US officials are investigating if potentially classified information about the killing of Osama Bin Laden was given to Oscar winning film-maker, Katheryn Bigelow, reports BBC.
Representative Peter King, a New York Republican, said he was “pleased” that the Pentagon and the CIA had responded to a request he made in August.
Bigelow was said to have already been working on a project about Bin Laden’s capture or killing before Navy Seal commandos gunned bin Laden down at his Pakistani hideout on May 2. It was reported that the film-maker met Michael Vickers, undersecretary of defence for intelligence, who gave her an overview of the Bin Laden operation and the decision-making process surrounding the raid.
The lawmaker had accused the Obama administration in August of jeopardising national security by cooperating with Bigelow, who was planning a film on the raid that killed Bin Laden, and had demanded an inquiry after learning of the Pentagon’s collaboration with the director.
Cooperating with a film “about the raid is bound to increase such leaks, and undermine these organisations’ hard-won reputations as ‘quiet professionals’,” he wrote.
In his August letter to the inspectors general of the CIA and the Department of Defense, King cited a column in the New York Times where contributor Maureen Dowd wrote that administration officials gave Bigelow “high-level access” to the mission. The White House had called that report — and King’s claims — “ridiculous”, saying it was routine for officials to speak with film-makers or authors to ensure accuracy but that no secret information was divulged. “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,” White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters.
(WITH ADDITIONAL INFORMATION FROM AFP)
Published in The Express Tribune, January 9th, 2012.
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