Did White House jeopardize national security while prosecuting whistleblowers?
Paul Joseph Watson
August 9, 2013
Judicial Watch is suing the CIA in order to obtain the guest list from a June 2011 awards ceremony during which former CIA Director Leon Panetta revealed “top secret” information in the presence of Zero Dark Thirty filmmaker Mark Boal, in order to ascertain whether the White House jeopardized national security in order to help Hollywood directors make a “pro-Obama” film.
The conservative watchdog group is seeking, “Any and all guest lists or other records identifying individuals who attended and/or were invited to attend the June 24, 2011 awards ceremony at CIA Headquarters for individuals involved in the search for, and killing of, Osama bin Laden,” in addition to, “Any and all records of communication between any official, employee, or representative of the Central Intelligence Agency and any other party regarding the attendance of Mr. Mark Boal at the aforementioned awards ceremony.”
Despite being required by law to respond to Judicial Watch’s December 19 Freedom of Information Act request on the matter within 20 days, the CIA denied the request and invited the group to make an appeal to the Agency Release Panel. Deciding that no administrative appeal was possible, Judicial Watch launched the lawsuit on June 21 and announced it yesterday on their website.
During Panetta’s speech at the ceremony, the former CIA Director revealed “the name of the Navy SEAL unit that carried out the Osama bin Laden raid,” the unit’s ground commander, as well as other “classified information designated as “top secret” and “secret”.
Judicial Watch also highlights the hypocrisy of the Obama administration in pursuing whistleblowers like Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden while simultaneously revealing sensitive information to Hollywood directors.
“Panetta’s disclosures at the CIA ceremony with Mark Boal present, along with the leaks revealed in the earlier documents obtained by Judicial Watch, provide conclusive backing to the serious charge that the Obama administration has played fast and loose with national security information in order to help Hollywood filmmakers make a pro-Obama film,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “In light of the Manning conviction and Snowden drama, it is clear that the Obama administration is more than a little two-faced when it comes to enforcing the law on illegal leaks.”
Zero Dark Thirty, which is a dramatization of the alleged assassination of Osama Bin Laden, was castigated by lawmakers, including torture victim John McCain, as “grossly inaccurate and misleading” for its suggestion that torture aided in the discovery of Bin Laden’s compound.
Promotional material for the movie began circulating before last year’s presidential election, leading some to accuse the Obama administration, which had worked closely with film makers, of trying to regurgitate the Bin Laden assassination for political points scoring.
The CIA directly authorized the movie’s writer Mark Boal to conduct interviews with CIA officers, military officers, and White House officials about the raid during which Boal was allegedly given classified information, “apparently in the belief that the public would appreciate the movie that resulted.”
While constantly citing “national security threats” as a justification to become more and more secretive, the CIA was apparently carefree about handing out sensitive intelligence to a movie writer as part of a PR coup for the agency.