TODAY | January 05, 2013
>>> we begin this half-hour with the growing backlash over the movie " zero dark thirty ." the film details the hunt for osama bin laden . did the cia intentionally mislead the movie's makers? as national investigative correspondent michael issikoff reports, senators on capitol hill want answers.
>>> 60% probability he's there.
>> i'd say a soft 60, sir.
>> reporter: " zero dark thirty ," the "oscar contender, is based on the accounts of the raid that killed osama bin laden .
>> i'm not your friend. not going to help you, i'm going to break you.
>> reporter: scenes of harsh interrogation seem to yield a breakthrough, ultimately leading to bin laden 's hideout in pakistan. but that narrative is being sharply questioned by u.s. senators .
>> they make it appear as if this brutal interrogation techniques obtain useful information. fact is, they didn't.
>> reporter: in just-released letter, mccain and senate intelligence chair dianne feinstein along with armed services chair carl levin charged the cia may have misled filmmakers about what really happened. they want acting director mike morrell to set the record straight . morrell , on president obama 's short list to replace general petraeus , released this statement. "the film creates the strong impression that the enhanced interrogation techniques were the key to finding bin laden . that impression is false." then he added, "some intel came from detainees subjected to enhanced techniques. but there were many other sources, as well." while nobody disputes there were many sources tapped in the ten-year hunt for bin laden , the senators say a recently concluded and still classified investigation by the senate intelligence committee found that aggressive tactics such as water boarding played no role at all in finding him.
>> the leadership at the cia should make very, very clear none of this ambiguous language about we'll never know, we know.
>> reporter: the cia which declined further comment about its tactics cooperated with the makers of " zero dark thirty ," arranging meetings with top agency official. even turning over the floor plan of bin laden 's compound.
>> we know they met with morrell . we know that they met with people from the counterterrorism center.
>> reporter: now the senators want to see everything the cia provided filmmakers, making it likely the accuracy of " zero dark thirty " could become a confirmation issue if morrell is nominated to run the cia . for "today," michael issikoff, nbc news, washington.