Chairman King Statement on Report of Criminal Referral Relating to Making of Film “Zero Dark Thirty”

Dec 18, 2012 Issues: Killing of Osama bin Laden

Washington, D.C. – Today, Rep. Peter T. King (R-NY), Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, issued the following statement on a report of a criminal referral by the Department of Defense Inspector General to the Department of Justice relating to leaks about the Osama bin Laden raid to the makers of the film “Zero Dark Thirty.”  McClatchy Newspapers has reported that the DoD IG has referred the actions of the Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence for possible criminal prosecution for sharing with filmmakers the identity of a Special Operations planner involved in the bin Laden raid.

Chairman King said:  “The news that the DoD Inspector General has referred an aspect of its investigation to DoJ for possible criminal prosecution is quite troubling.  I requested this investigation in August 2011 to ensure that our national security was not placed at risk by the Obama Administration leaking potentially classified information about the bin Laden raid to filmmakers Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal.  Our national security and the personal security of Special Operators and the CIA Officers involved was, and remains, my only concern.   This reported referral by the DoD Inspector General is an indication that our security and theirs was, indeed, placed at risk by people who wanted to help Hollywood make a movie.    

“I eagerly await receipt of the reports of the DoD Inspector General, as well as that of the CIA Inspector General.”

***

Chairman King has been a leading critic of the Obama Administration’s collaboration on the film. 

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.

 

###