Sunday, January 6, 2013

Zero Dark Thirty

Dear Friends,

Zero Dark Thirty is a critically acclaimed film nominated for many awards. Unfortunately, the filmmakers chose to imply – inaccurately – that torture leads to reliable intelligence. The movie opens in theaters nationwide on Friday, January 11.

In advance of the film’s opening, we invite you to attend NRCAT’s specially organized webinar on Thursday, January 10, at 12:30 p.m. EST to learn about our new “Fact Not Fiction” campaign.During the webinar, NRCAT will describe the various elements of the campaign and will explain how you can participate. Please sign up for the webinar here and urge people from other congregations to join us.

The major thrust of the campaign will be to urge more than 300 congregations to show NRCAT’s short filmEnding U.S.-Sponsored Torture Forever before June 30, 2013. We will also encourage people who see Zero Dark Thirty to watch NRCAT’s film. You can view NRCAT’s film online at, and later this month we will add an updated discussion guide and other helpful materials. 

We also encourage people to distribute leaflets at local theaters sharing the facts about torture with people who are going to watch Zero Dark Thirty.  If you would like to learn more, please visit our website or email Paz Artaza-Regan, our Director of Program and Outreach. 

Please join us on the webinar to learn how you can help us make this campaign a national success and to share with us any ideas you may have. Registration is limited to the first 100 people - sign up today. We can’t stop people from watching Zero Dark Thirty, but we can share the facts about torture. 

Thank you for your support! 

Linda Gustitus, President
Rev. Richard Killmer, Executive Director

Questions? Please email
National Religious Campaign Against Torture:

Published: 27 December, 2012, 17:44

The News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch has warned his followers on Twitter that the US Oscar contender focusing on the decade-long manhunt for Osama bin Laden, Zero Dark Thirty, "could inflame the Arab world."

­The media mogul tweeted that he "just saw Zero Dark Thirty" directed by James Cameron’s ex- wife, the Oscar-winner Kathryn Bigelow. The film received mixed reviews when it arrived in theaters across America for its depiction of torture, among other controversial issues.

Describing it as a “gripping film” Murdoch pointed out that the “coming debate on torture should include all sides, but won't."

Last week the acting head of the CIA, Michael Morell, wrote a statement to CIA employees to “put into some context” the drama whose title is a military terminology for half past midnight, the time at which the hunt of Osama bin Laden by the CIA was scheduled to take place.

The movie, which chronicles the hunt for al-Qaeda terrorist leader Osama bin Laden, has come under intense criticism from Washington. The CIA denounced the film, calling the interrogation scenes “a dramatization, not a realistic portrayal of facts.” Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Carl Levin (D-Mich.) also complained about the film’s “grossly inaccurate and misleading” torture scenes.

Critics claim that the film falsely depicts the CIA’s use of torture methods as an effective technique in capturing terrorist leaders. But Director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal claim that the movie accurately portrays the events based on information they received from the CIA, putting the agency in an uncomfortable position.

The Senate Intelligence Committee, headed by Feinstein, is now launching an investigation to determine whether or not the film’s director and screenwriter were granted “inappropriate” access to classified information by the CIA.

The committee is also trying to determine if the CIA was responsible for the film’s depiction of torture as a key method in the capture of bin Laden, which it claims is false information.

Dear Friends,

Zero Dark Thirty opens in New York and Los Angeles today. The movie depicts graphic acts of torture and implies that it played a key role in the hunt for Osama bin Laden. But soldiers, intelligence professionals, and interrogators have all told us that torture did not produce useful information that could not have been obtained by legal and moral means. 

We believe that the report by the Senate Intelligence Committee on its three-year investigation of CIA torture will show that torture did not make our nation safer. This report must be made public. 

Last week, the Senate voted to adopt the report, which was a huge victory for all of us. But the challenges before us are these:
  • We must urge the Senate Intelligence Committee to release its report.
  • We need to make it clear to the American people that torture is not only immoral and illegal, but it does not make our nation safer. The message of Zero Dark Thirty is simply wrong – read facts and fiction about Zero Dark Thirty.
Please support this critical work by making a tax-deductible donation to NRCAT today. NRCAT is working tirelessly to ensure that the Committee releases its report, but we need your help to continue this effort. Gifts of every size, large and small, have a huge impact on this critical advocacy work.

Right now, the impact of your donation will be doubled thanks to a $10,000 Challenge Grant offered by a generous group of NRCAT friends. When you make a gift to NRCAT between now and December 31, it will go twice as far toward helping ensure that both policy-makers and the public know the facts. By helping to share the truth about torture — that it is not only immoral but also harms our national security — you can help us rebuild the American consensus against it. 

Thank you for your commitment to abolishing torture in U.S. policy, practice, and culture. We are truly grateful for your support.

Linda Gustitus, President
Rev. Richard Killmer, Executive Director

P.S. If you prefer to support NRCAT by mail, kindly mail a check payable to NRCAT to 110 Maryland Ave NE, Suite 502; Washington, DC 20002.

NRCAT is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to abolishing torture in U.S. policy, practice and culture. Your donation is deductible for income tax purposes to the extent allowed by law. No goods or services are received in exchange for your donations.

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