Two Hollywood movie makers got special treatment from the Obama administration according to materials obtained in a four to five-inch high stack of documents "inadvertently" overlooked earlier this year when the CIA responded to a Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.
Kathryn Bigelow, who won an Academy Award for her work as director of "The Hurt Locker," and Mark Boal, screewriter on her latest production, "Zero Dark Thirty" on the killing of Osama bin Laden, were given special access to official, confidential records about the raid that bagged the terrorist mainly responsible for the 9/11 attack that killed more than 3,000 Americans in 2001.
|‘I know we don't pick favorites but it makes sense to get behind a winning horse. - CIA's Marie E. Harf’|
"The records - which should have been produced months ago pursuant to a court order in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed on January 21, 2012 - include records from a 'stack' of 'overlooked' documents discovered by the CIA in July 2012," according to Judicial Watch. The government transparency non-profit posted the documents on its web site earlier today.
Among the highlights of the records, which Judicial Watch said "include internal DOD, White House and CIA email correspondence with the filmmakers," are these:
* According to a June 15, 2011, email from Benjamin Rhodes, Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications, to then Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs Doug Wilson, then-CIA Director of Public Affairs George Little, and Deputy White House Press Secretary Jaime Smith, the Obama White House was intent on "trying to have visibility into the UBL (Usama bin Laden) projects."
The same document continued: "...we are trying to have visibility into the UBL projects and this is likely the most high profile one. Would like to have whatever group is going around in here at the WH [White House] to get a sense of what they're doing / what cooperation they're seeking. Jamie will be POC [point of contact]."
* According to e-mail exchange on June 7, 2011, CIA spokesperson Marie E. Harf openly discussed providing preferential treatment to the Boal/Bigelow project over others related to the bin Laden killing: "I know we don't pick favorites but it makes sense to get behind a winning horse...Mark and Kathryn's movie is going to be the first and the biggest. It's got the most money behind it, and two Oscar winners on board..."
* In a July 20, 2011, e-mail, Mark Boal writes to thank then-CIA Director of Public Affairs George Little for "pulling for him" with the agency, noting that it made, "all the difference." Little responds: "...I can't tell you how excited we all are (at DOD and CIA) about the project...PS - I want you to know how good I've been not mentioning the premiere tickets. :)"
For more from Judicial Watch, including links to the documents, go here.