Real-Life "Zero Dark Thirty" Heroine Isn't Well-Liked By Her Co-Workers at the CIA

Real-Life "Zero Dark Thirty" Heroine Isn't Well-Liked By Her Co-Workers at the CIA

Jessica Chastain's character "Maya" in the upcoming and already highly-acclaimed Zero Dark Thirty is portrayed as the heroine of the film, but apparently the real-life CIA agent who served as the inspiration for the character hasn't been so lucky.

The young operative, who's remained undercover, has had a much tougher time at the CIA since she played a key role in the hunt for Osama Bin Laden, and according to the Washington Post, was even passed up for a promotion that many in the CIA thought "impossible to withhold" from the women who was a big part of the successful mission.

First, there was the award—shortly after Bin Laden's capture, she was given one of the CIA's highest awards, and others who played parts in the mission were given lesser honors. According to a CIA official, she hit "reply all" to a mass e-mail that went out announcing the award recipients and wrote, "You guys tried to obstruct me. You fought me. Only I deserve the award." She was given a bonus for her work on the mission, but didn't receive a key promotion that would have raised her civil service rank from GS-13 to GS-14 and come with a $16,000 pay raise. 

"She’s not Miss Congeniality, but that’s not going to find Osama bin Laden," said a former CIA associate. "Do you know how many CIA officers are jerks? If that was a disqualifier, the whole National Clandestine Service would be gone."

Additionally, the CIA has barred the woman from speaking to any journalists, and the agency has declined to comment on her expect to stress that the operation involved an "extensive team." She did, however, meet with filmmakers for Zero Dark Thirty, and the attention reportedly sent "waves of envy" across the agency. "The agency is a funny place, very insular," the former associate added. "It’s like middle-schoolers with clearances."

Definitely not a Hollywood ending, which is sad for someone who played such a key role in the largest manhunt in U.S. history. But, we gotta ask: Does this sound a lot like Homeland to anyone else?

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[via Washington Post]

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