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Articles: The American People React to Zero Dark Thirty

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Jose Rodriguez, Jr., who headed the CIA's Counterterrorism Center and then became director of the National Clandestine Service, believes that the reaction of the audience was due to people realizing that what CIA officials have been saying for years is a reality: "it was necessary and needed to be done to keep Americans safe." As the author of Hard Measures: How the CIA Actions After 9/11 Saved American Lives, Rodriguez details in the book the actual tactics of the Enhanced Interrogation Program.  He does not agree with the movie depiction of the interrogation scenes since "[t]he CIA did not torture anybody under the enhanced interrogation program.  I know, because I actually supervised it myself from 2002 until 2007.  The torture scenes in the movie did not happen.  My biggest beef with this film is that millions of people around the world after seeing this movie will conclude that the CIA tortures, which is very unfair and not true." Bill Harlow, the former CIA director of public affairs, believes that the movie confuses incidents such as Abu Ghraib with the CIA program.  For example, there is a scene where a CIA officer puts a dog collar on a terrorist detainee and walks him like a dog.  Harlow was offended by this untruth because it happened at Abu Ghraib, completely contrary to the situation shown in the movie.  "So many people seem to accept this as a given.  It is annoying to me that they don't ask, Did this really happen that way?  The beating scenes did not happen and were put in the movie for dramatic content.  We never beat the crap out of people.  Had anyone done those things shown in the movie, they would have been prosecuted." It would have

Jose Rodriguez, Jr. emphasized to American Thinker, "Enhanced interrogation is about psychological manipulation more than anything else.  It starts with the shock of being captured, and the fact that they do not know where they are going or whom they are dealing with.  They expected to be given a lawyer and instead had to deal with procedures that they were not trained in:  the slap in the face, being grabbed by the collar, sleep deprivation, and for the three, waterboarding.  The truth is that no one was bloodied or beaten and that most detainees were not subjected to any enhanced interrogation techniques.  Eventually they concluded that they had no control over their situation and that we were the ones who controlled their fate.  Some threw in the towel because these people had huge egos.  They wanted to tell us what horrible things they did to Americans.  Our program was not torture, and it did work."

Yet the movie implies, by using the clip of President Obama saying Americans do not torture, that enhanced interrogation is torture.  Former CIA Director Michael Hayden, for his part, feels that Jose Rodriguez's op-ed is the definitive piece on this issue.  Rodriguez made it clear that those senators who are yelling and are threatening an investigation about the film's sources are trying to rewrite history because "they are denying that enhanced interrogation worked and call it torture."  Hayden also was struck with the fact that these "senators wanted to investigate the Agency -- not for the classification of what they told the filmmakers, but because they disagreed with the conclusions suggested by the film.  The senators appear to be fixated on this issue."

Enhanced interrogation IS torture.

And it worked.

Which is why it's such a morally and philosophically complex issue.