Posts Tagged ‘Zero Dark Thirty’

Investigative reporter Seymour Hersh gestures during a panel discussion on "The Challenges of Reporting About Iraq" at the Associated Press Managing Editors annual conference in San Jose, Calif., Friday, Oct. 28, 2005. Deteriorating security in Iraq has made covering the war and reconstruction efforts exceedingly difficult, and this isn't helping efforts to give readers the coverage they need to understand what's really going on, a panel of journalists said Friday. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

Investigative reporter Seymour Hersh gestures during a panel discussion on “The Challenges of Reporting About Iraq” at the Associated Press Managing Editors annual conference in San Jose, Calif., Friday, Oct. 28, 2005. Deteriorating security in Iraq has made covering the war and reconstruction efforts exceedingly difficult, and this isn’t helping efforts to give readers the coverage they need to understand what’s really going on, a panel of journalists said Friday. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

“Allies” were guarding and funding America’s worst enemy

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Sick movie! Sick culture!
by Vic Sadot
“No Evidence that North Korea Hacked Sony”, says Mickey Huff on Project Censored Radio Show on KPFA PACIFICA. Micky Huff and Nolan Higdon 1-09-15 interview with Professor Robin Anderson about her expose of the horribly violent and hateful “propaganda movie” titled “The Interview”. Note: You can move the audio bar in the archives forward to the 30 minute mark to hear about the con-job by Seth Rogan, US media, and CIA as deliberate and planned propaganda. First half of the show is an interview with Sarah Van Gelder of Yes Magazine on “10 Ways Human Rights and Democracy Won”. Second half hour features Professor Robin Anderson and focuses on her recent expose article “Sony, The Interview, and Hollywood Illusions of Creative Expression” about the hype, spin, cries of “censorship” and collaboration with the CIA to make the reprehensible faux comedy propaganda film. US people taken again on lie ride to hate and demonize North Korea. http://www.kpfa.org/archive/id/110182

“Sony, The Interview, and Hollywood Illusions of Creative Expression” – Article by Professor Robin Anderson at The Vision Machine on December 26, 2014. http://thevisionmachine.com/2014/12/sony-the-interview-and-hollywood-illusions-of-creative-expression

Excerpts: “US officials claimed that North Korea, angered by Seth Rogan’s film depicting the assassination of Kim Jung-un, was responsible for the cyber attacks against Sony, and amid threats of theater violence, enthusiasm for the film’s release evaporated as potential costs added up. When Sony announced it would cancel the Christmas Day release of The Interview, President Obama chastised Sony saying the company had “made a mistake,” and an earthquake of righteous indignation shook Hollywood… Seth Rogen’s “free speech” rights were never at risk. He’s starred in 67 films. His film got made and was bound to be released eventually. But…Women filmmakers (a measly 6% of directors), Latino filmmakers (a minuscule 2% of directors), Black filmmakers (a tiny 6% of directors) actually face real, constant, systemic threats to their ability to speak. Embedded in those numbers are countless filmmakers who don’t get a shot. The Interview got it’s shot by blowing the head off No.1 US evil enemy Kim Jong Un, but it wasn’t Rogan’s creativity that came up with that plot twist. It came from the CIA. Don’t forget that is was Sony that also brought us Zero Dark Thirty, a film collaboration with the CIA. The torture report shared the news cycle with the Sony hacking story, and it should come as no surprise that CIA Director John Brennan, gave the same specious defense for torture woven into the plot of ZD30; that torture led to information “useful” to the hunt for Osama Bin Laden… The coverage of the cyber attacks against Sony should have prompted an examination of Hollywood’s collaboration with the national security state. Instead, a celebration of freedom of expression denied that the real story of censorship in Hollywood comes from the US Armed Forces.”

Vic Sadot is a singer-songwriter based in Berkeley, CA who is known for his “9/11 Truth & Justice Songs”

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Zero Dark Thirty, Manhunt and Obama Admin. Justify Use of Torture

 

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Washington Post:

CIA misled on interrogation program, Senate report says

Here is my response to the WP’s imperial weasel wording:

Translated to eliminate propaganda…

“CIA Conspiracy to Lie to Congress in Torture Cover-Up”

The Central Intelligence Agency has been caught in numerous felony violations in its ongoing cover-up of war crimes throughout the 2000s. President Obama continues to protect official torturers, and the agency has stonewalled the Senate Select Oversight Committee, a normally compliant co-conspirator. Torture has degraded the image of America around the world and many nations justifiably question America’s claims to democracy, freedom and even civilization and the rule of law.

Secretive, lawless agencies that torture with impunity are a clear and present danger to the republic, and this Constitutional crisis deserves full investigation and public action.

