While Amazon Studios’ “The Report” is no longer looking like a formidable Academy Awards contender, the film has nonetheless generated conversation and controversy a la 2012’s “Zero Dark Thirty.” Released in the United States in mid-November, “The Report” dramatizes the U.S. Senate’s investigation of counterterrorist torture tactics employed by the CIA following the September 11 attacks. Over the weekend, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo took to Twitter to trumpet his thoughts about the film, which he calls “fiction.”
I watched “The Report.” Fiction. To be clear: the bad guys are not our intelligence warriors. The bad guys are the terrorists. To my former colleagues and all of the patriots at @CIA who have kept us safe since 9/11: America supports you, defends you and has your back. So do I.
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) December 27, 2019
In the film, Adam Driver plays Daniel Jones, who headed up the investigation under the direction of Senator Dianne Feinstein, played by Annette Bening. The film is explicit in showing the torture methods used by the CIA to glean information from suspected terrorists. According to Deadline, “The Report” director Scott Z. Burns has released a statement defending his film against the claims of Mike Pompeo.
In his statement, Burns referenced the Panetta Review, an internal document by the CIA that cast a harsh light on the government’s interrogation strategy. That document is discovered by Daniel Jones in “The Report.”
“I am grateful to Secretary of State Pompeo for taking the time to watch ‘The Report’ movie on Amazon Prime,” Burns said in the statement. “I hope he will go back and read the [Senate Select Committee on Intelligence] report as well. I am interested in knowing what part he finds to be fiction and I ask him to join me in calling for the release of the Panetta Review which the CIA conducted into the [enhanced interrogation technique] program so that this dispute can be resolved.”
Finally, Burns said, “I agree with him that terrorists are bad guys — as are the people who conducted barbaric and ineffective acts of torture in the name of Mr. Pompeo’s misguided notion of ‘Patriotism’ and then misled Congress and the American people.”
“The Report” is currently streaming on Amazon Prime.