Pentagon audit finds career officials opposed efforts to help bin Laden filmmakers

Obama administration political appointees at the Defense Department, the CIA and the White House brushed aside concerns from career officials about helping two Hollywood filmmakers research their 2012 movie about the top secret Navy SEAL raid that killed Osama bin Laden, according to a new report from the Pentagon’s inspector general.

Then-CIA Director Leon E. Panetta, who had been nominated to take over at the Pentagon; Mike Vickers, defense undersecretary for intelligence; and politically appointed public affairs staff from both agencies and the White House were involved in the effort to secure for the filmmakers a meeting with a participant or planner of the 2011 raid, the report shows.

Although a private meeting with the special operations planner appears not to have taken place, investigators said, screenwriter Mark Boal did attend a ceremony at CIA headquarters in which raid participants were being honored and were clearly identified, despite efforts to keep their identities secret.

Career public affairs and military staff at the Pentagon and the CIA opposed the effort to help Mr. Boal and director Kathryn Bigelow, whose movie “Zero Dark Thirty” was released in December.

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