Survivors Of 9/11 Victims Slam Senators For Trashing ‘Zero Dark Thirty’

Here is an unexpected vote of support for Best Picture nominee Zero Dark Thirty, a film that probably lost an Oscar nomination for director Kathryn Bigelow because of the cage rattling by three U.S. Senators over what they said was a false impression that the torture depicted in the film led somehow to 9/11 mastermind Osama Bin Laden. Here is a release issued by 9/11 Parents & Families of Firefighters and WTC Victims, which was forwarded to me by Sony Pictures. As a New Yorker, I can see their point. While I was having my house built in a new community a dozen years ago, we met a firefighter who right up the block was building his dream house. Construction got delayed and by the time these houses were done, he had perished on 9/11. His family has long since moved away, but each time I drive past that house, I think of him. I also thought of him while I watched Zero Dark Thirty, and while I found the depiction of torture to be upsetting–it seemed to me that Bigelow and Mark Boal presented it in a way that leaves it up to the viewer to decide whether or not it was worthwhile or reprehensible–but the most surprising thing about the way that movie has played is how the heroism of the CIA operatives and the Navy SEALs has gotten little to no recognition because of the Senate scrutiny. The perspective below comes from a group that every day wakes up reminded they lost loved ones and that everything depicted in Zero Dark Thirty came as the result of an unforgivable terrorist attack on innocent people perpetrated in our backyard.

9/11 Parents & Families of Firefighters and WTC Victims
Statement of Support re “Zero Dark Thirty” Film

January 31, 2013
Chief Jim Riches – 917-692-1199
Sally Regenhard – 646-266-1987
Rosemary Cain – 516-798-0109

9/11 Family Group Says: “NO” to censorship of Zero Dark Thirty film re Bin Laden

As a group of 9/11 families sharing a rare moment of justice and elation in the viewing of a film chronicling the search for and ultimate death of Osama Bin Laden, we find it deeply disturbing that some of our elected officials want to discourage other 9/11 families and the public from seeing this outstanding film. Politicians who have criticized the movie and made misleading claims about it, stand in the way of engaging a public dialogue for a stirring film which invokes feelings of patriotism and perseverance and honors our military, our country, and the victims of 9/11.

We are greatly concerned that a few pundits, “film critics” and elected officials are badmouthing this movie because of the water boarding scenes and because this film directly confronts the enduring terrorist threat.

We feel this is history – like it or not -and no effort should be made to rewrite or censor it for political correctness. Certainly there should be no organized boycott or suppression of films based on political differences. The word for that is “censorship.” How bizarre that members of an industry that suffered so much during the McCarthy era would even consider doing this to their own members!

The use of the term “torture” by elected officials in hopes of dissuading people to endorse or view this film is antithetical to what our government should be all about.

As 9/11 family members whose loved ones were massacred at Ground Zero on September 11, 2001, we applaud Mark Boal and Katherine Bigelow for presenting a film that honors history, our military, our country, and the victims of 9/11 – through the excellent portrayal of how the US government and Navy Seals worked to apprehend OBL. There is still a constitutional right to freedom of speech in our country, and censoring a film is totally un American and against the tenets of our founding fathers. This film inspires dialogue and no elected official can censor any film. We do not want to allow Senators Feinstein, Levin, and McCain or actors David Clennon and9/11 Truthers Ed Asner and Martin Sheen – to inhibit our fellow Americans from seeing ” Zero Dark Thirty.” Our loved ones died for these freedoms on 9/11 – and no one should ever try to abridge them. All citizens should see this film and make their own decisions about its value. This is what democracy is about.

Rita & Chief Jim Riches, FDNY(ret.) Chairperson,
9/11 Parents & Families of Firefighters & WTC Victims
Parents of FF Jimmy Riches 9/11, E4

Sally & Sgt. Al Regenhard, NYPD(ret.) USMC Vet.
Parents of FF Christian Regenhard 9/11, L131, Sgt.USMC

Maureen & Chief Al Santora, FDNY(ret.) & Family
Parents of FF Christopher Santora 9/11, E54

Rosemary Cain
Mother of FF George Cain 9/11, L7

Eileen Walsh, Mother
Matthew & Mary Walsh, Siblings
of FF Michael Brennan 9/11 E54/L4

Michael Burke
Brother of Capt. William Burke 9/11, E21

Sgt. Wilton Sekzer, NYPD(ret.) Proud Vietnam Vet.
Father of Jason Sekzer 9/11,Tower 1, 105Flr/WTC

Christina Regenhard & Donal Flynn
Sister & Brother-In-Law of FF Christian Regenhard
Carol Maire Watters

FF Robert Mahon FDNY(ret.)
Cousins of FF Christian Regenhard

Glenn Corbett, Technical Advisor
9/11 Parents & Families of Firefighters & WTC Victims

Related: Michael Moore Weighs In On ‘Zero Dark Thirty’

This article was printed from