FOI At Work: Documents Show Administration Coddling Filmmakers

Film director Kathryn Bigelow after a showing ...

Film director Kathryn Bigelow after a showing of her film The Hurt Locker, 2009 Seattle International Film Festival. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This has all the makings of a TV movie

In the months after the U.S. military mission that killed Osama bin LadenPentagon officials met with Hollywood filmmakers and gave them special access in an effort to influence the creation of a film about the operation, newly released documents show.

Emails and meeting transcripts obtained from the Pentagon and CIA through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by the watchdog group Judicial Watch suggest that officials went out of their way to assist the filmmakers, while trying to avoid the public learning of their cooperation.

Director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal, who won Oscars for their 2009 Iraq war movie, “The Hurt Locker,” were granted access to a Navy SEAL who was involved in planning the May 2011 raid, according to a transcript of a meeting that took place in July.

“The only thing we ask is that you not reveal his name in any way as a consultant because … he shouldn’t be talking out of school,” Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence Michael Vickers told the filmmakers. Vickers later added: “This at least gives him one step removed and he knows what he can and can’t say, but this way at least he can be as open as he can with you and it ought to meet your needs.”

The name of the “planner, SEAL Team 6 Operator and Commander,” was redacted from the documents that were provided to Judicial Watch. A Pentagon spokesman told Politico that the identity of “a planner, not a member of SEAL Team 6,” was provided “as a possible point of contact for additional information if the DoD determined that additional support was merited.”

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