Chairman King Statement on CIA Failure to Produce “4 to 5 inch stack” of Documents on Collaboration with bin Laden Movie Producers

Jul 26, 2012 Issues: Killing of Osama bin Laden

Washington, D.C. – Today, Rep. Peter T. King (R-NY), Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, issued the following statement on the CIA’s recent discovery of a “4 to 5 inch stack” of previously undisclosed CIA documents related to the Agency’s collaboration with Hollywood filmmakers planning a Sony Pictures movie on the mission in which U.S. Special Operations Forces killed Osama bin Laden. In a court filing Tuesday, Administration lawyers admitted that the documents were not released as required by court order in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by Judicial Watch. 

Chairman King said:  “I find this recent document discovery troubling.  The Obama Administration’s extremely close, unprecedented, and potentially dangerous collaboration with these filmmakers is a serious matter that deserves serious scrutiny. 

“From previously released documents, we know that, at the urging of Democratic lobbyists, DoD, CIA, and White House officials shared information in at least 16 meetings and briefings with Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal in the weeks following the bin Laden raid.  So I am very eager to know exactly what, if any, new information is contained in these undisclosed documents.”

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Chairman King has been a leading critic of the Obama Administration’s collaboration on the film, which was originally set to be released in October, just a month before the November presidential election.

In May, following the court-ordered release of hundreds of pages of CIA and Department of Defense email messages, Chairman King sent letters to Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence Michael G. Vickers and Deputy CIA Director Michael Morell voicing his concerns about the potential release of classified information to the filmmakers.  The signed letters sent to Vickers and Morell are available HERE

Last August, Chairman King requested that the Inspectors General at the DoD and the CIA investigate reported collaboration with the filmmakers.  Both investigations are ongoing.

In December, in response to King’s request, the DoD Inspector General informed him that, following an initial review, the Inspector General for Intelligence and Special Program Assessments had launched a formal investigation into “actions taken by Defense Department personnel related to the release of information to the filmmakers.”  Additionally, the CIA’s Inspector General informed King that the Agency was to develop “a written policy to create a single point of reference that will govern future interactions with the entertainment industry.”

King’s August 9 letter requesting the investigation is available HERE.

The December 2011 letter from DoD to King is available HERE.

The November 2011 letter from the CIA to King is available HERE.

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.” 

Disclosures since Carney’s statement demonstrate just how valid Chairman King’s concerns were and how reckless the Administration’s conduct was. 

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