Outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said that the US would have captured Bin Laden without using torture, despite what the film "Zero Dark Thirty" implied.
"First of all, it's a movie," Panetta said on NBC's "Meet the Press". "Let's remember that. I lived the real story.”
“There were a lot of pieces out there that were part of that puzzle," Panetta continued.
"Yes, some of it came from some of the tactics that were used at that time, interrogation tactics that were used. But the fact is we put together most of that intelligence without having to resort to that.”
According to POLITICO, NBC's Chuck Todd asked Panetta to clarify, “And you think you could have gotten it without any?”
“I think we could have gotten Bin Laden without that,” Panetta replied.
Panetta served as the head of the CIA from 2009 until he was nominated as US defense secretary in July 2011.
As CIA director, Panetta oversaw the search for Osama bin Laden that led up to his capture and execution by the US military in May 2011.
The film "Zero Dark Thirty" has been nominated for several Academy Awards, including Best Picture.
Directed by Kathryn Bigelow, the film is a thoroughly researched, though fictional, chronicle of the search for bin Laden.
Critics claim the enhanced interrogations amount to torture but some in the CIA defended the use of sleep deprivation, hypothermia, stress positions, slapping and waterboarding that were used to find bin Laden, reports Reuters.