A conservative watchdog group says it has obtained documents suggesting that the White House, CIA, and Pentagon gave unique access to filmmakers of a movie on the Bin Laden raid
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Only weeks after warning of the dangers posed by security leaks involving the Navy SEAL raid that killed Osama Bin Laden last year, the Obama administration gave two Hollywood filmmakers access to those involved in planning the top-secret mission, according to Pentagon and CIA documents obtained by conservative watchdog Judicial Watch.
The release of the documents, which were obtained by a Freedom of Information Act request, has provided easy fodder for President Obama's conservative critics who say that the White House has gone too far in trying to score political points from the special-ops success.
In a statement, House Homeland Security Chairman Peter King said the records tell a "damning story of extremely close, unprecedented, and potentially dangerous collaboration" between the White House, the military, and a top Democratic lobbying firm.
According to the documents, Hurt Locker director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal were given the chance to meet with top national security officials, gain access to SEAL Team 6 and even visit a CIA facility where some of the planning took place, as part of their preparation for their upcoming film about the raid, Zero Dark Thirty.
"I know this is a little outside of what we typically do," a public affairs officer wrote to a CIA officer who had had been asked to speak with the filmmakers, "but we're trying to keep his visits a bit quiet."
While the administration concedes that military officials did meet with the filmmakers, it said that those meetings were only to ensure that the filmmakers got their facts straight and that no classified information was leaked. The White House also says that the SEAL Team 6 meeting never occurred. "This is something we do every single day of the week, and this is not driven by politics," a Pentagon spokesperson told CBS News.
Zero Dark Thirty was originally slated for a pre-election October release, but has since been pushed back to mid-December. You can read more on the film, the documents and the controversy over at the Huffington Post.