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Policy: National Security

Leon Panetta gave Hollywood exec top secret info on Bin Laden raid's SEAL unit, leader

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News,Movies,Mark Tapscott,Watchdog,The Pentagon,Homeland Security,National Security

Former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta disclosed top secret information about the Navy SEALS unit that conducted the mission on which Osama Bin Laden was found and killed, according to an unpublished Inspector-General report obtained by the Project on Government Oversight.

Panetta's disclosures came during a celebratory gathering to honor the SEALS and their commander at the CIA headquarters in Langley, VA. Among the attendees at the event was an unnamed "Hollywood executive" connected to the production of the movie about the raid, "Zero Dark Thirty," according to POGO.

"During this awards ceremony, Director Panetta specifically recognized the unit that conducted the raid and identified the ground commander by name," POGO quoted the draft report as saying. "According to the DoD Office of Security Review, the individual's name is protected from public release" under federal law, the report says.

"Director Panetta also provided DoD information, identified by relevant Original Classification Authorities as TOP SECRET//SI//REL TO USA, AUS, CAN, GBR, NZL, as well as, SECRET/ACCM," the report said, according to POGO.

A spokesman for POGO said the group had tried repeatedly but unsuccessfully to contact Panetta to discuss the report. The DOD IG has been holding the report since before Panetta left the Pentagon.

POGO is a non-profit watchdog group that investigates waste, fraud and abuse in the federal government, with particular attention on programs of the Department of Defense.

Bridget Serchak, a DOD IG spokesman, told POGO the report "is not yet completed. Once it is released, if it is unclassified, it will be posted on our Listserv and in our newsletter as well as on our website."

A copy of the draft report was posted by POGO tonight on its web site. Go here for more on the report from POGO.

Mark Tapscott is executive editor of The Washington Examiner. He can be reached at mtapscott@washingtonexaminer.com.

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