The writer and producer of "Zero Dark Thirty" contends his film didn't benefit from classified information to recreate the manhunt for Osama bin Laden. Documents obtained by Judicial Watch question that assertion.
ABC's "Nightline" program interviewed both writer/producer Mark Boal and director Kathryn Bigelow as part of the promotional push for "Thirty," opening in select theaters Dec. 19 before going wide in January. Martha Raddatz asked the duo about allegations the crew received top secret material from the Obama administration to help shape the story, one originally set to hit theaters before the presidential election.
"I never asked for classified material. To my knowledge I never received any," Boal says.
Judicial Watch's successful request for documents withheld by the government show a more complicated narrative. The group obtained information detailing the exchange of information between the CIA and the film crew. Not only did Boal and Bigelow receive preferential treatment over similar bin Laden projects, Boal was allowed to "deep dive" into material related to the raid that killed the terrorist mastermind:
In an internal CIA memo regarding Kathryn Bigelow’s visit to agency headquarters dated July 14, 2011, CIA spokesperson Marie Harf describes Boal’s contact with the agency as a “deep dive.” (The memo was originally classified Secret.): “Kathryn is not interested in doing the deep dives that Mark did; she simply wants to meet the people Mark has been talking to.”
Raddatz either wasn't aware of Judicial Watch's findings or simply felt no need for a follow-up query.