Osama bin Laden

Details About The Bin Laden Raid Are Secret Unless You Plan to Make a SEAL-Aggrandizing, America-Cheering, "Heroic" Film About It

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Over at Gawker, John Cook reports that the rumors seem to be true about the May 2011 raid that ended with the death of U.S. enemy numero uno Osama Bin Laden; The White House, while they were busy changing their story about the raid numerous times, were also chatting like ladies at a hair salon to director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal so that they could in turn the heroic story into a no-doubt-heroic movie.

The originally planned October 2012 —AKA a month before the presidential election — release date for Zero Dark Thirty was changed to December 2012. Nobody, especially not Bigelow, has admitted to anything gross about the little-too-perfect timing of the original date, but now it's indeed bumped back.

It's important not to influence public opinion or anything. Or to look untoward about serious issues like presidential elections and killing important terrorist. Except that, writes Cook:

The documents, obtained via the Freedom of Information Act by Judicial Watch, which had to sue to get them, show a level of access to CIA facilities and intelligence personnel that would make a national security beat reporter blush. CIA flacks spent an enormous amount of time last summer setting up interviews between Boal and senior CIA officials, including a tour of the room where the raid was planned and access to a CIA-built recreation of the bin Laden compound. All while the White House was engaged in a concerted effort to squelch "leaks" of classified information.

As Politico's Josh Gerstein points out, some of the email traffic in the CIA setting up Boal's visit acknowledges the apparent hypocrisy of opening the door on one of the Agency's most sensitive operations to a Hollywood production while vigorously working to shut down reporting on the incident by news outlets. "We're trying to keep [Boal's] visits at HQs a bit quiet, because of the sensitivities surrounding who gets to participates in this types of things," CIA spokesman Marie Harf wrote in one email. "I'm sure you understand." Another email from a Pentagon official to his colleagues notes an "increase in detailed requests in conjunction with books, documentaries, and film projects…. On behalf of [Defense] Secretary [Robert] Gates and [Under Secretary for Intelligence] Dr. [Michael] Vickers, I request that you decline any direct requests for information regarding the UBL operation…. Recently there have…been a number of sensitive items appearing in the press, which is quite troubling."

That email is particularly ironic seeing as how Vickers himself sat down with Boal for a 45-minute interview in which he disclosed a previously unreported detail about the intelligence that led to the raid.

This tidbit was the fact that back in 2009, U.S. forces lost the Bin Laden courier who eventually lad them to the terrorist leader's Pakistan abode. That was a narrow miss for the Obama administration who maybe could have started off their White House tenure even earlier with this smashing success in terrorist-killing.

Notes Cook, this detail seems to be missing from actual journalism from the last few years and:

"I can't definitively say that no one has ever reported that," Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col James Gregory told me. "But as far as I know those words had not previously been spoken in public."

But at least filmmakers now know, thank God.

CBS notes that there are folks who have other reasons to criticism this kind of snugness between government and Hollywood. It's not that sharing information with Bigelow and Boal and not sharing it with journalists or, ya know, the rest of the world is gross and aggrandizing and transparent. No, it turns out it might have jeopardized national security:

A House committee chairman charged Wednesday that the CIA and Defense Department jeopardized national security by cooperating too closely with filmmakers producing a movie on the raid that killed Osama bin Laden.

Homeland Security Committee Chairman Peter King. R-N.Y., first raised questions about the bin Laden movie last summer, but said newly released documents confirm his suspicions.

The filmmakers are director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal, who won Academy Awards for the motion picture "The Hurt Locker."

King referred to documents obtained by Judicial Watch in a Freedom of Information Act request. He said the filmmakers received "extremely close, unprecedented and potentially dangerous collaboration" from the Obama administration.

Unsurprisingly, various officials dispute the suspiciousness of this thing:

Pentagon press secretary George Little disputed some of the allegations. He said that while a planner was suggested as a possible point of contact for information on the bin Laden raid, a meeting between that planner and the filmmakers never occurred.

He said the Defense Department engages on a regular basis with the entertainment industry on movie projects, and the goal is to "make them as realistic as possible. We believe this is an important service that we provide."

Little added that Pentagon officials did meet with producers of the film but said, "We have never reviewed a script of the movie."

Little also denied that the cooperation was an attempt to boost President Barack Obama's election chances, and said the movie would not be out until after the election. Sony Pictures confirmed that the projected release date of the movie is Dec. 19.

CIA spokesman Preston Golson disputed the allegation that the filmmakers were given access to a secret "vault."

"Virtually every office and conference room in our headquarters is called a 'vault' in agency lingo," he said. The 'vault' in question, that had been used for planning the raid, was empty at the time of the filmmakers' visit."

