In January, the Pentagon began investigating whether the White House had shared classified information with Kathryn Bigelow, director of an upcoming film about the search for Osama bin Laden. Now, conservative watchdog organization Judicial Watch has obtained records that reveal President Obama’s Defense Department did provide Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal access to high-level information and resources — including a “planner, Operator and Commander” of the Navy SEAL team that successfully captured and killed bin Laden last year.
A Department of Defense meeting transcript reveals that the filmmaker learned the identity of the SEAL Team 6 commander, but was asked never to name him as a consultant “because…he shouldn’t be talking out of school.” (The commander’s name is blacked out in Judicial Watch’s document.) According to an internal CIA email, Bigelow and Boal also gained access to “the Vault,” a CIA building where the bin Laden raid was partially planned.
All in all, Judicial Watch obtained 153 pages of records from the Department of Defense, as well as 113 pages of records from the CIA. “These documents, which took nine months and a federal lawsuit to disgorge from the Obama administration, show that politically-connected filmmakers were giving extraordinary and secret access to bin Laden raid information, including the identity of a Seal Team Six leader,” Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton said in a statement.
House Committee on Homeland Security chair Rep. Peter King (R-NY) expressed dismay with these findings, saying in a statement that Bigelow and Boal engaged in an “extremely close, unprecedented, and potentially dangerous collaboration with top officials at the CIA, DoD, and the White House and a top Democratic lobbying firm.”