The drama surrounding Kathryn Bigelow's upcoming film on Osama bin Laden reached the White House on Wednesday, after a Republican congressman alleged that the production was aided by inside information leaked by the Obama administration.
Rep. Peter King claimed that Bigelow and Co. were privy to classified information to help piece together their untitled film that centers on the capture and killing of bin Laden. (The film, which was in the works for a while, changed from a story about Navy SEALs' hunt for bin Laden to one about his death once the latter transpired in April.)
King demanded an investigation of the Obama administration over its involvement in and cooperation with the film. His mind was reportedly made up after reading a recent New York Times article written by Maureen Dowd in which she wrote that the film's director and writer, Mark Boal, received the aforementioned information.
In his letter to both the defense department and the CIA, King says, "[T]his alleged collaboration belies a desire of transparency in favor of a cinematographic view of history."
He goes on to ask, among other things: "Will a copy of this film be submitted to the military and CIA for pre-publication review, to determine if special operations tactics, techniques and procedures, or Agency intelligence sources and methods, would be revealed by its release? How was the attendance of filmmakers at a meeting with special operators and Agency officers at CIA Headquarters balanced against those officers’ duties to maintain their covers? How will cover concerns be addressed going forward? What steps did the Administration take to ensure that no special operations tactics, techniques, and procedures were compromised during those meetings?”
But Bigelow and Boal responded Wednesday night: "Our upcoming film project about the decade long pursuit of Bin Laden has been in the works for many years and integrates the collective efforts of three administrations, including those of Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama, as well as the cooperative strategies and implementation by the Department of Defense and the Central Intelligence Agency. Indeed, the dangerous work of finding the world’s most wanted man was carried out by individuals in the military and intelligence communities who put their lives at risk for the greater good without regard for political affiliation. This was an American triumph, both heroic, and non-partisan and there is no basis to suggest that our film will represent this enormous victory otherwise."
All this drama over a movie that isn't due for release until Oct. 12, 2012? You'd think it was near an election or something!