US Agencies 'Too Cosy' With Osama Filmmakers

24 May 2012

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Osama bin Laden


Defence and intelligence officials in the US have been accused of jeopardising national security by working too closely with the makers of a film about the death of Osama bin Laden.

Zero Dark Thirty, directed by Oscar-winner Kathryn Bigelow, tells the story of the Special Forces raid on the al Qaeda leader's compound in Pakistan last May, reports Sky News.

Homeland Security Committee chairman Peter King, a Republican who first raised questions about the bin Laden movie last summer, said newly-released documents confirmed his suspicions.

King said Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal had received "extremely close, unprecedented and potentially dangerous collaboration" from the Obama administration.

He said the Defence Department granted the pair access to a planner, operator and commander of Seal Team 6 - the unit that killed bin Laden in Abbottabad.

Other documents showed the filmmakers met White House officials on at least two occasions to discuss the movie.

A CIA email indicates that Bigelow and Boal were granted access to "The Vault", which is described as the CIA building where some of the tactical planning for the raid took place.

However, Pentagon press secretary George Little has disputed some of the allegations.

He said that although a planner had been suggested as a possible point of contact for information, a meeting between that planner and the filmmakers never actually occurred.

The Defence Department regularly works with the entertainment industry on films and the goal is to "make them as realistic as possible", he added.

Pentagon officials did meet the producers of the film, he said, but "never reviewed a script of the movie".

He also denied the co-operation was an attempt to boost President Barack Obama 's election chances, and said the film would not be out until after the poll in November.

Boal and Bigelow worked together on The Hurt Locker, about a US Army bomb disposal expert in Iraq, which won six Oscars in 2010.

Shooting for Zero Dark Thirty - out later this year - is in progress in Chandigarh, India, which is doubling up for Pakistan.

Tags: News, World, Osama bin Laden, Us

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