Golson added, "The CIA has been open about our engagement with writers, documentary filmmakers, movie and TV producers, and others in the entertainment industry. Our goal is an accurate portrayal of the men and women of the CIA, their vital mission and the commitment to public service that defines them. The protection of national security equities is always paramount in any engagement with the entertainment industry."

Well, that's one thing the CIA is open about. So that's…something.

This is indeed one of those terrible things that is not that new. The Pentagon clearly adores Hollywood and Hollywood's willingness to trade the army looking good for moviemakers' access to sweet technology. Hollywood also digs getting permission to use a disclaimer which thanks the army for their assistance. 

Obviously propaganda has been around as long as movies (and World War II Hollywood obviously was the opposite of a bastion of Catch-22 or The Americanization of Emily type of tough questioning of the fundamental problems of even the "good war"). And perhaps the information wasn't that big of a leak, but the principle is clear; the U.S. government continues to be too arrogant to believe it should have to prove that the details of the Bin Laden are as described. They are not going to release Bin Laden death photos or video footage because that would risk national security.

But if you plan to write a gritty war-drama that is sure to make the SEAL team look amazing…Well. It will probably be a gritty film, and with more shallowly nuanced war-is-tough-and-national-security-is-shouty-and-serious themes than you would get from Michael Bay, sure. But it's hard not assume that the movie will make government and the armed forces look like anything but doers of good. As Bigelow said last year "This was an American triumph, both heroic and non-partisan." Maybe she does know better than we do.

Reason on propaganda and the war on terror

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  1. 1ieth!

  2. Who did they cast as SEAL team six squad leader Barack Obama?

    1. Michael Biehn?

      1. Jaleel White?

    2. Fred Armisen?

      1. Definitely! How about Jack Black as 2nd in command?

    3. I think Denzel has already called dibbs on playing BO.

      1. It’s in Don Cheadel’s life contract.

    4. Morgan Freeman.

    5. Don’t you mean who would be willing to play BO? Remember, all of Hollywood knows, “you never go full retard”.

    6. Trevon Martin…

      …too soon?

  3. I still can’t believe they moved this back to after the election.

    In fact, I won’t believe it until the election is over.

    1. There will still be plenty of advertising before hand.

      1. I wish I could have been a fly on the wall when they explained to President Not My Fault that they wouldn’t be able to release this movie before the election without it looking unbelievably ridiculous, not to mention possibly violating a pile of campaign laws.

        “But….BUT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE NEED TO KNOW THAT I KILLED BIN LADEN!!! THEY NEED TO KNOW HOW IMPORTANT THIS MOMENT WAS IN THE ANNALS OF MY ILLUSTRIOUS PRESIDENCY!!!”

        1. I’d love to see a true-to-life documentary, including the scenes described above, though.

          An illustration of an anal presidency.

  4. Lucy,

    I get the criticism of allowing them access. But what is with the whining that the movie might not make the US look like the focus of evil in the modern world?

    I would say whacking Bin Ladin was a really good thing. Tell me Lucy, are you sorry he is gone? Do you wish they had just handed him a subpoena instead?

    Jesus Lucy you act like they are trying to whitewash Abu Garib or something. And it isn’t like Hollywood hasn’t made about 10 or more horrible movies that portray American soldiers as killers and veterans as lunatics who can’t be trusted. How many pieces propaganda slandering the military came out in the 00s? And now they make one movie that doesn’t do that and you get a case of the vapors.

    You have been at the Reason headquarters too long Lucy. They have turned you into a hipster peacenik.

    1. You really are an idiot sometimes, John. Lucy (please correct me if I am wrong, Lucy) is merely pointing out the hypocrisy of the collusion between this administration and Hollywood while at the same time they mouth “national security” in order to withhold information. It’s a criticism of the asshole president, not the US, you jingoistic douchebag.

      Also, Katheryn Bigelow is a good director. Near Dark is really good, and I also really like Strange Days for some reason, even though it’s stupid.

      1. No. She is doing more than that. Read the post. I would quote the offending parts but Reasons spam filter won’t let me quote Reason’s own text. See the part about Catch 22 and the first sentence of the last paragraph. That is just Lucy bitching and moaning that the film might not be propaganda for the other side.

        God you are stupid sometimes.

        1. I did read the post. I guess I don’t have your supernatural TEAM RED mind-reading powers of discerning Lucy’s intentions from simple statements about collusion with Hollywood bigwigs. But you go on being a douchebag, John; it’s what you’re good at and don’t ever change.

          1. Whatever you giant fucking douche bag. Don’t explain how the last paragraph is anything but Lucy complaining that the movie is going to be pro US. Don’t bother with that. Just type some invective and call it a day.

            And for the fifth time, I agree with her about the access. I said it the initial post. But don’t bother to read that.

