On Wednesday, Rep. Peter King (R-NY), Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, called for an investigation of a report that the Obama Administration is cooperating with a film on the mission to kill Osama bin Laden.
In a letter to the Defense Department and the CIA, King asked for a probe and classified briefing about any cooperation or consultation between the agencies and the producers of the film, set to be directed by Kathryn Bigelow, who in 2008 made “The Hurt Locker,” which won six Oscars, including best picture and best director.
“The Administration’s first duty in declassifying material is to provide full reporting to Congress and the American people, in an effort to build public trust through transparency of government,” King wrote. “In contrast, this alleged collaboration belies a desire of transparency in favor of a cinematographic view of history.”
The movie, set to be released Oct.12, 2012, is reportedly based on the behind-the-scenes action in the operation that took out the terror mastermind.
According to The Weekly Standard, Maureen Dowd of the New York Times wrote that “director Kathryn Bigelow and her crew were “getting top-level access” to the details of the operation,” and that has some concerned the Hollywood crew may be getting access to classified information they can use to help the President in his re-election bid.
According to Politico, Dowd wrote:
“White House is also counting on the Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal big-screen version of the killing of bin Laden to counter Obama’s growing reputation as ineffectual. The Sony film by the Oscar-winning pair who made ‘The Hurt Locker’ will no doubt reflect the president’s cool, gutsy decision against shaky odds. Just as Obamaland was hoping, the movie is scheduled to open on Oct. 12, 2012 — perfectly timed to give a home-stretch boost to a campaign that has grown tougher.”
The Weekly Standard also observes:
In addition to the questionable content of the film, the timing of its planned release—October 2012, a month before the presidential election—is also suspect, though it wouldn’t be the first time Hollywood has tried to brazenly influence an election. 2000’s The Contender, starring Gary Oldman, Joan Allen, and Jeff Bridges, sympathetically depicted a Democratic vice presidential candidate with a trumped up sex scandal. The movie also came out about a month before the election, in October 2000.
But White House Press Secretary Jay Carney claims the group is getting the same level of cooperation as other journalists and called King’s claim “ridiculous.”
The Wall Street Journal adds:
Col. David Lapan, the Pentagon spokesman, said that the Defense Department was providing assistance to director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal, the team leading the bin Laden project for Sony Pictures. But Col. Lapan said that no classified information would be provided to the filmmakers.
“It is the violation of the law to provide classified information” to people not cleared to receive it, Col. Lapan said.
Perhaps President Obama is hoping to shake off the perception that he is the “weakest President in history.”
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