That said, I will comment on an aspect of it that's spent a good month in the news - torture. Specifically the efficacy of torture as presented in Bigelow's bin Laden death porn flick, at least as I understand it. Seeing the worst excess of the Bush years up on the silver screen has gotten all the Very Serious People scratching they're chins and asking "Maybe this torture thing maybe sorta works?" And that just begs for a thoughtful and in-depth answer:
Torture doesn't work. Not for actionable intelligence anyways. If you want to be like the Russians in Chechnya and just menace the hell out of everyone until they're too terrified, then it works. If you want to leave a mangled calling card in Baghdad and the Zeta-controlled parts of Mexico then hell yeah it works! Not to scare anyone off of course, just to show that you're the meanest monster on the block.
But information? You never get that through torture because the poor bastard will say anything to get you to stop. Usually. The opposite end of the spectrum is the guy you can waterboard over and over and over who won't change his story. That's what Khalid Sheikh Mohammed did, took the worst the CIA could give him and convinced the glorified bagmen that he was telling the truth. "Anyone would break after that!"
Maybe. Maybe not. Because torture doesn't even make cold-blooded sense. The amount of time it'll take to first break someone and then shift through what truths they may have actually spilled in the inevitable fog of "I'll tell these sick fucks anything if they'll just take the electrodes off my balls!" you could've just done the good cop/bad cop treatment. Hell that's how we really found bin Laden! The FBI got a hold of the guy who knew the driver who knew the snitch that spilled the beans on the Hotel bin Laden in Pakistan.
And that doesn't matter to torturers and their apologists. Because it's not really about gathering intelligence at all but about power. Getting off on the control they have on another human being. It's hardly a unique pathology, but it's shameful that anyone still bothers to rationalize it. That whole "ticking time-bomb" scenario? Bullshit. And thank god for that, 'cause with how long it takes our "interrogators" to get to their paingasm, the bomb would've gone off ten times!
So if you must go see Bigelow embarrass herself more, keep in mind that when the brave heroes of Zero Dark Thirty get to wailing on prisoners, it's not out of any necessity but because they enjoy it. The sick fucks...