Senate Investigation Into Zero Dark Thirty Ends, Just One Day After Oscars

By Katey Rich 2013-02-26 13:46:14discussion comments
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With the Oscars over and everyone but the sound editor from Zero Dark Thirty going home empty-handed, it's remarkable to look back on how the amazing follow-up from the makers of Best Picture winner The Hurt Locker managed to stumble so badly in the awards season. There's been plenty of analysis about it so far, and maybe more to come, but many signs point back to one single factor that has now, mercifully, gone away.

The Senate investigation into the truths exposed in Zero Dark Thirty, kicked off in December at the height of the outrage around the film's torture scenes, has been called off, according to Reuters. The timing is remarkable, galling enough to make you really believe it might have been orchestrated by the people behind Argo in an attempt to get their movie more attention. The aide who broke the news to Reuters had no information on why the Senate had closed the probe, which was investigating the ties between the filmmakers and the CIA officials who provided them with information to tell the story. Apparently they learned that the CIA didn't tell them anything about whether or not torture, or "enhanced interrogation," had led to the capture of bin Laden-- which of course is what Kathryn Bigelow has been saying all along.

As the Reuters article points out, the CIA cooperated with Ben Affleck and the filmmakers behind Argo as well, but because there was no torture by the American government specifically involved in that story, it didn't come under the same heat. It's frustrating any time a film starts getting wrapped up in political concerns, but heartbreaking to see it happen seemingly at the expense of well-deserved awards attention. Not that the Oscars are more important than keeping an eye on the CIA and their behavior, but in this case we seem to have learned that nothing inappropriate happened… and we should have listened to the filmmakers in the first place.

For an excellent rundown on just what happened to Zero Dark Thirty's Oscar hopes, click here.
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