The most distasteful part of politics is the bureaucracy—or how the sausage is made. We vote these people in to represent us, and they clutch so tight to that power that representation just goes out the window before their first term is over. Scott Z. Burns’ The Report is a film that leaves you a little frustrated about how government works…just a little.
The Report is about U.S. Senator from California Diane Feinstein (Annette Benning) and her Senate staffer Daniel Jones (Adam Driver). Feinstein hired Jones to investigate the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program or, more appropriately, their torture program, which was created shortly after 9/11.
“…the use of torture is inhumane and ineffective and giving it a prettier “enhanced interrogation techniques” doesn’t change the fact that its torture.”
A good chunk of the film lays out the argument that the use of torture is inhumane and ineffective and giving it a prettier “enhanced interrogation techniques” doesn’t change the fact that its torture. The film portrays the major players advocating its use as playing fast and loose with semantics and pretty descriptions and cruelly doubling down on the severity of torture when unable to extract vital information from its victims.
Burns’ research would ultimately uncover the lengths to which the CIA would destroy evidence, falsify records, and hide their activities from the President of the United States, both Bush, and Obama. On top of the cover-up was how the CIA’s operations were ultimately shielded from Jones’ Senate investigation and prevented him from ever going public and again by both Bush and Obama administrations.