Entries in Senate Intelligence Committee (3)


Mark Boal: Government Inquiry Into ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ ‘Crosses a Line’

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- During an interview for “This Week,” “Zero Dark Thirty” screenwriter and producer Mark Boal told Martha Raddatz that the current Senate inquiry into the Oscar-nominated movie could discourage the making of similar films in the future.

“I think that it could discourage other screenwriters or…writers of any kind from making topical movies, it could discourage studios from releasing them,” Boal said. “Criticism is fine, and we, I can take criticism onboard…but there is a difference between criticism and investigation. And I think that crosses a line that hasn’t been crossed really since the ’40s, when you talk about government investigating movies.”

In December, three members of the Senate Intelligence committee  — Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Carl Levin, D-Mich., and John McCain, R-Ariz. — asked the CIA to provide information about the details it gave Boal and “Zero Dark Thirty” director Kathryn Bigelow about the effort to find and later kill Osama bin Laden. The trio also sent a letter to Sony Pictures Entertainment – the studio that released the film – claiming that “Zero Dark Thirty” was “grossly inaccurate” in suggesting torture played a role in extracting information that would eventually lead to bin Laden.

On the criticism aimed at the film’s accuracy, Boal pushed back to a degree.

“These topics are controversial. I think the controversy in a lot of ways predates the film.  And I believe that we capture the essence of what happened and  so do many other people who have lived through it,” Boal said. “I approached the research the way I would’ve approached the research of any article or if I was writing a book.  But then there’s a second stage, which is you take that research and you compile it and transform it into a screenplay.  It’s dramatized.”

Joining Boal for the interview was Mark Bowden, best-selling author of “Blackhawk Down,” and the new book “The Finish” who said describing the film as journalism placed an “unfair burden” on it.

“I think it’s really an unfair burden of expectation to put on a feature film, to call it journalistic.  I mean, journalism is very detailed…you try to get down in the weeds and sort out exactly what happened, ” he said. “And I don’t think that a feature film is really a place where that happens.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Intelligence Committees Hold Hearings into Benghazi Attack

STR/AFP/GettyImages(WASHINGTON) -- The House and Senate Intelligence Committees began closed-door hearings Thursday on the deadly Sept. 11 attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, with lawmakers hearing testimony from CIA acting director Mike Morell, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and others.

The hearings included the screening of video from a number of sources that captured the attack as it unfolded.  The footage also included video shot from an unmanned aerial drone.

After more than four hours behind closed doors, Senate Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein emerged and said a lot of light was shown on the situation by the testimony from military and diplomatic officials, but she declined to offer an opinion, saying the fact-finding continues.  Feinstein stated that there would be several more closed-door sessions.

On Friday morning, former CIA Director David Petraeus will testify behind closed doors about the attack on Benghazi.  The retired Army general, who once commanded U.S. forces in Afghanistan, reportedly is eager to set out a timeline of events leading up to and during the deadly attack.

In late October, Petraeus traveled to Libya to conduct his own review of the Benghazi attack.  While in Tripoli, he personally questioned the CIA station chief and other CIA personnel who were in Benghazi when the attack occurred.

Petraeus is not expected to discuss his resignation or his affair with Paula Broadwell.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Lawmakers Allowed to View Osama Bin Laden Death Photos

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Members of two Senate committees can make an appointment with the CIA to view the photos of a dead Osama bin Laden, multiple congressional aides confirmed to ABC News Tuesday.

Lawmakers on the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Senate Intelligence Committee will now be able to see the photos if they wish.

Last week a trio of Republican senators claimed to have seen the photos, only for it to emerge that they had been duped by fake pictures. On Wednesday morning, as senators left a closed-door classified meeting with CIA head Leon Panetta, the top Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee, Saxby Chambliss, told reporters that he had seen the photos. New Hampshire's Kelly Ayotte said the same thing. And Scott Brown of Massachusetts told Fox-25 TV that he had seen one of the photos, too.

"I have seen one of them," Ayotte said of the bin Laden photos, adding that it was "clearly his features."

But later that day it emerged that the picture seen by Ayotte, Brown, and Chambliss was in fact not authentic. At least now they'll be able to see the real thing.

Critics -- including some family members of loved ones killed in the terror attacks on September 11th, 2001 -- have pressed President Obama to release photographic proof of bin Laden's death. President Obama maintains he will not make the pictures public.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio 

ABC News Radio