Bin Laden movie filmmakers respond to charges of inappropriate White House collaboration
Earlier today, Representative Peter T. King (R, N.Y.) called for an investigation into the White House’s cooperation with the makers of an upcoming film about the hunt for Osama Bin Laden, citing a recent column by The New York Times‘ Maureen Dowd that stated that “the moviemakers are getting top-level access to the most classified mission in history.” King, who is chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, expressed his concern that, with the Bin Laden movie slated to be released just weeks before the 2012 election, the Obama administration may be leaking classified information to the filmmakers for its own ultimate political gain. In a press briefing, White House spokesman Jay Carney called King’s accusations “ridiculous,” saying that the filmmakers had not been given any classified information whatsoever and adding, “I would hope that as we face the continued threat from terrorism, the House Committee on Homeland Security would have more important topics to discuss than a movie.”
Now the filmmakers, director Kathryn Bigelow and writer Mark Boal — who collaborated on the Oscar-winning film The Hurt Locker — have offered their own statement, disputing King’s charges: “Our upcoming film project about the decade long pursuit of Bin Laden has been in the works for many years and integrates the collective efforts of three administrations, including those of Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama, as well as the cooperative strategies and implementation by the Department of Defense and the Central Intelligence Agency. Indeed, the dangerous work of finding the world’s most wanted man was carried out by individuals in the military and intelligence communities who put their lives at risk for the greater good without regard for political affiliation. This was an American triumph, both heroic and non-partisan, and there is no basis to suggest that our film will represent this enormous victory otherwise.”
The still-untitled film is scheduled for release on Oct. 12, 2012.