The chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee has called for an investigation into reports that the Obama administration is granting Sony Pictures and director Kathryn Bigelow “high-level access” for a film about the Navy SEAL operation which killed Osama Bin Laden. The movie is scheduled for release one month before the 2012 presidential election.
New York Republican Rep. Peter King sent a letter Tuesday to Defense Department Inspector General Gordon Heddell and CIA Inspector General David Buckley, expressing his concern about declassifying sensitive information for pure entertainment.
“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,” he wrote. “In contrast, this alleged collaboration belies a desire of transparency in favor of a cinematographic view of history.”
In his letter, Rep. King noted that the mission was successful because it was extremely covert, and that providing “high-level access” to a Hollywood filmmaker runs contrary to that effort.
“Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Michael Mullen stated that ‘It is time to stop talking,’ as ‘We have gotten to a point where we are close to jeopardizing the precision capability that we have, and we can’t afford to do that. This fight isn’t over,’” King wrote.
“Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates stated that ‘Too many people in too many places are talking too much about this operation, and when so much detail is available it makes that both more difficult and riskier’ for such missions in the future.”
King requested in his letter that the Defense Department’s and CIA’s Inspectors General investigate meetings that occurred between Hollywood executives and government officials; how much information has been compromised; how Agency officers will keep their identities secret; and whether the military and CIA will get to pre-screen the movie to ensure it doesn’t disclose state secrets.