Panetta on ‘Zero Dark Thirty’: ‘I lived it’

Acting CIA Director Michael Morrell issued a rare statement last month to say that “Zero Dark Thirty” is “not a documentary.”

"The film takes significant artistic license, while portraying itself as being historically accurate," Morell wrote.

Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Carl Levin (D-Mich.) also criticized the film, warning that it dangerously mixes fact and fiction in its depiction of “enhanced interrogation techniques” used under the George W. Bush administration. The senators say that the movie implies that the use of torture helped obtain information that led to bin Laden, which they say is not what the CIA’s records reflect.

Feinstein, McCain and Levin wrote a letter to Sony Pictures to complain and requested documents from the CIA detailing their interactions with the filmmakers.

Some Republicans disagree on enhanced interrogation, arguing that the use of techniques like waterboarding did yield some intelligence to aid in the search for bin Laden.

Senate Intelligence Committee ranking member Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) questioned the senators' investigation of “Zero Dark Thirty,” saying last week that the movie is simply “entertainment, not a documentary.”

“What’s next — a Senate inquiry of the ‘Bourne’ trilogy or ‘24’?” Chambliss said in a statement.

Panetta also chose not to weigh in on James Gandolfini’s portrayal of him in the film. Gandolfini said he wrote a note apologizing to Panetta for the wig he wore in the film.