May 11, 2015, accessed on September 7, 2015,

63. The May 11, 2015, appearance of Mike Morell on the Charlie Rose show may be found at the following site, accessed on September 18, 2016: https://charlierose.com/videos/21256
Morell stated, in particular, “I believe they [the Pakistanis] didn’t want to know.” (38.22) He also observed as to the U.S. Senate report:

“35:58 Mike Morell: …As we talked about at this table, and I actually give examples, very specific examples in the book where it's wrong, right. It's a deeply flawed document. I wish there was—there were a document that lays out the history and then let’s have a conversation about it, particularly about the morality question.”

And as to his briefing at the request of U.S. President Obama of former U.S. President Bush, he recounted:

“43:32 Mike Morell: In Dallas after the bin Laden raid, a briefing for President Bush on everything on the intelligence side and everything on the operational side. And he was like a kid in a candy store.
43:43 Charlie Rose: He wanted to know everything.
43:45 Mike Morell: Wanted to know everything. And…
43:49 Charlie Rose: Because he lived with it.
43:45 Mike Morell: Wanted to know everything. And…"

64. David Walsh, “CIA-embedded Hollywood liars and their lies,” World Socialist Website, May 15, 2015 (“Now we know, thanks to Seymour Hersh and his article in the London Review of Books, that, along with everything else, the Bigelow-Boal film was a pack of lies from beginning to end.”), accessed on September 7, 2015,

65. See, for example, Peter Bergen, “Was there a cover-up in bin Laden killing?” CNN, May 20, 2015 (“Hersh's account of the bin Laden raid is a farrago of nonsense that is contravened by a multitude of eyewitness accounts, inconvenient facts and simple common sense.”), accessed on September 7, 2015,
For both a summary and a commentary on these attacks by the media on Hersh’s article, see Trevor Timm,“The media’s reaction to Seymour Hersh’s bin Laden scoop has been disgraceful,” Columbia Journalism Review, May 15, 2015 (“…instead of trying to build off the details of his story, or to disprove his assertions with additional reporting, journalists have largely attempted to tear down the messenger.”), accessed on September 7, 2015,

66. Mark Bowden, The Finish: The Killing of Osama Bin Laden (New York: Atlantic Press 2012).

67. Compare Mark Bowden, “There’s Just One Problem with Those Bin Laden Conspiracy Theories,” Vanity Fair, October 16, 2015,
with Jonathan Mahler, “What Do We Re ally Know About
Osama bin Laden’s Death?” New York Times Magazine, October 15, 2015,
, both accessed on October 21, 2015.

68. “Report of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Detention and Interrogation Program Senate Select Intelligence Committee Report on Torture” (redacted), Findings 3 – 7, which may be found at the following site, accessed through browser pasting on September 7, 2015: CRPT-113srpt288%20(2).pdf.  The Senate Committee describes the CIA as a rogue agency. Thus, the Chair in her forward to the Report wrote, “….CIA personnel, aided by two outside contractors, decided to initiate a program of indefinite secret detention and the use of brutal interrogation techniques in violation of U.S. law, treaty obligations, and our values.”

69. Senator Ron Wyden’s questions and Director James Clapper’s responses during the Senate Committee’s hearing, March 12, 2013, accessed on September 7, 2015, may be found at

70. James Clapper’s letter addressed to the Senate Committee Chair, June 21, 2013, accessed on September 7, 2015, may be found at
The metadata program’s declassification, to which Clapper refers, resulted from Snowden’s unauthorized disclosure of the program’s existence. Charlie Savage, “Surveillance Court Rules That N.S.A. Can Resume Bulk Data Collection, The NY Times, July 1, 2015 (“The program was declassified in June 2013 after its existence was disclosed by the former intelligence contractor Edward J. Snowden.”), accessed on September 7, 2015,

71. Film critic Andrew Sarris years ago commented upon this incongruity between the age of the actors and the age of the characters that they portrayed in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. Vera Miles best exemplifies this incongruity.  In The Searchers she portrays Laurie Jorgensen, the sweetheart of Wayne’s young nephew Martin; in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, made only 6 years later, she portrays Wayne’s love interest, Hallie.

72. Of course, John Ford and his vision of the West should not be confused with the Hollywood star John Wayne. Wayne created over many years and in many ways his persona, and even Ford found occasion to find repulsive the dissonance between persona and person. Thus, Ford and Wayne nearly came to blows during the filming of They Were Expendable (1945) when Ford became discomfited by the dissonance between Wayne as a popular Hollywood war hero and what Ford viewed as Wayne’s cowardice during World War II. Mark Harris, Five Came Back (New York: The Penguin Press 2014), 356—61.

73. For a very brief discussion of Bigelow’s early years as a painter and film student, see Deborah Jermyn and Sean Redmond, Editors, The Cinema of Kathryn Bigelow: Hollywood Transgressor (London: Wildflower Press 2003), 6.

