Politics

Tom Rooney: Did White House Access Compromise Secrets on Bin Laden Mission?

By: Jim Turner | Posted: May 24, 2012 3:55 AM
Tom Rooney, Kathryn Bigelow and Osama bin Laden

Tom Rooney, Kathryn Bigelow and Osama bin Laden | Credit: David Shankbone - Flickr

U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney, R-Tequesta, wants to know if White House access to filmmakers has resulted in the release of classified information involving the raid that killed terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden.

Rooney, a member of the House Armed Services and Intelligence committees, asked Department of Defense Acting Inspector General Lynne Halbrooks on Wednesday to investigate the potential leaks.

“I am deeply disturbed by recent reports that officials at the Department of Defense may have leaked classified information to filmmakers regarding the raid that led to the killing of Osama bin Laden,” Rooney wrote. “If the allegations are true, these individuals’ actions could seriously compromise American national security.”

On Tuesday, the federal watchdog group Judicial Watch, announced it had obtained -- through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit -- 266 pages of records from both the U.S. Department of Defense and the CIA that indicated that the Obama Defense Department had granted Kathryn Bigelow, director of the Academy Award-winning movie "The Hurt Locker," and screenwriter Mark Boal, access to a "planner, operator and commander of SEAL Team Six."

SEAL Team Six was responsible for the killing of bin Laden in Pakistan.

The filmmakers are working on a project about the May 2011 raid called "Zero Dark Thirty."

CIA and Pentagon spokespeople told Reuters there was nothing unusual about the deal with the filmmakers.

"The CIA has been open about our engagement with writers, documentary filmmakers, movie and TV producers, and others in the entertainment industry," Jennifer Youngblood, an agency spokeswoman told Reuters.

Pentagon spokesman George Little added that "The Department of Defense, as well as other agencies and departments, regularly engages with the entertainment industry to inform projects ranging from books to documentaries to feature films."

The film sparked controversy last year when it was announced the release date would be just prior to the November 2012 election. The release date has since been moved to December.

Rooney asked Acting IG Halbrooks to investigate:

-- Whether DOD officials provided classified information on the raid that killed Osama bin Laden to any individual who did not have the proper security clearance.

-- Which officials released this information, and which individuals within DOD or the Obama administration approved the release of that information.

-- Whether the identities of the American troops who carried out the raid were revealed or otherwise compromised.

-- Whether America’s national security was compromised by the release of this material in any way.

“As you know, our defense and intelligence communities rely heavily on the discretion of those trusted with classified information,” Rooney wrote. “When that trust is broken, it not only puts critical security information at risk, it also endangers the security and safety of the persons involved.”



Reach Jim Turner at jturner@sunshinestatenews.com or at (772) 215-9889.



Comments (1)

Frank
3:24PM MAY 24TH 2012
And I want to know whether Tom Rooney has further endangered the security of the U.S. by publicizing this further and wanting to hold hearings.

Seems to me, I recall Republicans clamoring for more details right after the raid, and threatening to hold hearings if they didn't get more details.

Political, political, political. Otherwise, the request wouldn't have been made public, if U.S. security were really the concern.

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