In the cse of Zubaydah, he provided evidence that he was working for Saudi state intelligence prior to his torture (or possibly afterward / competing accounts). This Saudi complicity in his actions was soon eliminated from the story after repeated torture leading critics to question if the purpose of the torture was to produce false testimony (videotapes of this Saudi link with phone numbers of three Saudi princes divulged by Zubaydah were destroyed illegally by CIA).

Further Saudi intelligence links to the September 11th attacks remain covered up by CIA and the administrations of George W. Bush as well as Barack Obama. Senator Bob Graham’s investigation into the San Diego hijacker cell showed clear Saudi Arabian material support to the hijackers. Further support in Sarasota Florida links the Saudi regime, an undemocratic monarchy, to the named 9/11 hijackers. These facts and the FBI investigations surrounding them remain redacted and somewhat hidden from public view. Such “aid and comfort” to the perpetrators of the September 11th attacks meets the Constitutional definition of “Treason.”

BUT-WAIT

The Miami Herald:

Citing broad public interest, newspapers ask judge to deny bid to block 9/11 lawsuit
I suppose there are still brain dead ignorant Americans who have no clue that they are living in a police state.  Perhaps with racist blinders they assume that abuses will only be directed at outsiders, people unlike themselves.  That is, of course, how fascism succeeds.  The government fosters the concept of in-groups and out-groups: scapegoats.  The scapegoats allow them to remove restrictions on government power.  This is how the Nazis came to power and other fascists.  It’s an old script, which shouldn’t work except for the profound ignorance of the public.

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Propaganda is job one.  It was technically illegal for the US government to propagandize the people (perhaps not anymore), but they did it anyway — a lot.  And they love to brag about it.

Rizzo almost cums in his pants talking about Zero Dark Thirty, and the flagrant deceptions they managed to include.

“Their film crews are given free rein everywhere, even in places where the US government doesn’t normally have it. And they can be the voice of a US message that will have impact with foreign audiences so long as the audience doesn’t know it is coming from the US government…”

Former Top CIA Lawyer John Rizzo Hails Agency’s ‘Special Relationship’ with Hollywood Figures

 

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Declassified Memo Shows ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ Filmmakers Played Role of Willing Propagandists for CIA
Newly Declassified Memo Shows CIA Shaped Zero Dark Thirty’s Narrative

Torture is:

  1. Felony crime under US Law, 20 year penalty and death penalty if victim dies
  2. International War Crime
  3. A conspiracy to torture when multiple parties engage in it
  4. Conspiracy extends to those covering up these felonies and war crimes … do the math.

More:

Zero Dark Thirty Scandal Files

 

 

 

Argo & Zero Dark Thirty now get to lie to many more people, with their DVD and Blu-Ray releases. If you haven’t yet read about these monumental piles of propaganda, then here:

Zero Dark Thirty Scandal Files
The Argo Recap

Short version: Argo makes the murderous CIA the heroes and embellishes enough to demonize all Iranians, wihch is grade-a war propaganda if you’re looking to start a new war on that nation. Zero Dark Thirty fabricates a justification for torturing people by falsely showing torture leading to bin Laden. Not much has changed since Leni Riefenstahl and the Nazis, except the propaganda has gotten more subtle and sophisticated.

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All-American Babe Who Didn’t Torture Anybody Wins OscarJennifer_Lawrence_35972

 

One more waterboarding for Bigelow and Boal. Glenn Greenwald, who always keeps his razor sharp, gives a needed fuck you to the bootlicking film critics who ignore morality, ethics and propaganda, even when it’s right in their faces.

Zero Dark Thirty, the CIA and film critics have a very bad evening

The stigma attached to the pro-torture CIA propaganda vehicle, beloved by film critics, results in Oscar humiliation

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By Dennis Loo 

During Jack Nicholson’s announcing the Best Picture Oscar last night he brought in direct from the White House First Lady Michelle Obama as his co-presenter to announce the winner. Flanked by men and women in full military dress complete with awards regalia, Michelle congratulated Hollywood for its work.

Behind Michelle we don’t see a group of actors, creative types, children, regular Americans or even distinguished civilian Americans. This isn’t a Veteran’s Day broadcast either. This is the Academy Awards, the principle awards show for films.

In helping to introduce the 2013 Best Picture, the First Lady looks like she’s about to announce the Medal of Honor or the Distinguished Cross.

