A Capitol Hill lawmaker is calling for an investigation into the Obama administration’s cooperation with Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal’s untitled project about the hunt for Osama bin Laden.
But the White House, along with Bigelow and Boal, are denying that the project is getting favored treatment.
Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), the chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, wrote a letter to the inspectors general of the Department of Defense and the CIA, citing New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd’s column on Sunday in which she wrote that Bigelow received “top-level access to the most classified mission in history.” Dowd also noted that the pic, detailing one of the administration’s big successes, would be released by Sony in October 2012, just weeks before the presidential election.
The pic chronicles the Navy Seal team that hunted and eventually killed bin Laden. Bigelow is directing and Boal is writing. The filmmakers have openly said they’ve been helped by not only the Obama adminstration, but also the Bush and Clinton adminstrations, a notion they reiterated in a statement Wednesday.
“Our upcoming film … integrates the collective efforts of three administrations, including those of Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama, as well as the cooperative strategies and implementation by the Department of Defense and Central Intelligence Agency,” the statement read. “Indeed, the dangerous work of finding the world’s most wanted man was carried out by individuals in the military and intelligence communities who put their lives at risk for the greater good without regard for political affiliation. This was an American triumph, both heroic and non-partisan, and there is no basis to suggest that our film will represent this enormous victory otherwise.”
At a daily briefing Wednesday, White House spokesman Jay Carney called the claims that the administration was showing favoritism “ridiculous,” stating that the filmmakers had access to the same information that was given to the press.
“We do not discuss classified information,” Carney said. “And I would hope that as we face a continued threat from terrorism, the House Committee on Homeland Security would have more important topics to discuss than a movie.”
Pic is set to go into production sometime this winter, with a release dated slated for Oct. 12, 2012.
In his letter, King wrote, “I write to express concern regarding ongoing leaks of classified information regarding sensitive military operations. Administration officials may have provided filmmakers with details of the raid that successfully killed Usama bin Laden (UBL). According to that report, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Inc. and movie director Kathryn Bigelow received ‘top-level access to the most classified mission in history’ to produce a movie about the raid, due for release in October 2012. Reportedly, a Hollywood filmmaker also attended a CIA ceremony in honor of the team that carried out the raid.”
King also suggested that the administration’s first duty is to declassify material to Congress and the public, and “this alleged collaboration belies a desire of transparency in favor of a cinematographic view of history.”