A CIA analyst who was the main inspiration for Jessica Chastain’s character in Zero Dark Thirty hyped the value of torture and failed to prevent the 9/11 attacks, a NBC News investigation found. The former deputy chief of the agency’s Bin Laden unit told a congressional panel that “there’s no question in my mind that having that detainee information has saved hundreds, conservatively speaking, of American lives.” This month, a Senate report said torture did not save any lives and CIA Director John Brennan said it was “unknowable” if torture worked. She also came under fire after 9/11 for allowing a subordinate to withhold the names of two of the hijackers from the FBI prior to the attacks. In 2004, the woman ordered a German citizen to be detained, flown to Afghanistan, and interrogated because he knew about al Qaeda. The CIA soon learned he wasn’t part of al Qaeda and released him. Since then, the woman has been promoted to head of the “global jihad” unit.
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