This tableau isn’t so inappropriate after all, for when she opens the envelope, the winner is (drum roll please): Argo! A film that depicts the Iranian Revolution through the eyes of the CIA, the people who brought the tyrant Shah to power in Iran through a coup in 1953, overthrowing the extremely popular Mossadegh who tried to nationalize the oil fields (which sealed his doom from the perspective of Big Oil and the U.S. Empire). The CIA provided torture instruction and equipment to the Shah for decades so that he could torture and kill his opponents in Iran (his opponents being the vast majority of the people). The 1979 Iranian Revolution drove him and the U.S. and the CIA out. As one of the film’s producers, Grant Heslov, says in a half an hour “The Making of Argo” piece: he’s proud of the film because it humanizes the CIA and makes us proud of them.

So Michelle Obama’s chosen backdrop of a military entourage does make sense after all in this season of all things military and secret agents/special ops. It’s just jarring to see it if you’re not completely seduced by the Military Security State.

***

I was very pleased to see that Zero Dark Thirty, despite being touted heavily by major movie critics upon its release a few months ago as the best film of the year which they said would sweep multiple awards at the Oscars, including Best Picture, was shunned by Hollywood, garnering only one Oscar, a tie for sound editing with the James Bond flick “Skyfall.”

A funny thing happened on the way to the podium for the makers of ZDT: people smelled a rat and wrote about it. This was something that took some time to build because as late as the Golden Globes, the biggest pre-Academy Awards show whose winners frequently predict the Oscar winners, Jessica Chastain (who played Maya the CIA torturer/killer in ZDT) won the Golden Globes’ Best Actress.

The shunning of this film that revels in torture came about clearly because of the stinging criticism and protests against it by a number of writers and activists, including notably actors such as David Clennon and Ed Asner, columnist Glenn Greenwald, director Alex Gibney, Jane Mayer, and others including myself, and World Can’t Wait which, among other things, staged a sarcastic first annual Leni Riefenstahl Award by the Committee for Sanitizing Crimes Against Humanity in Film outside of the Oscars yesterday, which I was pleased to join as, playing against type, John Yoo, to give out the First Annual Leni. Actor David Clennon, whose work in breaking ranks in Hollywood publicly condemning the film for its immoral endorsement of torture, played a signal role, joined and helped to make this counter-awards’ event.

We had trouble finding a place to do our performance piece, however, as a wide swath of the areas around the Hollywood and Highland area where the Oscars were happening were closed down to traffic and the foot traffic severely restricted by the police, another example of the Military Security State exercising its muscle to make sure that the spectacle occurred without the public having more than a glancing opportunity to be physically present or even very proximal physically.

Bigelow and her co-writer Marc Boal did not help their cause when criticisms of their docu – propaganda (docu-ganda?) piece were aired. Bigelow and Boal purposefully mischaracterized their critics as attempting to censor their film and mischaracterized what was in their film, as if people couldn’t recognize these misstatements after seeing the films for themselves. In this case it wasn’t Hollywood itself that pressed the attack on ZDT but mostly political writers. Hollywood, however, responded to that and it’s a good thing.

In a related matter, The New York Times is reporting today in its top story that the Afghan government has banned U.S. forces from operating in Maidan Wardak Province. Maidan Wardak is southwest of Kabul and is “the American military’s main source of offensive firepower from the area.” It is also a staging area for Taliban attacks. The reason for the ban from the Karzai government, a puppet of the U.S.? Fury among Afghans for the U.S. Special Forces torturing and killing villagers.

Our Special Forces? Our military? The kind of people that First Lady Michelle Obama surrounded herself with during the Academy Awards announcing the Best Picture?

By announcing the ban, the government signaled its willingness to take a far harder line against abuses linked to foreign troops than it has in the past. The action also reflected a deep distrust of international forces that is now widespread in Afghanistan, and the view held by many Afghans, President Hamid Karzai among them, that the coalition shares responsibility with the Taliban for the violence that continues to afflict the country.

Afghan officials said the measure was taken as a last resort. They said they had tried for weeks to get the coalition to cooperate with an investigation into claims that civilians had been killed, abducted or tortured by Afghans working for American Special Operations forces in Maidan Wardak. But the coalition was not responsive, they said.

The provincial government in Maidan Wardak expressed support for the ban. “There have been lots of complaints from the local people about misconduct, mistreatment, beating, taking away, torturing and killing of civilians by Special Forces and their Afghan associates,” said Attaullah Khogyani, a spokesman for the provincial government.

He cited a raid on a village on Feb. 13, when American troops and Afghans working with them detained a veterinary student. “His dead body was found three days later in the area under a bridge,” Mr. Khogyani said, prompting protests against foreigners.

Mr. Faizi said that villagers in Maidan Wardak had reported a number of similar episodes in recent months, including the disappearance of nine men in a single raid. “People from the province, elders from villages, have come to Kabul so many times, and they have brought photographs and videos of their family members who have been tortured,” he said.

