I succumbed last night to my wife’s request and watched the wretched movie, ZERO DARK THIRTY. Fortunately, I did not have to spend a cent to do so. We were visiting friends who had a copy and I agreed to watch. My original refusal to spend any money to watch this film was predicated on Kathryn Bigelow’s unseemly access to the CIA and DOD because the Obama White House was eager to get out a piece of Obama hagiography designed to sing his praises as the Jihad killer.

My fears were misplaced. The movie is very subtle in its efforts to perform political fellatio on the little man from Hawaii. What truly shocked me was how awful, banal and pedantic the flick is. Bigelow’s award winning effort, The Hurt Locker, may have inspired hope that she could work magic on a story of such magnitude as the search for and killing of Osama Bin Laden. Nope. She dropped a proverbial turd in the Hollwood Bowl.

I remember when Oscar was upon us and many on the right were insisting she did not get nominations or awards because of how she handled the issue of torture. That would have been a great excuse if the movie was worth a damn. But it ain’t.

The torture scenes in the first fifteen minutes are mind numbingly ridiculous. Mark Boaz, who wrote this nonsense, could have taken some lessons from Vince Flynn in how to write torture porn. Boaz scripted the most juvenile, comic book nonsense you could imagine. Frankly, if the CIA personnel portrayed as inflicting this “punishment” had actually acted this way, they should have been fired for incompetence.

Boaz and Bigelow then stitch together a garbage story “based” on real events. For example, their portrayal of the suicide bombing of Jennifer Matthews at Camp Champman in Afghanistan has no relevance to the search for or capture of Bin Laden, but is attached to the script like a perverse Christmas ornament. Matthews is portrayed by Jennifer Ehle (she was the heroine physician in CONTAGION). Some of Matthews’ former colleagues take exception to her portrayal:

Martin says he winced at the depiction of Matthews, calling it the film’s “most egregious” error. “That character, as portrayed in the movie, was not her,” he said. “She was much more serious, and that was a misrepresentation of just her personality and her demeanor and the way she operated.”

However, the movie does get it right in zinging Matthews for being quite unprofessional in the reception she put together for meeting with the fellow who turned out to be a deadly double agent. But so what? This was not a story about how the CIA placed EEO politics (which it does) over professional trade craft.

The unfolding of the yarn about how the CIA supposedly found Bin Laden is goddamn, boring mess. Contrived drama set against the backdrop of maddening bureaucracy.

You would think that the final assault on the Bin Laden compound would be a nail-biter and blood pressure raiser. Think again. Even my wife, who is far more forgiving of these kinds of movies, remarked without prompting afterwards that she was shocked this had even been considered for Best Picture. It was not.

If you have the chance to buy or rent this movie, DON’T. If you have already wasted your money, my condolences. This movie is a mess.

Previous articleThe Cyprus Fallout Is Coming
Next articleWhy Did Obama Put a Fat Girl in Charge of Secret Service?
Larry C. Johnson is a former analyst at the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, who moved subsequently in 1989 to the U.S. Department of State, where he served four years as the deputy director for transportation security, antiterrorism assistance training, and special operations in the State Department's Office of Counterterrorism. He left government service in October 1993 and set up a consulting business. He currently is the co-owner and CEO of BERG Associates, LLC (Business Exposure Reduction Group) and is an expert in the fields of terrorism, aviation security, and crisis and risk management, and money laundering investigations. Johnson is the founder and main author of No Quarter, a weblog that addresses issues of terrorism and intelligence and politics. NoQuarterUSA was nominated as Best Political Blog of 2008.
  • vincenzo4

    I despise Zero Dark Thirty even more and I
    refused to go see it. Of course, I believed for decades that McCarthy
    was absolutely right, and now that I have actual real experiences for a
    few decades I understand why what he was up against decapitated him and
    is used by them ever since as cover.

  • Popsmoke


    For those interested in military type of things… Conference is free.



    SS disability will run out of money i 2016. this will hurt the people who really need it



    North Korea shuts last remaining hotline to South Korea

    is this guy with little man syndrome posturing or really trying to start a war?

    • Fred82

      I’d say its mostly about domestic politics.

      The internal political structures of states like North Korea tend to be veritable shark tanks. At the same time, Kim Jong Un wasn’t the original tabbed successor to Kim Jong Il. Un wasn’t groomed and packaged as being descended from divine lineage in the same way that Il was.

      I think this is mostly about Un cementing himself as Billy Badass in the eyes of the DPRK military/intelligence leaders and potential rivals.



    who shot bin laden, now there is a different story on what happened

  • KenoshaMarge

    A festering turd? Isn’t most propaganda just that?

