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Did administration risk national security to help out Hollywood?

It seems that a potential candidate for head of the CIA may find himself facing criminal charges.

With reports that a top Defense Department official leaked sensitive and restricted information to Hollywood filmmakers to assist in the creation of upcoming blockbuster Zero Dark Thirty, a potential candidate for head of the CIA may find himself facing criminal charges instead.

McClatchy reports that DoD investigators have concluded that Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence Michael Vickers was the source who provided filmmakers Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal with the name of the leader of SEAL Team Six, the Navy Special Forces unit responsible for the successful assassination of Osama bin Laden in May 2011.

An investigation of the leak had been referred to the Department of Justice earlier this year, but up until now, according to reports, no criminal prosecution had been initiated.

Conservative watchdog organization Judicial Watch broke news in May that the White House had given privileged access to the filmmakers, and that the active SEAL’s name was among information shared with them.

Outgoing House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Peter King (R-N.Y), who has piloted the investigation into the administration’s access decisions regarding the film, said Tuesday that he was troubled at the latest developments.

Conservative watchdog organization Judicial Watch broke news in May that the White House had given privileged access to the filmmakers, and that the active SEAL’s name was among information shared with them.

Outgoing House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Peter King (R-N.Y), who has piloted the investigation into the administration’s access decisions regarding the film, said Tuesday that he was troubled at the latest developments.

“I requested this investigation in August 2011 to ensure that our national security was not placed at risk by the Obama Administration leaking potentially classified information about the bin Laden raid to filmmakers Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal,” King said in a statement.

“Our national security and the personal security of Special Operators and the CIA Officers involved was, and remains, my only concern. This reported referral by the DoD Inspector General is an indication that our security and theirs was, indeed, placed at risk by people who wanted to help Hollywood make a movie.”

King said he looked forward to receiving reports about the matter from the DoD and CIA Inspectors General.

The film, already rumored to be an Academy Award contender, is scheduled for general release Jan. 11.

 

 

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Written By

Hope Hodge first covered military issues for the Daily News of Jacksonville, N.C., where her beat included the sprawling Marine Corps base, Camp Lejeune. During her two years at the paper, she received investigative reporting awards for exposing a former Marine who was using faked military awards to embezzle disability pay from the government and for breaking news about the popularity of the designer drug Spice in the ranks. Her work has also appeared in The American Spectator, New York Sun, WORLD Magazine, and The Washington Post. Hodge was born near Boston, Mass., where she grew up as a lover of Revolutionary War history and fall foliage. She also discovered a love of politics and policy as a grassroots volunteer and activist on Beacon Hill. She graduated in 2009 with a degree in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics from The King's College in New York City, where she served as editor-in-chief of her school newspaper and worked as a teaching assistant when not freelancing or using student discounts to see Broadway shows. Hope‚??s email is HHodge@eaglepub.com

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