But the real problem is that the film shows that the key piece of information that led to the finding and killing of Osama bin Laden was extracted from a detainee who, for the first 45 minutes of the film, was brutally tortured. He then gave off the key bit of information, which was the identity of Osama bin Laden’s courier, which led the CIA to be able to find bin Laden when he was sitting at a table eating with two CIA agents who had spent the first 45 minutes of the film torturing him, and they then threatened to return him to torture.
The line right before he gives up the key piece of information is “you can tell me what I want to know, or I can hang you back up to the ceiling.” And he then immediately coughs up the name of the courier that led them to bin Laden. So the key message that huge numbers of people—writers, journalists, politicians—who’ve seen this film received, and was intended to be conveyed, is that torture played a critical role in enabling the finding of bin Laden. That would be bothersome even if it were true; the fact that it’s a complete fabrication is what makes this film so reckless and disturbing.
Second, the film creates the strong impression that the enhanced interrogation techniques that were part of our former detention and interrogation program were the key to finding Bin Ladin. That impression is false. As we have said before, the truth is that multiple streams of intelligence led CIA analysts to conclude that Bin Ladin was hiding in Abbottabad. Some came from detainees subjected to enhanced techniques, but there were many other sources as well. And, importantly, whether enhanced interrogation techniques were the only timely and effective way to obtain information from those detainees, as the film suggests, is a matter of debate that cannot and never will be definitively resolved. [CIA.gov]