Adele Welty’s Review of “The Report”

November 2019

Just when I think I’ve seen or heard it all in my eighty-plus years, along comes an explosive expose’ to wake me up – again.  Although not unique to America’s current wars, The Report, a film soon to be released on Amazon Prime, graphically portrays the extent to which the CIA crossed the lines of legality, morality, decency in the post 9-11 world.

The film is fast paced and so much information is thrown at the audience initially that anyone unfamiliar with this subject could be overwhelmed.   From the blood curdling torture of Abu Zubaydah and spurious rationalizations for it by torture architects James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen, to the threats against Daniel Jones by former CIA director John Brennan, the film takes us to the dark side of our counter terrorism campaign in riveting detail.

Adam Driver is excellent as Daniel Jones, staff researcher of Senator Diane Feinstein’s office, who spent more than FIVE YEARS researching, investigating and documenting the abuses and cover up of the Enhanced Interrogation Program.  Senator Feinstein is played convincingly by Annette Bening.  There is seldom a film I would deem ‘important’.  But The Report is and should receive wide exposure.

Some people, including film critics, will dismiss the film, but that cannot take away its message of brutality, and what was done to ‘others’ in the name of all Americans

In October in the New York Times, Nicole Sperling writes, “In January, Ms. Salke attended the Sundance Film Festival for the first time as the Amazon Studios head — and the company went on a spree, shelling out significant sums for several films, including … $14 million for “The Report,” a government cover-up drama starring Annette Bening and Adam Driver that will have a limited release in November.”  This statement neglects to mention that The Report is an actual reenactment of events leading up to and including the release of The Torture Report by Senator Diane Feinstein on December 9, 2014.  This is not just a Hollywood conspiracy theory fantasy but a revelation of facts long known to the peace and justice community who have actively sought to bring transparency to the secret and dangerous activities of our government’s network of spies and assassins.  Although this may sound off the charts, The United States of America does indeed torture and kill people and because of the extraordinary courage of Dan Jones, Senator Feinstein’s research assistant who spent five years leading an investigation into the CIA’s “enhanced interrogation techniques” which are proven to be brutal immoral and ineffective and the determination of the senator herself to defend and protect the Constitution of the United States, it has been well documented and proven true.  When Jones and the Senate Intelligence Committee attempt to release The Report, the CIA and the White House threaten him with accusations of treason.

The Report is an important film that every American should see. The film is meant to propel the viewer to think long and hard about who we are as a nation, what we aspire to be, and whether or not we really believe in the values we claim guide our way of life.  The rule of law is what separates us from those whose attacks are meant to destroy that very way of life. When we lose our moral compass, they have won.


Filed in: Adele Welty, Guantanamo, Guantanamo & Military Commissions, Restoring Rule of Law, Rule of Law: Guantanamo and Civil Liberties, Torture and Challenges to Human Rights, Voices of Peaceful Tomorrows

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