White House: Claims About Bin Laden Raid Film Are Ridiculous
White House has responded to claims from Peter King, a Republican congressman who sent a letter to CIA and the Department of Defense on Tuesday, August 8. In the letter, he asked for an investigation into whether the Obama administration has leaked confidential information to director Kathryn Bigelow and Sony Pictures about the hunt for Osama bin Laden which could be used for their upcoming movie.
"The claims are ridiculous," Jay Carney, a spokesman from White House said in a statement. "We do not discuss classified information. And I would hope that as we face the continued threat from terrorism, the House Committee on Homeland Security would have more important topics to discuss than a movie."
Carney told reporters that the information given to the filmmakers "has been focused on the president's role. There is no difference in the information that we've given to anybody who's working on this topic from what we gave to those of you in this room who worked on it in the days and weeks after the raid itself."
Pentagon, on the other hand, also denied that they leaked important information to any filmmakers. Phil Strub, the head of the office, explained that "mostly when we're contacted by filmmakers they're looking for access to our equipment, our personnel and our installations. Technical advice is kind of a byproduct of that relationship."
Meanwhile, Bigelow and her partner Mark Boal have released a joint statement in response to King's claim. The filmmaker and the scribe, who collaborated on Oscar-winning Iraq war film "The Hurt Locker", insisted that "our upcoming film project about the decade long pursuit of bin Laden has been in the works for many years."
They continued explaining that their project "integrates the collective efforts of three administrations, including those of Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama, as well as the cooperative strategies and implementation by the Department of Defense and the Central Intelligence Agency."
"Indeed, the dangerous work of finding the world's most wanted man was carried out by individuals in the military and intelligence communities who put their lives at risk for the greater good without regard for political affiliation," the two added. "This was an American triumph, both heroic and non-partisan, and there is no basis to suggest that our film will represent this enormous victory otherwise."
Earlier, King accused Bigelow of being given "top-level access to the most classified mission in history." He said in a phone interview, "I'm very concerned that any sensitive information could be disclosed in a movie. The producers and operations that we used in this raid are very likely what we'll use in other raids. There's no way a director would know what could be tipping off the enemy."
Bigelow's movie about bin Laden raid was previously developed under the working title "Kill Bin Laden", but it is currently untitled. She and Boal have been working on the project even before the al Qaeda leader was murdered in a massive raid in Abbottabad, Pakistan last May.
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