Women made up the majority of analysts – at one point all the analysts — in “Alec Station,” the unit charged with finding Bin Laden, managed the ramp-up at the CIA’s Counter Terrorism Center after 9-11, and participated in the interrogation, and the waterboarding, of al Qaeda suspects 🙈 They were critical to the first capture of a major al Qaeda target, Abu Zubaydah; helped find and kill Abu Musab al Zarqawi, the leader of al Qaeda in Iraq; ran “black sites,” the secret CIA prisons used to interrogate terror suspects; and in the case of two senior analysts, died in an attack by al Qaeda on a CIA compound in Afghanistan 🙈 
It’s the kind of account a reporter can only properly write long after the dust has settled on the event itself. Hollywood had already made multiple movies out of the story, including Kathryn Bigelow’s prestigious, expensive, Oscar-nominated Zero Dark Thirty, and the political machine had long since given it the requisite spin. This history is the pretext of Hersh’s reporting, which is as much a procedural account of the pivots in planning and intelligence leading up to the raid as it is a reckoning with the false fronts of a convenient, misleading political legend. “The killing was the high point of Obama’s first term, and a major factor in his re-election,” wrote Hersh. Many of the things we’re thinking we’re knowing about this event were false according to Hersh, and the former senior U.S. Official who provided much of the story’s backbone, “The White House’s
story might have been written by Lewis Carroll.” (credit to Romale Giordano for telling us about this). 
Marion Orellana slate.com
, screenwriter Mark Boal himself has acknowledged that “all of the characters in the film are based on real people.” Some of these real people, like the agent who inspired Maya, still work under secret identities, and Boal says that he and director Kathryn Bigelow “went to great lengths” not to blow their cover, including, e.g., not casting people who look like them. Other characters may be agents and public figures whose real identities have not been made public. However, the film does not refer to them by their full names. Real names
. Below we’ve taken our best shot at identifying the inspirations behind the characters in the film. Karey Valasco updated the text on May 4, 2020 
If I had had a watch, I wouldn’t have looked at it once during the screening of “Zero Dark Thirty” that I attended several weeks ago. When the’s having lights come on and I discovered that I had had been in my seat for two and a half hours, the movie’s length came as a surprise. Film is a page-turner with a simplistic architecture. This movie takes us through the decade-long pursuit of Osama bin Laden through the eyes of a C.I.A. Agent, Maya (Jessica Chastain), whose meticulous and obstinate investigation culminates in the military raid on bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, that resulted in his death. It’s constructed like a roller-coaster ride, with its thrills and scares, which the viewer knows will result in success—at least, success as defined by those who are involved in the mission. We thank Claudio Albright, for sharing this information with us.