National Security Brief: Senate Panel To Investigate ‘Zero Dark Thirty’

Reuters reports that the Senate Intelligence Committee will investigate contacts between CIA officials and the makers of the film “Zero Dark Thirty” after Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA) and other senators expressed concern that the movie — which depicts the events leading up to and including the death of Osama bin Laden — implies that torture helped locate the al-Qaeda leader. Sources told Reuters that investigators “will examine whether the spy agency gave the filmmakers ‘inappropriate’ access to secret material” and “whether CIA personnel are responsible for the portrayal of harsh interrogation practices, and in particular the suggestion that they were effective.”

In other news:

  • President Obama signed the $633 billion defense bill that he had previously threatened to veto because of limits on his authority to transfer prisoners from Guantanamo Bay. The bill includes more sanctions on Iran and increased funding for diplomatic security abroad.
  • The New York Times reports: Gen. John R. Allen, the senior American commander in Afghanistan, has submitted military options to the Pentagon that would keep 6,000 to 20,000 American troops in Afghanistan after 2014. … General Allen offered Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta three plans with different troop levels: 6,000, 10,000 and 20,000, each with a risk factor probably attached to it.
  • The U.N. reported yesterday that as many as 60,000 Syrians have died during the country’s two-year long civil war. But the U.N.-Arab League Syria peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi warned that 100,000 more could be killed in the next year.
  • (Photo: Sony Pictures)