    When the only goal is to make a “message” movie, in this case the wonder of the POS in the White House, they don’t even entertain.

    The more that teachers teach propaganda, media acts as press agents and Follywood thinks to instruct us how to think the less any of these entities does their damn job.

    Then all the celebutards throw themselves an awards show, arrive decked out in hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of high fashion and jewels to pat themselves on the back.
    Just as I don’t watch most of their product anymore, I don’t watch their back-patting extravaganzas.

    It seems to me that Boaz and Bigelow should have received an award. One for the most chutzpah in presenting a festering turd as entertainment.

    • DianaLC

      O is jealous because he thought he had found his Leni Riefenstahl, but the good old boys and girls in America aren’t all goose steeping to his vision.

      • KenoshaMarge

        Not all, but far too many!

  • Fred82


    Is the CIA really putting EEO over professional tradecraft or were you just being humorous?

    I am not in a position to know about the CIA’s views regarding EEO, but the way everything else is going these days, it wouldn’t surprise me.

    • http://noquarterusa.net Larry Johnson

      Dead ass serious. A buddy of mine who is a recruiter informed me that if you are a white male, your odds of getting in are very low. With respect to Jennifer Matthews, she was totally unqualified to be in the position that she was. She was in charge of that base because she was a woman. Ridiculous but true.

      • Fred82

        Thanks Larry,

        Now does this policy have anything to do with the current administration or is this more of an organizational thing?

        • http://noquarterusa.net Larry Johnson

          Started in earnest six years ago. It is the Obama legacy.

          • Fred82

            Thanks again Larry,

            Now do you see this policy changing if we get a different administration that knows what they are doing?

          • Retired_from_SPOnaj

            Actually, it started during the Clinton administration. In 1998, I sat on a CIA promotion panel. The panel was advised that if we promoted a “disadvantaged minority” (i.e., no Asians need apply, not being “disadvantaged”) or a female that was below the “cut line” (i.e., below the number of slots available for promotion applied to the original ranking by performance) that said disadvantaged minority or female would not count against the number of slots available for promotion. Such promotions of employees for other than performance reasons were commonly known by CIA promotion panels as “freebees.” So, from my perpsective, it is a Clinton legacy that was carried on by both Bush and Obama. To be fair, the specific CIA policy was so far down the food chain from both OPM and the White House that it probably didn’t even come up on their managerial radar screen.

            • Fred82


              Guess I won’t ever be working there. Oh well.

  • Cherut

    My wife mistakenly got this from Pablo for $10 thinking I wanted to see it which I did not. I just gave it to someone else who did.

    This was not exactly like the Raid on Entebbe or the Raid at Cabanatuan.


    off topic

    I just started reading about this marketplace fairness act S336.

    internet tax. it does not look good


    • KenoshaMarge

      Wasn’t this bill a bi-partisan effort? And should we not fear politicians working across the aisle more than gridlock?

    • elizabethrc

      Yesterday I went with a friend to her doctor. On the sign-in desk was a notice which said to contact your Congressperson regarding the Stark Act, which apparently is up for a vote.
      It puts further impediments to doctors being able to provide the best care for their patients in that it will prohibit any doctors from maintaining in-house imaging systems , from having in-house physical therapy facilities, as well as other strictures.
      As it is, the doctors offices are brimming with patients who have to wait far too long. One doctor told me that they have to see many more patients than they used to in a given hour and even then, many of them are falling behind in making a living.
      The course America is taking is obvious. I don’t much care for it.

      • foxyladi14

        obamacare sucks.

  • MG6


    Since the topic is military. Can someone explain this regarding DHS? And way Congress has not inquired about this?


  • Retired_from_SPOnaj

    Larry, you’re just jealous because you don’t have one of those half dollar-sized, full color CIA logo lapel pins like the actor that portrayed COS Islamabad wore on his impeccably-tailored suit throughout the movie. For those of you who have never served in a CIA station overseas, all real CIA officers abroad wear those pins so that the terrorists know who we are and will run from us in shear panic.

    • TeakWoodKite

      Your knives are as sharp as ever, Retired. Thanks. (belly laugh) You can cook in my kitchen anytime.

      • HELENK2


    • http://noquarterusa.net Larry Johnson

      Don’t get me started. Jesus!!

    • Popsmoke

      What? I thought you also had one of those nifty nuclear laser wrist watches that prevented terrorists from running away after they saw that pin? I am so disappointed….

  • DianaLC

    I have had no desire to watch the movie. Now I have a good reason when I tell people I don’t want to see it. “This movie is a mess.” What can you expect when it comes out of the mess that is Hollywood in bed with the Progressive Hood?