Did Obama administration give film makers the name of bin Laden raid planner?
You've no doubt heard about the emails and documents released after an FOIA request from Judicial Watch regarding contact between the Department of Defense and film makers who are planning a movie about the bin Laden raid.
Apparently, there was much discussion about giving Kathy Bigelow ("Hurt Locker") access to highly classified information, as well as giving her unprecedented access to secret CIA sites. The Pentagon claims that there was no follow through with most of the classified disclosures but it's clear that a Pentagon flack offered the film makers the name of one of the planners of the raid.
During the meeting with Bigelow, who directed the Academy Award-winning Iraq War movie "The Hurt Locker," Vickers also divulged the name of the typically secret Navy commando unit known as SEAL Team Six.
"Well, the basic idea is they'll make a guy available who was involved from the beginning as planner, a SEAL Team 6 Operator and Commander," said Vickers, the undersecretary of defense for intelligence, according to the transcript.
Lieutenant Colonel James Gregory, a spokesman for Vickers, said in an e-mail last night that Vickers wasn't referring to a SEAL Team Six member in the transcript.
"The identity of a planner, not a member of SEAL Team 6, was provided by the U.S. Special Operations Command as a possible point of contact for additional information if the DoD determined that additional support was merited," Gregory said. "No additional official DoD support was granted, nor to our knowledge was it pursued by the filmmakers," he said. "This was a meeting to explore possibilities about supporting the film endeavor."
Pentagon spokesman George Little told reporters today that the filmmakers never met with the military planner and that officials haven't reviewed a script from Boal or Bigelow.Help to the filmmakers was "driven by a desire to inform the American public," not by politics, Little said. The comments by Vickers in the transcript referring to SEAL Team Six merely confirmed an "open fact," he said.
"The fact that the SEALs were involved was not in any way, shape or form a secret," Little said.
Only Bigelow knows the truth, and the likelihood of the Obama-supporting film maker coming forward and saying she got classified info is small. Still, the idea that the Pentagon wasn't engaged in giving access for favorable mention of Obama and the brass is not credible.
Scooter Libby went to jail for outing a low level CIA desk jockey. What should the penalty be for outing a Navy SEAL whose life wouldn't be worth squat if his name got in the open?