Forthcoming Osama Movie Based on Sensitive Info?

by Robert VerBruggen

Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal — the Hollywood director and screenwriter, respectively, who made The Hurt Locker — are working on a movie about the SEAL mission that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden. It will come out just before the election next year. And according to Maureen Dowd, the Obama administration is giving the film team “top-level access to the most classified mission in history.” 

Rep. Peter King (R., N.Y.), chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, is calling for an investigation. He offers some reasons that the details of the raid should be kept quiet:

Special Operations Command’s Admiral Eric Olson stated that the May 1st raid “was successful because nobody talked about it before, and if we want to preserve this capability nobody better talk about it after,” and that his operators’ “15 minutes of fame lasted about 14 minutes too long.  They want to get back in the shadows.”  Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Michael Mullen stated that “It is time to stop talking,” as “We have gotten to a point where we are close to jeopardizing the precision capability that we have, and we can’t afford to do that.  This fight isn’t over.”  Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates stated that “Too many people in too many places are talking too much about this operation, and when so much detail is available it makes that both more difficult and riskier” for such missions in the future.

King speculates that the filmmakers’ involvement could spur leaks of sensitive information about the raid. He also demands to know how much access the filmmakers were given to undercover agents, and whether the film will be submitted for pre-publication government review.

The Defense Department told the Wall Street Journal that while it is helping the filmmakers, it is not providing classified information. And Business Insider points out that the department has a history of working with filmmakers to ensure accuracy.

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