The public "controversy" whipped up by release of the new torture movie Zero Dark Thirty is actually a re-hash of an argument that had largely been put to bed, that torture works to extract reliable intelligence from suspected terrorists (and even if it did, would that make the practice morally acceptable?) But torture IS effective in getting subjects to say what you want them to say, to fabricate rationale for government venture, such as the ultimate war crime of aggression on sovereign nations that pose no imminent threat.
Film director Kathryn Bigelow's reputation alone promises to draw a sizable audience; her pornographic depictions of CIA brutality may provide the titillation for many additional viewers, including the video game junkies that play Medal of Honor Warfighter. But this may very well not be the blockbuster that the film industry anticipates. Indeed, critical reviews of the movie, and the history of its making, may prove to be its undoing. Hollywood's hard sell might not be able to overcome revulsion to this kind of "entertainment."
We refuse to buy the lie that the Central Intelligence Agency has ever been a force for good, that extra-legal assassination is ever justified, that American lives are worth more than others. World Can't Wait will be outside theaters to protest the movie, and use this opportunity to promote the truth about the crimes of our government. We encourage readers to do the same. We'll wear orange jumpsuits to represent the Guantanamo prisoners that Obama has failed to release, distribute fliers (download here), hold signs and banners, and loudly proclaim that NO! Torture is always illegal, immoral, and unacceptable.
KQED reports on the first of what we hope to be many protests in the Bay Area. Photo by Andrew Stelzer.