DoD/CIA Take Action on Chairman King's Call for Investigation of Obama Administration-Sanctioned Film on Classified bin Laden Mission

Press Release

By:  Pete King
Date: Jan. 5, 2012
Location: Washington, DC

Today, ­U.S. Rep. Peter T. King (R-NY), Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security announced that, in response to his call for an investigation, the Department of Defense (DoD) and the CIA have taken action to investigate and address the possible release of classified information to filmmakers on the killing of Osama bin Laden. Confirmation of the action is contained in two separate letters sent to King by the Inspectors General at the DoD and the CIA.

In August, King requested that the Inspectors General at the DoD and the CIA investigate reports that the Obama Administration has granted Sony Pictures and filmmaker Kathryn Bigelow high-level access for a film on the mission in which U.S. Special Operations Forces killed Osama bin Laden. The film was originally reported to have a planned release of October 2012, just a month before the November 2012 elections.

Chairman King said: "Following a shockingly dismissive response to my request from White House press secretary Jay Carney, I am pleased that the Inspectors General at DoD and the CIA agree with me that potential leaks to filmmakers are something worth investigating and taking action to address. The leaks that followed the successful bin Laden mission led to the arrests of Pakistanis and put in danger the mission's heroes and their families. Privately, individuals in the intelligence and special operations communities expressed support for my request for a probe. I look forward to an update on the investigation and actions taken thus far."

On Friday, King received a December 23 letter from the DoD Inspector General informing him that, following an initial review, the Inspector General for Intelligence and Special Program Assessments has launched a formal investigation into "actions taken by Defense Department personnel related to the release of information to the filmmakers."

This news follows an earlier letter to King from the CIA's Inspector General reporting that the Agency is currently developing "a written policy to create a single point of reference that will govern future interactions with the entertainment industry."

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

White House spokesman Jay Carney, questioned about King's request on August 10, dismissed King's common-sense concerns, saying "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."