            You are totally incapable of having a rational conversation about anything involving the war. You are just fucking hopeless.

            1. You are just fucking hopeless.

              Yeah, we feel the same way about you too, John. You could have at least ripped me for liking Strange Days. And Blue Steel.

              1. Blue Steel? Blue FUCKING Steel?

                You ARE a monster…

              2. Wait, what? What’s wrong with liking Strange Days?

                1. Because it’s stupid. It’s essentially anti-drug (the recorded memories are like a drug! OH NOES), and unlike Paul, I’m not a big Juliette Lewis fan.

                  1. Yeah, I like Strange Days, too.

                  2. and unlike Paul, I’m not a big Juliette Lewis fan.

                    *looks around nervously*

            2. And that last paragraph IS the entire article.

              John, does your butt hurt? Cause it sounds like your butt hurts 🙁

              1. Why does it have to be the entire article Almanian? Is it not possible to agree with some points in an article but not others?

                You guys go full retard on this subject every time.

                1. “You guys”, “all the time”

                  OK, o3

        2. I am going to join in Epi’s criticism of you here, John.

        3. Me three.

        4. Of COURSE the movie is going to be a fluff piece. The administration isn’t going to give access like this to someone who’s going to look dispassionately at the events and point out the good and the bad in their film. I don’t think she’s bitching that it’s not going to be propaganda for the peaceniks so much as that it’s SURE to be propaganda for the hawks.

          1. SURE to be propaganda for the hawks.

            So what? that is my point. God forbid they make a movie that doesn’t show the military in the worst possible light.

            Thank you, you just made my point.

            1. SURE to be propaganda for the hawks.

              So what?

              That’s the whole issue. It’ll be admin propaganda. This is no different than CNN whitewashing Saddam for access. Bigelow and Holt are getting access in exchange for pushing the admin’s storyline and wonderfulness. That’s the fucking problem.

            2. No, John, you’re still missing it. This administration has promised to be uber-transparent and to protect leakers while pulling down every blind they can find and prosecuting leakers to the hilt. Now someone comes along and says, “Hey, wanna be in a movie that makes you look good? All you have to do is leak a bunch of secrets,” and they’re all over it. It’s typical Obama playing favorites for his own agrandizement. And as a result, the problem is not only the we won’t get the whole story, it’s that Obama will do everything to prevent us ever getting the whole story.

              1. For the 8th time, I totally get that Mad Scientist. And Lucy is right to call them out for it. But she is wrong to act like there is something wrong with the movie not being anti-military.

                Why are you people having such a hard time seeing the difference between the two points?

            3. God forbid they make a movie that doesn’t show the military in the worst possible light.

              Let’s have fun. John, name a major Hollywood movie that shows the military in a bad light. Then, we’ll name three that are total fluff towards the military. We’ll see who runs out first.

              1. Sure BP, but one rule. The movie has to have been made in the last ten years. Sorry, but the 60s don’t count any more.

                Stop Loss
                In the Valley of Elah
                Redacted
                The Kingdom
                Rendition
                Lions for Lambs
                Home of the Brave

                That is seven. Now name 21 movies made in the last ten years that fit your description or shut the fuck up.

                1. Are we allowed to include movies like Battlefield Los Angeles?

                  1. You watched that shit?!?

                    1. I have an eleven year old boy who likes Michael Bay. And a 7 year old girl who thinks every barbie movie put out by Mattell is super awesome.

                      I pick my parenting battles very carefully.

                      So yes, I watched that shit. I even plonked down a buck at Red Box to rent it. I think I rented the Zhu Zhu pet movie on that outing as well. That movie was so awful it gave me Type IX diabetes.

                2. Since you came up with that rule, I can’t quite get to 21, as I haven’t gone to the theater a lot since 2004 or so. I got 18, so I’m not going to shut up.

                  Anyway:
                  1998- Saving Private Ryan
                  2001- Band Of Brothers
                  2001- Pearl Harbor
                  2001- U571

                  Flags of Our Fathers
                  Inglorious Basterds
                  Rescue Dawn
                  We Were Soldiers
                  The Great Raid
                  Hurt Locker
                  Tears of the Sun
                  Memorial Day
                  Flyboys
                  Windtalkers
                  The Great Raid
                  Miracle at St. Anna
                  Saints and Soldiers
                  Battle Force
                  Act of Valor
                  Everyman’s War
                  Pathfinders
                  In Enemy Hands

                  1. You have The Great Raid on their twice.

                    1. It was THAT good.

                  2. Fuck yeah nice list BakedPenguin.

                    I’m tired of these people that don’t realize the Left is EXTREMELY interventionist. They are obnoxious and John sounds like a neocon.

                3. John, how the fuck is The Kingdom a “military in bad light” movie aside from MAYBE the opening credit sequence (which is more a history of western policy in general)? The Kingdom was an “FBI RULEZ!!!!” movie if anything, which I found enjoyable regardless of its propaganda-lite message.

                  If you’re going to use The Kingdom, why not Syriana? That one had little if anything to do with the military qua military as well.

          2. I’m not getting your complaint here either John, and the “tell my Lucy, are you sorry he’s gone?” line was stupid.

            I didn’t get the idea that Lucy went hippie from her post. Maybe you are projecting a little.

          3. Im gonna defend John here, at least partially, for a second.

            The tone of the article, at least to me, seems to indicate that the author has a problem with the fact that this admin (or any admin really) would give access to fluffers willing to make a movie that portrays the USA as virtuous.

            This isn’t really news or surprising right? Reason has done lots of pieces about the fact that military will give perks/tech/access to movie makers that show the US military in nothing but a positive light. And they will freeze out anyone who doesn’t.

            What exactly is Lucy’s complaint here? I read the piece twice and I dont get it.

            Is she complaining that the access given to the film makers did compomise Nat’l security?? Or that the current admins political opponents are trying to make an issue of something that goes on all the time?

            Is she complaining that the government doesn’t give perks to people looking to portray the government in negative light? To which I would say “Well DUH! Why should they”?

            Or is she trying to say that this is something specific to the Obama admin ? But we all know that isn’t true.

            So it seems like this is kind of a dog bites man article.

            Am I missing something?

            Is Lucy gonna spend 500 words writing about water being wet next??

            When the gov/mil give perks to someone not fellating them, well then wake me up cuz that would be news and worth writing about

            1. —“would give access to fluffers willing to make a movie that portrays the USA as virtuous.”—

              I do not see anything that comments on the actions of the USA specifically so much as actions by the Administration. Obama is not the USA. Having issues with the actions of government hacks is not by itself criticism of the USA. Iread it as pointing out the hypocrisy of telling the American public, the real USA, that certain things are just too classified to let us in on, and then allowing the “fluffers” access to this same information.

              Additionally, anyone who says that the original planned release date was not designed to influence the election is either a liar or a fool.

            2. Is she complaining that the government doesn’t give perks to people looking to portray the government in negative light? To which I would say “Well DUH! Why should they”?

              Laws against domestic propaganda? It’s our fucking money they are misappropriating for their aggrandizement? Number of reasons to object, DUUHHH.

              1. Laws against domestic propaganda? It’s our fucking money they are misappropriating for their aggrandizement? Number of reasons to object, DUUHHH

                I think your definition of propaganda and mine differ.

                Packaging up government produced “news” clips that they provide to network news without attribution is propaganda.

                A pro-US hollywood movie about the killing of a terrorist made by a private entity, not so much.

                Also, is the gov’t funding the movie?

    2. John,

      It would be one thing if the administration would be neutral in who it granted access to sensitive information.

      Here we have a case where a filmmaker seeking to make a movie that is to come out one month before the election is getting unusual access and assistance while other people are getting the Obama plumbers after them.

      Speaking for myself, I don’t mind the administration leaking U.S. government secrets, government secrets are incompatible with a free republic. The danger here is that the administration appears to be violating the spirit of the law forbidding propagandizing the american people (something that I feel is impossible to stamp out BTW).

      The problem isn’t that someone is making a hagiographic movie about the liquidation of Bin Laden. The problem isn’t the U.S. government being transparent and giving information agnostically to people seeking to make hagiographic movies. It’s the fact that the administration is commissioning one, timed in a seemingly tawdry attempt to influence an election.

      1. No shit Terran. Which part of “I get the criticism of allowing them access” is so hard to understand?

        1. Because it wasn’t all good.

          They ran a false vaccination campaign that involved tricking people into thinking they were getting medical care that wasn’t there.

          The doc who ran it for them is facing a 30 year stretch in prison for treason against a government that is supposedly a U.S. ally.

          That’s just the stuff we know about. I’m sure that like the Iran hostage rescue fiasco there’s a bunch of crap that we won’t find out about for 20 years.

          1. The doctor who ran it is facing 30 years because Pakistan is not a US ally and his actions resulted in Bin ladin’s death.

            Come on, you really think that they are angry over the false medical program? And that is the biggest crime you have? Really?

            Try again.

            1. John, I think you need to calm down and try to understand what people are saying to you. tarran gave you one example of a grievance that people might have against the US. You then respond with the talking point we’ve all heard a million times, “do you really think they’re angry because of X?”

              Well, yeah. If someone pretended to give me medical treatment, I would be angry. That doesn’t mean that there are no other grievances they may have against us or that this is a comprehensive explanation of the clash of civilizations. It is, however, one thing that an objective individual might be able to look at and say, “oh, I guess sometimes the US does bad things. Maybe that’s worth discussing, even if we accept the argument that America is not the focus of evil in the world.”

              This is why you get crap about being a Team Red fanatic. It is possible to admit fault on both sides without drawing a false moral equivalence between Al Qaida and the US.

              1. Dude, nobody thinks they jailed that doctor for the false vaccination campaign’s fraud. They stated that they charged that guy with treason for assisting the U.S. government.

                The fact that U.S. forces left that guy twisting in the wind on the other hand, how will that be portrayed in the move?

                Of course, we don’t know how many people, if any, were harmed because they falsely thought they’d been vaccinated against Hepatitis.

                And, of course, this is probably scratching the surface, because it will take years for the really embarrassing stuff to make it to the public.

              2. As far as I’ve read he doesn’t seem very Libertarian.

                Fuck our obnoxious Politicians that make us pay taxes on bad wars.

      2. The danger here is that the administration appears to be violating the spirit of the law forbidding propagandizing the american people

        Is the government producing the movie? Funding it? Paying for it? Distributing it? Forcing theaters to show it ?

        I mean, yeah they give access to lots of movies that don’t portray US forces in a negative light. I don’t think that qualifies as government produced propaganda for the law’s purposes.

    3. Psst. John. Your neocon is showing.

      1. It’s not like he tries real hard to hide it.

      2. PSST Brandon. don’t use words the meaning of which you don’t understand.

        1. Dude you are a neocon.

          Psst nothing fuck our wars, they’re annoying and a waste of money and time.

          And fuck your defense of marriage too, marriage is a religious concept that should have nothing to do with the government.

    4. John, I’m sorry to tell you that the situation really isn’t that complicated. The US military aren’t the good guys. They are operating bases in and occupying other countries that don’t want them there. They do rain death on civilians who have nothing to do with terrorism from flying killer robots whose operators sit in air conditioned bunkers in Nevada. Do they get bad guys? Sure, but they create even more bad guys by acting like imperialistic dickholes.

      1. ^^this^^

  5. If that’s all it takes to get the CIA and the military to talk about classified stuff, I say we make a blockbuster film about the heroes of the US drone program, and another one about the unsung heroes of secret rendition.

    1. I would love to see a real movie about the drone program. Reason seems to think that they only wedding and kindergartens with drones. The reality is a bit more complicated. And it would be the last thing many of the commentators would want to see.

      1. Hell, so would I. But many, many grains of salt would need to be taken.

        And re drones, yes, reality is complicated but the whole lack of transparency makes the murderin’ thing even more annoying.

        I actually adore war movies. But my hipster peacenik status sometimes collides with that love.

        1. Everyone acts like a drone is different than any other aircraft. It is the same. And the targeting process is the same. The issue is should be be bombing NW Pakistan. The drones are really incidental. Would you feel better if we were doing it with A10s?

          And sure this movie is going to be all go USA. So what? I guess Hollywood has decided to make a war movie that actually makes some money. Big deal.

          But, you are correct to be appalled that the Obama administration, while prosecuting the hell out of every other leaker, completely rolled over for the film makers.

          1. Everyone acts like a drone is different than any other aircraft. It is the same. And the targeting process is the same. The issue is should be be bombing NW Pakistan. The drones are really incidental. Would you feel better if we were doing it with A10s?

            While I think you are largely correct, I think the drones make a bad situation slightly worse; using A-10’s would require plonking a pilot in the region, which means a deployment with all the attendant rules, expenses, and attrition in pilots.

            In current scheme, the pilot flying the combat sorties goes home to the wife and kids every night. It’s low cost, and has the lowest possible wear and tear on people. If the U.S. is going to bomb something, I think it should be hard.

            1. This is dumb and on par with the “We should reinstate the draft so that people will be less likely to go to war” bullshit.

          2. Since the drones are “pilotless” they are more likely to be used. That is one major difference.

      2. They assassinate US citizens (and their kids!) with drones, too.

        1. That is a problem. But the problem is the assassination not the drone. Again, would you feel better if they had thrown Al Walaki off a cliff?

          1. I’d feel better if they didn’t have the technological capability to wage war overseas with no fucking oversight in a fashion that doesn’t involve any risk of American loss. The only reason the US doesn’t go bugfuck insane with military adventurism is because bodybags exact a political price. Remove that check and there’s absolutely no reason for State and DOD and whichever jackass sits in the White House to hold back.

            1. I’d feel better if they didn’t have the technological capability to wage war overseas with no fucking oversight in a fashion that doesn’t involve any risk of American loss.

              If only more Americans died things would be better. And you guys wonder why everyone confuses you with the KOS crowd.

              1. Shiiiiit, is that what T said? Sounded to me like “when it’s too easy, we bomb people for no good reason, and we shouldn’t be bombing people.” Making out like this was a call for more American soldiers to wind up in a body bag is just disingenuous.

              2. Wow, you are fucking stupid, John. He’s saying that if Americans are in danger of dying, there is less chance that our government will fuck with foreigners just because it can. If you gave this–or any–administration an army of killer robots that it could use without repercussions, what do you think it would do? And do you think that whatever it would do would be good?

                1. Of course it would be good. The military would be doing it, after all.

              3. If only more Americans died things would be better.

                Holy straw man Batman!

                Perhaps our government would be less eager to kill people in foreign lands if they had to put troops in danger while doing so.

                You been choking down the stupid pills today or what?

                1. So it would be better if more Americans died. You guys are morons. You don’t like wars fine. Stop the wars. But don’t sit around and hope for a fair fight. Basically you are hoping for more Americans to die so we will quit and go home.

                  You can delude yourselves all you like into thinking you don’t really believe that, but that is what you do. And again, your right to think that. But don’t bitch and moan then when people assume, rightly, that you are pulling for the other side.

                  1. You can keep saying stupid shit, John, but saying it again and again won’t make it true.

                  2. Fuck an A, man. How come it’s not cool for us to tell you what you actually believe, but it’s A-OK to tell us what we actually believe? I have a bunch of friends in the military and I sure as hell don’t want to see any of them dead. Try again.

                  3. ….. and he goes full retard.

                    If you don’t like Stalin, you must like Hitler.

                    If you don’t like Pol Pot, you must be a huge Ho Chi Minh fan.

                    Don’t like Obama, you must secretely want Khaddafi to win.

                    I guess being opposed to the Turkish suppression of Kurdish culture, including jailing people for naming their kids with unturkish names makes me a Ocalan supporter… who knew?

                2. I don’t want more people ending up in body bags anywhere. I’ve loaded them on medevac birds, and I’ve tried to count what was left after airstrikes. It sucks.

                  I’ll freely admit that sometimes, violence is the only realistic option. But the bar for that should be set pretty goddamned high. Drones lower the bar, and that should concern anybody that gives a shit about limited government.

                  We’ve already seen how armed drones start on the battlefield and end up being used half a world away from any battlefield to assassinate US citizens. There is serious talk about using drones to patrol the Mexican border and interdict drug smugglers. Where the fuck does this end?

                  Yeah, I want the cost to be high when it comes time to make these decisions because I want the government and the citizenry to think about what the fuck it is we’re proposing to do when we decide to go kill people in Faroffistan. We already discount the cost enough because a tiny fraction of the populace bears the cost. Remove even that tiny fraction and make it so we bear no human cost at all? We will go apeshit on the rest of the world and it will end poorly for us.

                  1. Drones lower the bar, and that should concern anybody that gives a shit about limited government.

                    Well put. But John’s incapable of anything beyond simple black/white analysis.

                  2. Very well said T. I might not have had the patience to respond to his drivel, with such refined reflection.

              4. If there is risk, it means more thought will be put into the action. How hard is that to understand? The question will be “Is this goat herder in Dumfukistan worth the possible loss of an American pilot?” With the drones the question is “How many goat herders can we zap today?”

    2. I can’t wait for Fast and Furious VI: Don’t Holder Back

  6. Holy typos, Batman.

    “The originally planned October 2012 ?AKA a month before the presidential election ? release date for Zero Dark Thirty changed to December 2012. Nobody, especially not Bigelow, admitting to anything gross about little-too-perfect timing, but now it’s indeed bumped back.)”

    No opening parenthesis, weird tense shift.

    “It’s important not to influence public opinion or anything. Or too look untoward about serious issues like presidential elections and killing important terrorist.”

    Wrong form of “To.”

    You’re better than this, Lucy.

    1. Word. This is what happens when I shift stuff. Fixing, thank you, copyediting Robin.

      1. Sorry. I have trouble reading stuff that’s not perfect. It’s…a problem. I’m working on it. Kinda.

    2. Crowdsourcing editing FTW!

      Way to be all Web 2.0, Lucy!

      1. Ha!

        Way to spin, sir or madam.

        1. tarran’s a chick?!?

          1. tarran’s a slut, dude.

            1. Well, I already knew that. I mean, it’s all the same in the dark, right?

              1. Yeah, basically the same. Just don’t smell too hard.

            2. This is Warty’s MO. You rebuff his advances and he wanders around the school telling everyone that you sleep around.

              I don’t think he ever outgrew high-school, which is why he cried like a baby when Beverly Hills 90210 was canceled… or so they say.

              1. Tarran, it was GUTSY of you to make that comment.

                GUTSY.

              2. Old 90210 or new 90210? IT MATTERS.

                1. There’s a new 90210?

                  Seriously?

                  1. There’s been a new 90210 for years now, you idiot. It’s like you don’t even watch the CW or something.

              3. Fuck you, pussy. I was a Dawson Creek man, all the way.

          2. Well, someone has to be. Might as well be tarran.

            1. Just read the notes in the baffroom – duh! Slut-o-riffic!

        2. Don’t worry Lucy – you’re at least overqualified to be CIA spokesman:

          “We’re trying to keep [Boal’s] visits at HQs a bit quiet, because of the sensitivities surrounding who gets to participates in this types of things,” CIA spokesman Marie Harf wrote in one email.

          Marie’s thoughts: Hmm, should that word be plural? Hell yeah!

  7. Military/Hollywood cooperation is generally fine with me. What is so annoying about this is the massive hypocrisy among the left, who are only pro-military when they think it will help a leftist candidate. (See also John Kerry.) They love trumpeting Osama’s death as an Obama triumph, when it’s obvious that it would have happened at roughly the same time if McCain or pretty much anybody else were president.

    1. Agreed, except for your first sentence.

      1. What is wrong with the military cooperating with Hollywood Lucy?

        1. Because then we end up with shit like John Wayne’s The Green Berets. I wonder how many dumb kids signed up to go to ‘Nam because of that one.

          1. Vietnam had a higher percentage of volunteers than WWII.

          2. As the son of a Vietnam veteran, go fuck yourself man. People didn’t volunteer for that because they were stupid.

            And for as bad of a movie as it was, there was more truth The Green Berets than some piece of garbage like Platoon.

            1. You may think it noble to voulunteer to go off to some other country to kill other people in the name of freedom, I consider it fundamentally irrational and immoral. “Dumb” may be too critical given the kinds of social pressure young men face (and I would know, since military service is common on both sides of my family), but in the end I honestly feel that the draft dodger was more admirable than the guy who volunteered.

              1. If politicians are the scum of the earth, why is killing people for them so fucking honorable?

              2. I will say it to your face as best I can Serious Man. You are fucking illiterate moron who has no understanding of history in general or that conflict in particular.

                Worse still, you seem incapable of understanding any side of an argument but your own. Few things are more worthy of contempt that people who claim anyone on the other side of an argument is “irrational”. No, they were not irrational, they just don’t agree with you.

                You are in short, anything but what your moniker claims.

              3. Pepole volunteered (in the Navy and Air Force) so they wouldn’t get drafted into the Army.

            2. I’m the son of a Vietnam veteran too, John. And my dad thinks that war was utterly retarded.

              He also fucking hated Platoon. HATED it. I remember walking out of the theater thinking how much I want to be like Charlie Sheen, and then he started ranting about how much of a mis-characterization it was.

              1. Whoops, forgot to add my dad was also a volunteer. In the Marines.

              2. You can think the war was stupid. But that didn’t make your father stupid. They are too different things Episiarch.

                And yeah, Platoon was horrible.

                1. Epi’s dad didn’t drown him in the toilet once he learned what he was. He’s either stupid or evil.

                2. No, Platoon is great, you just have to ignore Oliver Stone’s bullshit. Watched from a completely non-political perspective (which is how I watched it as a kid), it’s fucking great. Stone may be a nutcase, but he can make movies.

                  1. Right I get it Epi, it was a cool movie but the political message is wack.

                    John calm down buddy, I could not care less how offended you are.

                3. Sorry John, but I refuse to glorify soldiers. My dad was in the Air Force and my uncle is currently a United States Army colonel and I do not consider either heroes for it. It involves the same tortured logic of worshipping cops, who also do a dangerous job ostensibly for our own good.

                  1. It involves the same tortured logic of worshipping cops, who also do a dangerous job ostensibly for our own good.

                    If they do the “job” for our good, why do they insist on being paid for it? You would think that free room and board, along with the warm fuzzies of serving America would be enough.

            3. People didn’t volunteer for that because they were stupid.

              Agreed. It is possible some volunteered because they were racist, egotistical, or brainwashed.

            4. I’m the son of a Korean war vet and my father was about to help my older brother get into Canada to avoid the draft but Nixon ended it a few weeks before he was eligible. My father knew that for every noble act performed by the military there were two ignoble or downright evil acts performed by the same military.

        2. What is wrong with the military cooperating with Hollywood Lucy?

          How fucking willfully ignorant can you get?

      2. If the military charged Hollywood enough to fund their operations without tax money, I’d be ok with it.

    2. But….but… It was like, the most hardest decision ever for Obama to go kill him. Especially Obama sending the SEALs in…you know putting other people’s lives in danger is like the hardest decision ever as president! Don’t you remember all the emotional distress and internal conflict the troop surge in Afghanistan caused him!

    3. What? Are you suggesting that Presidents don’t micromanage CIA operations?

      1. JFK would agree that they don’t.

  8. Lucy Steigerwald needs an editor.

    1. Your daily dose of ASOIAF nerdom:

      “Vargo Hoat? That’s for him and all his Brave Companions. I offered to forage edit for Lucy, but she refused me. Some tasks are fit for lions, she said, but foraging editing is best left for goats and dogs.”

  9. And Lucy don’t let them get you down about the typos. That just means they don’t have anything else to say about what you wrote.

    1. As much as I disagree with you about some stuff, thanks for that!

      And again, Hit and Run is looking awfully good after I read those youtube comments…Oh Gawd.

      1. after I read those youtube comments

        Good lord Lucy, why would you do that to yourself?

        1. For Real man. Reading you tube comments about something that I care nothing about at all hurts my head. It just shouldn’t be done every, in any context.

          1. Some of them were about my boobs and things like that. I was hoping immersion therapy in the terribleness would help. Probably a poor plan.

            I much prefer provoking profane debates over foreign policy!

    2. You proofread that post at least three times, didn’t you?

  10. Good work mentioning The Americanization of Emily. Great old movie.

    1. Weird, I saw that clip for the first time yesterday when someone linked it on Facebook. James Garner is awesome, you don’t see that kind reflection in war movies very often.

      1. Check out The Best Days of our Lives, too.

        1. Years. Not Days.

  11. It was a GUTSY decision to write about the GUTSY decision to make this GUTSY movie about a GUTSY decision to have our GUTSY Team Seal, Which Art In Heaven (PBUH, GUTSY amen) effect its GUTSY attack on the gutless Osama Bin Doinwrong.

    And I appreciate everyone’s GUTSY comments – whether Team Hack or Team Flack, your posts here were GUTSY.

    That is all.

    1. You misspelled gusty. A lot of times.

      1. +100 or so

      2. And – duh – GUTSY comment, T

        *fistbump*

  12. …director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal so that they could in turn the heroic story into a no-doubt-heroic movie.

    “…in turn…”. intern (bury)?

  13. Lucy, in the future, whenever mentioning the military, it is best to end your piece with the phrase “All Glory and Honour to the Protectors of the Realm!”, then wherever you are, face DC and bow 3 times (not 5, that would make you a terrist). This ritual will prevent TeamRed members from reading your mind, so they won’t be able to tell that you actually hate the millitary.

    A modern variation of this ritual of mind protection is “thank you for service” at the beginning of direct interaction with any of those from warrior caste, but it isn’t really nearly as effective.

    All Glory and Honour to the Protectors of the Realm!

    1. To the everlasting glory of the Infantry, lives the story of Private Rodger Young…

  14. The underlying story here (to me anyway) is that almost all, if not all, of the SEALs involved in the OBL raid told their wife and kids they were going to Baltimore for some training that day (or whatever the cover story was) and stuck to it. That seems to be the honorable and decent way for the rugged men who protect us while we sleep to go about their business. So much for that.

  15. Coinkadinkally, as Meghan McCain says, that is exactly the same dress Lucy wore to the White House Correspondents dinner.

    1. Lies.

  16. “He said the Defense Department engages on a regular basis with the entertainment industry on movie projects, and the goal is to “make them as realistic as possible. We believe this is an important service that we provide.””

    Odd, when I enlisted (and later got commissioned) it was that thingie about defending the Constitution from enemies here and there that seemd to be the valuable service I was to provide. Who knew it was going to be tech advising H’wood that turned out to be so important?

  17. “We’re trying to keep [Boal’s] visits at HQs[sic] a bit quiet, because of the sensitivities surrounding who gets to participates[sic] in this types[sic] of things[sic], CIA spokesman Marie Harf wrote in one email.”

    So much for the myth of the hyperintelligent CIA bureaucrap. Good God someone teach that woman some basic grammar, quick.

  18. OOOH!! Navy SEALS!!!

    Lt. Col James Gregory

    Can we really expect competence when Inspector Lugar is around?

    A two-hour movie about our current military HEROESes! is never going to be as good as Generation Kill anyway, so I’d never bother.

  19. I enjoyed the Hurt Locker, but I wouldn’t say the best part of it was how accurately and faithfully it portrays the average soldier’s experience in Iraq. Jeremy Renner going on a jog through Baghdad to get revenge on a random Iraqi? Horribly inaccurate, but it told the story they wanted. Why do we really care if Bigelow’s movie is faithful to the true experience of blasting Osama?

    I’m pretty sure most of the people walking into the movie will just want to see Bin Laden get blown away and are willing to suffer through the 82 minutes of exposition and teary calls to wives and kids to get to the 4 minutes depicting the raid.

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