Hannity Uses Zero Dark Thirty To Falsely Claim Enhanced Interrogation Led U.S. To Bin Laden

During his Fox News program, Sean Hannity cited the plot of the movie Zero Dark Thirty to push the theory that enhanced interrogation techniques helped the U.S. intelligence community locate Osama bin Laden. However, CIA records show that enhanced interrogation techniques were not key to finding Bin Laden.

Hannity Claims Enhanced Interrogation Techniques Helped U.S. Find Bin Laden

Hannity: “Enhanced Interrogation Techniques” “Ultimately Did Help Lead To Bin Laden's Capture.” During his January 14 Fox News program, Sean Hannity claimed that liberals “are calling for moviegoers to boycott [Zero Dark Thirty]. Now, it seems they are against the scenes that depict enhanced interrogation techniques, which ultimately did help lead to Bin Laden's capture. Now outraged liberals are claiming that the tactics had nothing to do with finding the world's most wanted terrorist.” [Fox News, Hannity, 1/14/13]

Six Million Pages Of CIA Records Confirm Enhanced Interrogation Was Not Responsible For Locating Bin Laden

Acting CIA Director Mike Morell: “Enhanced Interrogation Techniques Were Not ”Key To Finding Bin Ladin." In a statement sent to CIA employees, Acting Director Michael Morell wrote of Zero Dark Thirty, "[T]he film creates the strong impression that the enhanced interrogation techniques that were part of our former detention and interrogation program were the key to finding Bin Ladin.  That impression is false.  As we have said before, the truth is that multiple streams of intelligence led CIA analysts to conclude that Bin Ladin was hiding in Abbottabad. Some came from detainees subjected to enhanced techniques, but there were many other sources as well.  And, importantly, whether enhanced interrogation techniques were the only timely and effective way to obtain information from those detainees, as the film suggests, is a matter of debate that cannot and never will be definitively resolved." [CIA.gov, 12/21/12, via Mother Jones]

Senate Intelligence Committee Report: “Coercive Interrogation Techniques” Did Not Lead To Bin Laden Intel. According to a 6,000 page report on the CIA interrogation program conducted by the Senate Intelligence Committee, “The CIA did not first learn about the existence of the UBL courier from CIA detainees subjected to coercive interrogation techniques.” From a Mother Jones post about Zero Dark Thirty:

The Senate intelligence committee, which last month completed a 6,000-page report on the CIA interrogation program based on its examination of 6 million pages of CIA records, was more definitive: “The CIA did not first learn about the existence of the UBL courier from CIA detainees subjected to coercive interrogation techniques. Nor did the CIA discover the courier's identity from CIA detainees subjected to coercive techniques.” Yet in their film, Bigelow and Boal depict the exact opposite. [Mother Jones, 1/11/13]