So while Hollywood both rejects and accepts the CIA’s preferred view of itself, the fact of U.S. military and CIA activities are emblazoned on the front pages of The New York Times again. Efforts to combat falsified history and the promotion of crimes as heroism and patriotism made and make a difference, as evidenced by Hollywood’s shunning of the pre-Academy Awards favorite in ZDT. Much more, however, must be done.

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The Academy shied away from endorsing torture lies. I’d like to think that the noise we all made had some real effect on their decisions. ZD30 ended up tying for sound — what-ever. Other than that, empty handed in every category.

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Ang Lee takes home Best Director, and it is much-earned. Life of Pi is being compared to a religious experience by a whole lot of people, and it really is powerful and unforgettable.

Argo remains a poor substitute for an honest look at America’s role in the world. And we’ve talked enough about that.
 

 

On a more serious note, LIFE OF PI should win Best Picture. Here are a couple of articles on the film:

Captivating: Life of Pi (2012)

Life of Pi (2012)

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Haven’t seen Silver Linings Playbook yet, but I think Kim Nicolini is rooting for it.


 

We already covered the hell out of the propagandistic ZD30 and Argo.

Anything  else to add, people?  Speak up.

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There’s also the Django wildcard to contend with.  I highly doubt Academy members are going to go that way, but with votes getting split between 9 players, who know?

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Django: Blowing the Pulp Out of Dixie

Django’s Vengeance

Django Unchained (2012)
 

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The Unacknowledged “Master”: director Paul Thomas Anderson
& a film that’s not about Scientology

Jennifer A Epps

Paul Thomas Anderson is my favorite film director who isn’t Scorsese. And even then, it’s getting very close. When I ambled out into the light after the L.A. native’s sixth feature, the psychological period epic The Master, I felt like I had just seen one of the greatest American films in a couple of decades. If you haven’t heard much about it, however, that’s because it isn’t nominated for any Oscars in the Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Production Design, or Best Score categories – in all of which cases it was robbed, in my humble opinion. It did still, nonetheless, receive 3 Oscar nominations for the work of each of its principal actors (Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Amy Adams). The acting was so rich and full it was impossible not to notice, but the Academy has treated the success of The Master’s cast as some kind of fluke, as if they could all just give spectacular performances without the words, story, and characters P.T. Anderson supplied them with in the first place, or the nuanced direction he gave them to guide them through some challenging and unusually-paced material.

One hears a lot about Kathryn Bigelow being snubbed by the Academy this year, and the question of whether this was in reaction to how she depicted torture in Zero Dark Thirty. One also hears about Ben Affleck, Quentin Tarantino, and Tom Hooper being left out of the Best Director category while their films were all nominated for Best Picture (though obviously when there are only 5 directors nominated yet 9 Best Picture nominees, there have to be some exclusions). What’s given little attention, however, is how severely Anderson and The Master were overlooked by the Academy (and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association) in the top categories. In fact, Anderson was not even part of the “directors’ roundtables” assembled by various news agencies early in the awards season. The reason for this perhaps is that Anderson’s work is so stubbornly idiosyncratic. The Master is even more uncompromising than There Will Be Blood; both of these surprising films exist in alternate universes of filmmaking with scant interest in building a story along familiar lines, cutting where audiences expect a cut, or scoring a scene in a way that sounds like other movies.

This weekend, there’s a chance for the British Academy to take a stand for originality at the BAFTAs, as The Master is nominated (once again) for awards for all three of its principal actors, as well as for Original Screenplay. And next weekend, the Writers’ Guild could recognize Anderson’s screenplay at the WGA Awards. However, I’m not sure anyone is holding their breath at this point, since there’s a little thing called “momentum”, and The Master seems to have lost that, while other, more commercial fare, has surged ahead.

But it is important to note that the title of this review is not strictly accurate. The Master, and Anderson’s impossibly fertile talent, is not completely ‘unacknowledged.’ For one thing, Anderson took home the second highest award at the Venice Film Festival, the Silver Lion, for Best Director. The Venice jury also awarded the Volpi Cup for Best Actor to both Philip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix. And apparently, the jury also wanted to award The Master the top prize at Venice, the Golden Lion, for Best Film, but new rules limited the jury to no more than two awards per film, no matter how exceptional the film. (The third award The Master picked up at the City of Canals was from the critics, the FIPRESCI award for the best film in competition.)

The Master has been a critical darling at home, too. Early in the awards season, it picked up a boat-load of trophies from critics’ associations across the U.S. Its wins are noted in the table below. That won’t help anyone in their Oscar pools, but it shows how far apart the critics and the Academy are. And it is worth keeping in mind when The Master is released on DVD on Feb. 26th, two days after the Oscars.
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