Joe Scarborough is back at it again, apologizing for torture and telling lies about whether it works. Every time I think this show can't get much worse, I turn it on like I did this morning and realize I'm wrong. This had to be one of the more disgusting segments I've watched in a while, and that's saying a lot for this show. Scarborough and his panel members, David Ignatius and Jon Meacham, did their best to help revise history and help Scarborough play torture apologist while discussing the new film coming out this month, Zero Dark Thirty.
Glenn Greenwald has more on the problems with the premise of this movie: Zero Dark Thirty: new torture-glorifying film wins raves:
Earlier this year, the film "Zero Dark Thirty", which purports to dramatize the hunt for and killing of Osama bin Laden, generated substantial political controversy. It was discovered that CIA and White House officials had met with its filmmakers and passed non-public information to them - at exactly the same time that DOJ officials were in federal court resisting transparency requests from media outlets and activist groups on the ground that it was all classified.
With its release imminent, the film is now garnering a pile of top awards and virtually uniform rave reviews. What makes this so remarkable is that, by most accounts, the film glorifies torture by claiming - falsely - that waterboarding and other forms of coercive interrogation tactics were crucial, even indispensable in finding bin Laden.In the New York Times on Sunday, Frank Bruni wrote: "I'm betting that Dick Cheney will love the new movie 'Zero Dark Thirty.'" That's because "'enhanced interrogation techniques' like waterboarding are presented as crucial" to finding America's most hated terrorist. [...]
The claim that waterboarding and other torture techniques were necessary in finding bin Laden was first made earlier this year by Jose Rodriguez, the CIA agent who illegally destroyed the agency's torture tapes, got protected from prosecution by the DOJ, and then profited off this behavior by writing a book. He made the same claim as "Zero Dark Thirty" regarding the role played by torture in finding bin Laden.
That caused two Senators who are steadfast loyalists of the CIA - Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Dianne Feinstein and Armed Services Committee Chair Carl Levin - to issue statements definitively debunking this assertion. Even the CIA's then-Director, Leon Panetta, made clear that those techniques played no role in finding bin Laden. An FBI agent central to the bin Laden hunt said the same.
What this film does, then, is uncritically presents as fact the highly self-serving, and factually false, claims by the CIA that its torture techniques were crucial in finding bin Laden. Put another way, it propagandizes the public to favorably view clear war crimes by the US government, based on pure falsehoods.
And Mediaite's Tommy Christopher did a nice job of breaking down just how dishonest this Morning Joe segment was: Joe Scarborough Claims Zero Dark Thirty Torture Scene True, Screenwriter And Facts Disagree: