Group says outcry akin to 'censorship'

The 9/11 Family Group, whose members lost loved ones in the 2001 terrorist attacks, are coming to the defense of Sony’s “Zero Dark Thirty,” speaking out against public officials who have discouraged people from seeing the Kathryn Bigelow/Mark Boal depiction of the hunt for Osama bin Laden.

Pic has been at the center of controversy since its December release, with a handful of Congressmen accusing filmmakers of including misleading or untrue elements and calling the movie “pro-torture.”

“We are greatly concerned that a few pundits, ‘film critics’ and elected officials are badmouthing this movie because of the waterboarding scenes and because this film directly confronts the enduring terrorist threat,” the group said in a statement released Thursday.

The group went on to describe criticisms and political outcry as “censorship”: “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.”

In December, Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Carl Levin (D-Mich.) wrote a letter to Sony Pictures chairman Michael Lynton that calls the movie “grossly inaccurate and misleading.” The movie features graphic scenes of CIA officers torturing detainees that “credits those detainees with providing critical lead information” on the courier who led to the bin Laden compound, the lawmakers said in their letter.

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