74. The senators’ statement to Sony on this point reads in full as follows: “[W]ith the release of Zero Dark Thirty, 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.” “Feinstein Releases Statement on ‘Zero Dark Thirty,’” December 19, 2012, accessed on September 7, 2015,

75. See the unclassified document disclosed in response to a FOIA by VICE News and reproduced in Jason Leopold and Ky Henderson, “Tequila, Painted Pearls, and Prada — How the CIA Helped Produce 'Zero Dark Thirty,'” September 9, 2015, VICE News, accessed July 20, 2016, https://news.vice.com/article/tequila-painted-pearls-and-prada-how-the-cia-helped-produce-zero-dark-thirty (“April 2010 - D/CIA Panetta and Kathryn Bigelow meet at event where she discusses her film project; D/CIA offers Agency assistance.”)

76. See Nicholas Schou, “How the CIA Hoodwinked Hollywood,” The Atlantic, July 14, 2016, accessed July 20, 2016, http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2016/07/operation-tinseltown-how-the-cia-manipulates-hollywood/491138/ in which he describes many of the “embarrassing details about the CIA’s cozy relationship with Boal and Bigelow” that was set out in the September 2015 article in VICE News.

“As it turned out, the filmmakers had wined and dined agency officials in Hollywood and at a hotel near CIA headquarters, routinely racking up thousand-dollar restaurant bills. At one point, the Inspector General report stated a female CIA officer mentioned liking the fashion designer Prada. Boal responded by saying ‘he knew the designer personally and offered her tickets to a Prada fashion show.’

The same officer later dined with the filmmakers at the Ritz Carlton hotel in Washington, D.C.’s, upscale Georgetown neighborhood, where as a thank-you gift, Bigelow, who had just returned from filming a commercial in Tahiti, gave her a pair of ‘black Tahitian pearl earrings.’ (The officer gave the jewelry to Langley to be appraised, and thus learned they were fake.) A bottle of tequila that Boal gave another officer, which was supposedly worth ‘several hundred dollars,’ could be bought for $100. None of the officers kept the gifts and the report cleared them of any wrongdoing.”

Not surprisingly, Schou is highly critical of the filmmakers.

“In the end, the CIA’s energetic cooperation with Boal and Bigelow paid off enormously, with Zero Dark Thirty serving as the most effective piece of propaganda for the agency’s torture program since 24. The film made the case that bin Laden’s capture would not have been possible without information that was extracted under torture. The filmmakers might have taken great pains to portray the smallest details of bin Laden’s compound accurately. But on this fundamental issue, they blatantly violated the truth.”

77. Jason Leopold and Ky Henderson in their article “Tequila, Painted Pearls, and Prada — How the CIA Helped Produce 'Zero Dark Thirty,'” September 9, 2015, VICE News, report that:

“Included in the trove of redacted agency records [produced in response to VICE News’ FOIA request] is a March 2014 CIA Office of Inspector General report titled ‘Alleged Disclosure of Classified Information by Former D/CIA’ — D/CIA refers to the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Leon Panetta — and a separate September 2013 report from the inspector general's office titled ‘Potential Ethics Violations Involving Film Producers.’”

See also Adam Zagorin and David Hilzenrath, “Unreleased: Probe Finds CIA Honcho Disclosed Top Secret Info to Hollywood,” POGO, Project on Government Oversight, June 4, 2013, accessed July 20, 2016, http://www.pogo.org/our-work/articles/2013/unreleased-probe-finds-cia-disclosed-secret-info.html?referrer=https://www.google.com/.

78. The disclosure of previously unreported events generally related to the raid on bin Laden’s compound has continued. For example, a select group of government lawyers had apparently drafted memoranda in advance of the government’s raid in which they set out the supporting legal grounds for the raid given, among other reasons, that the raid was on foreign territory and might result in the killing of bin Laden. See Charlie Savage, “How 4 Federal Lawyers Paved the Way to Kill Osama bin Laden,” The New York Times, October 28, 2015, accessed July 20, 2016,  http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/29/us/politics/obama-legal-authorization-osama-bin-laden-raid.html.

(“The legal analysis offered the administration wide flexibility to send ground forces onto Pakistani soil without the country’s consent, to explicitly authorize a lethal mission, to delay telling Congress until afterward, and to bury a wartime enemy at sea.”)

79. Elle Hunt, “CIA 'live tweets' Osama bin Laden raid to mark five-year anniversary,” The Guardian, May 2, 2016, accessed July 20, 2016, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/may/02/cia-live-tweets-osama-bin-laden-raid-anniversary?utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&utm

CIA director John Brennan’s posted message stated, in part:

“The raid was a masterpiece of planning and execution, and it was the culmination of years of painstaking work by CIA and our Intelligence Community partners. In the words of Admiral William McRaven, who directed the raid, it was ‘one of the greatest intelligence operations of all times.’ ......

Ridding the world of Usama Bin Ladin was an act of supreme justice. It sent a message to our adversaries that America will never let up in the pursuit of those who threaten us. And it underscored what every Agency officer knows instinctively: that intelligence is essential to our Nation’s security, every bit as important to the strength of our democracy as diplomacy, law enforcement, and military service.”

“Message from the Director: Remembering the Raid in Abbottabad,” April 29, 2016, accessed July 20, 2016, https://www.cia.gov/news-information/press-releases-statements/2016-press-releases-statements/message-from-the-director-remembering-the-raid-in-abbottabad.html.

80. Recruited by his former commander to return to Vietnam now that the war is over, commando John Rambo (Sylvester Stallone) in director George P. Cosmatos’ Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985) famously asks: “Sir, do we get to win this time?”