Congressman wants probe of bin Laden movie project

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Congressman wants probe of bin Laden movie project

WASHINGTON - The chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee sought an investigation Wednesday into the Obama administration’s cooperation with award-winning filmmakers working on a movie about the hunt for Osama bin Laden.

Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., said too much information already has leaked out about the Navy SEALs raid that killed bin Laden in Pakistan in May, and Pentagon officials have cautioned against discussing the mission.

King asked the inspectors general of the CIA and Defense Department to determine what consultations occurred in the Obama administration about providing Hollywood with access to covert military operators and clandestine CIA officers.

The picture will be directed by Kathryn Bigelow and written by Mark Boal, 2009 Academy Award winners for “The Hurt Locker.”

The White House ridiculed King’s request, saying the moviemakers will not receive any sensitive information.

Press secretary Jay Carney told reporters, “When people, including you in this room, are working on articles, books, documentaries or movies that involve the president, ask to speak to administration officials, we do our best to accommodate them to make sure that facts are correct. That is hardly a novel approach to the media.

“We do not discuss classified information. And I would hope that as we face the continued threat from terrorism, the House Committee on Homeland Security would have more important topics to discuss than a movie.”

King said his staff has spoken to CIA officials who were upset about cooperation with the movie-makers. Among the things he asked the inspectors general to investigate were:

- Any consultations within the administration on the advisability of providing Hollywood executives with access to covert military operators and clandestine CIA officers to discuss the raid.

- Whether a copy of the film would be submitted to the military and CIA for pre-publication review to determine whether special operations tactics, techniques and procedures, or intelligence sources and methods, would be revealed.

- Whether filmmakers attended a meeting with special operations personnel and CIA officers, and whether any such attendance was balanced against the duty to maintain cover for these operatives.

The movie may be released by Sony Pictures Entertainment next fall, shortly before the November 2012 elections. AP
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