19 September, 2014 / Ziqa'ad 23, 1435

CIA, Pentagon, too close to filmmakers: US lawmaker

Published May 23, 2012 06:54pm

Oscar winning director Kathryn Bigelow, center, stands on the sets during the shooting for her upcoming film about Osama bin Laden in Chandigarh, India. -AP Photo

WASHINGTON: A House committee chairman charged Wednesday that the CIA and Defense Department jeopardized US security by cooperating too closely with filmmakers producing a movie on the raid that killed Osama bin Laden.    

Homeland Security Committee Chairman Peter King, a Republican, first raised questions about the bin Laden movie last summer, but said newly released documents confirm his suspicions.

The filmmakers are director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal, who won Academy Awards for the motion picture ''The Hurt Locker.''

King referred to documents obtained by Judicial Watch in a Freedom of Information Act request. He said the filmmakers received ''extremely close, unprecedented, and potentially dangerous collaboration'' from the Obama administration.

Judicial Watch said the documents show that the Defense Department granted Bigelow and Boal access to a ''planner, operator and commander of SEAL Team 6'', the unit that killed bin Laden in Pakistan.

Other documents, Judicial Watch said, show that the filmmakers met with White House officials on at least two occasions about the film. A CIA email indicates that Bigelow and Boal were granted access to ''the vault,'' which is described as the CIA building where some of the tactical planning for the raid took place, Judicial Watch said.

Pentagon press secretary George Little disputed some of the allegations, He said that while a planner was suggested as a possible point of contact for information on the Osama bin Laden raid, a meeting between that planner and the filmmakers never occurred.

He said the Defense Department engages on a regular basis with the entertainment industry on movie projects, and the goal is to ''make them as realistic as possible. We believe this is an important service that we provide.''

Little added that Pentagon officials did meet with producers of the film but said, ''We have never reviewed a script of the movie.''

Little also denied that the cooperation was an attempt to boost President Barack Obama's election chances, and said the movie would not be out until after the election. There was no immediate comment from the CIA or the White House.


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