CIA accused of misleading bin Laden filmmakers with interrogation claims

Top US politicians have accused the CIA of misleading the makers of the Osama bin Laden raid film 'Zero Dark Thirty' by allegedly telling them that harsh interrogation methods helped track down the terrorist mastermind.

The film shows waterboarding and similar techniques as important, if not key, to finding bin Laden in Pakistan, where he was killed by Navy SEALs in 2011.

A Senate Intelligence Committee investigation into the CIA's detainee programme showed that such methods produced no useful intelligence, but the CIA's acting director, Michael Morell, recently contradicted that finding.

In a statement to employees last month, he said that while the film was wrong to depict harsh techniques as key to finding bin Laden, those interrogations did produce some useful intelligence.

"Some came from detainees subjected to enhanced techniques, but there were many other sources as well," Mr Morell said.

In a letter to the CIA this week, Senators Dianne Feinstein, John McCain and others have asked Mr Morell to back up his claim and to share documents showing what the film-makers were told.

They asked him to provide what information was acquired from CIA detainees and when "Prior to, during, or after the detainee was subjected to the CIA's enhanced interrogation techniques? If after, how long after?".

The senators say the CIA detainee who provided the most accurate information about the courier who was tracked to bin Laden's hiding place "provided the information prior to being subjected to coercive interrogation techniques", according to a statement yesterday from Ms Feinstein.

The senators sent the agency a similar letter last month.

The CIA said it would co-operate.

"As we've said before, we take very seriously our responsibility to keep our oversight committees informed and value our relationship with Congress," CIA spokesman John Tomczyk said.

'Zero Dark Thirty' opens in the US in mid-January.

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