Senate reportedly drops "Zero Dark Thirty" probe

A Senate committee had been investigating contact between the CIA and the filmmakers

Published February 25, 2013 11:26PM (EST)

The Senate Intelligence Committee has reportedly dropped its investigation into contact between the CIA and the "Zero Dark Thirty" filmmakers, Reuters reports, citing an anonymous congressional aide.

The Committee began its investigation shortly after Committee Chair Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Carl Levin, D-Mich., condemned the film for depicting torture as key to uncovering the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden. All three senators signed a letter to Sony Pictures CEO Michael Lynton, calling the film “misleading” and “grossly inaccurate.”

From Reuters:

A source familiar with contacts between the filmmakers and intelligence officials said the CIA did not tell the filmmakers "enhanced interrogations" led to bin Laden. Instead, the agency helped develop characters in the film, said the source.

Reuters, which initially broke the news of the probe in early January, reported at the time that the probe was meant to determine “whether CIA personnel are responsible for the portrayal of harsh interrogation practices and in particular the suggestion that they were effective."

By Jillian Rayfield

Jillian Rayfield is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on politics. Follow her on Twitter at @jillrayfield or email her at

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2013 Oscars Dianne Feinstein John Mccain Senate Judiciary Committee Zero Dark Thirty