So let me get this straight. The Obama administration is fighting Judicial Watch tooth-and-nail to avoid releasing photographs of the capture and killing of Osama bin Laden, citing national security reasons. And at the same time, administration officials allegedly leaked information about the bin Laden raid to a Hollywood film director?
That’s what press reports seem to indicate. And we’re now trying to get to the bottom of this emerging scandal.
On January 13, 2012, JW filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to obtain documents regarding meetings and communications between government agencies and Hollywood director Kathryn Bigelow. (If the name sounds familiar, it is because Bigelow is the Academy Award-winning director of the military film “The Hurt Locker.” She is also the ex-wife of Hollywood director James Cameron of “Avatar” fame.)
At issue in JW’s lawsuit is the possibility that the Obama administration leaked classified information to Bigelow and Annapurna Pictures as source material for the making of Bigelow’s not-yet-released film, tentatively titled “Killing bin Laden.”
Here’s what we’re after, pursuant to JW FOIA requests filed with the DOD and the CIA on August 9, 2011:
All records of communications between any officer, official, or employee of the DoD and Ms. Bigelow, as well as with Mr. Mark Boal, Ms. Megan Ellison, or employees of Annapurna Pictures.
(The same request was made of the CIA with regard to Bigelow, Boal, Ellison, and employees of Annapurna Pictures.)
The DOD admitted receiving the FOIA request on August 22, 2011, but advised Judicial Watch that “at this time, we are unable to make a release determination on your request within twenty (20) working days” of August 9, which would have been by September 6, 2011. The CIA acknowledged receiving the FOIA request on August 16, 2011, indicating that “the large number of FOIA requests CIA received has created unavoidable delays, making it unlikely that we can respond with the 20 working days the FOIA requires.”
Well, this stonewalling has dragged on for months and we still have no documents. We haven’t even been told by the Obama administration if documents would be produced – hence our lawsuit.
Bigelow’s film, in production since 2008, originally intended to document the decade-long hunt for Osama bin Laden. The top secret Navy SEAL team mission that led to the capture and killing of bin Laden is reportedly the source for the film’s new content and conclusion.
As reported by Reuter’s, “It has been alleged that Bigelow…in preparation for the script to their Annapurna Pictures movie about the killing of Osama Bin Laden – received classified information regarding his death.”
Now, why would the Obama administration do such a thing?
First off, this is an administration that has shown a proclivity to selectively releasing information that helps the “Obama brand” while withholding information that may be harmful or embarrassing. (See the selective release of classified documents disparaging the use of so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques.”)
Second, this is also an administration that aggressively uses federal agencies to assist the Obama campaign. (See the recently dismissed lawsuit against Boeing in support of Big Labor and the flow of Obamacare waivers to unions.)
The conclusion seems obvious: The alleged leaking of this information was an effort to boost the Obama 2012 presidential election campaign.
Thank you to liberal New York Times columnist Maureen Dowdfor alerting us to this abuse:
The White House is also counting on the Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal big-screen version of the killing of Bin Laden to counter Obama’s growing reputation as ineffectual. The Sony film by the Oscar-winning pair who made “The Hurt Locker” will no doubt reflect the president’s cool, gutsy decision against shaky odds. Just as Obamaland was hoping, the movie is scheduled to open on Oct. 12, 2012 – perfectly timed to give a home-stretch boost to a campaign that has grown tougher.
The moviemakers are getting top-level access to the most classified mission in history from an administration that has tried to throw more people in jail for leaking classified information than the Bush administration.
It was clear that the White House had outsourced the job of manning up the president’s image to Hollywood when Boal got welcomed to the upper echelons of the White House and the Pentagon and showed up recently – to the surprise of some military officers – at a C.I.A. ceremony celebrating the hero Seals [sic].
In short, if press reports from the liberal media are to be believed, the Obama administration released classified national security information to help Hollywood make a two-hour Obama campaign commercial to be released just weeks before the 2012 elections.
Judicial Watch is in hot pursuit of these “Killing bin Laden” records in order to get to the truth in the matter. And at the same time, we continue to fight in court for the release of the post-mortem photographs and video recordings of bin Laden. At this point, given the alleged Bigelow leaks, it’s hard to put any stock in the claim made by Obama administration officials that their stonewalling of the bin Laden death photos has anything to do with national security.