Rep. King, chair of House intelligence committee, is starting to ask questions about a movie regarding the hunt for Bin Laden planned to be released in October, 2012 - just before presidential election. King started his investigation after reading a OP-Ed article in the New York Times which described that the movie producers had been given classified access to Seal Team Six. Presidential spokesman stated the investigation was without merit and the Whitehouse released no such classified information. Carney made no mention of the New York Times, "The Paper of Record", article that motivated the investigation by the Intelligence Committee, which is legally bound to oversee issues regarding national security.
Ms. Dowd, through her NYT article, may have been innocuously reporting "Inside Hollywood" gossip, but review of various statements by different players makes one wonder if someone in the Presidents campaign had been working on this film for some time:
- 2006-2008 (Estimated): Hurt Locker's Bigelow/Boal start development effort for film about the hunt for Bin Laden, focused around Tora Bora - based on book "Kill Bin Laden" purportedly authored by Special Forces officer involved in Tora Bora Film languished in studios given no definitive ending.
- Jan 13, 2011: Bigelow/Boal receive key funding from Megan Ellison, Oracle's Larry Ellison's Daughter. Variety Article claims "Film took Shape" after Boal was provided classified information regarding Hunt for Bin Laden
- Feb 18, 2011: Obama Supporter, Larry Ellison, has private dinner with other Tech Titans and Obama
- June/July 2010: Hurt team's Boal learns Bin Laden Hunt Intensifying
- April 19, 2011: Sony hosted Obama fundraiser
- April 29, 2011: Film Casts lead actor for Bin Laden film (Joel Edgerton)
- May 1, 2011: Bin Laden Killed by Seal Team Six
- May 10, 2011: Maureen Dowd article describing planned Bin Laden movie
- May 24, 2011: Sony Pictures Secures production rights to Bin Laden film
- May 27, 2011: Announcement that Columbia Pictures had received distribution rights for "Black Ops film about the Hund for Bin Laden"
- Aug 6, 2011: Maureen Dowd article describing how Hurt Locker producers were given special classified access to Seal Team Six and OBL mission details
- Aug 9, 2011: Rep King asks for internal investigation with respect to Dowd assertion to classified disclosures
- Aug 10, 2011: Spokesman Carney denys any classified information was provided to filmmakers
- Oct 12, 2012: Planned release of Bin Laden film
So, with this sequence of events I am interested to understand:
- The movie was floundering over a story as far back as 2006, perhaps even further. The story was focused around Tora Bora. With no definitive "Hollywood Ending" what changed in Jan 2011 to motivate Megan Ellison to take the risk on investing in this film without a script
- Why is there references to writer Boal getting access to classified information in the January 2011Variety Article?
- I am not a producer/movie maker, but if there was no "ending" for the movie before OBL death on May 1, why was the team casting roles on April 29th? And why was Sony willing to commit to the movie in May 24th with no script in hand for a release in Oct 2012? I thought it normally took several years to make a movie.
Given this sequence of events, it is more than reasonable that King has asked for an investigation. There is no evidence of a explicit release of classified data, but the January 13 2011 variety article and Dowd Op-Ed pieces both make mention of classified access. And, the actions of the Hurt Locker team to solidify funding and settle on actors just before OBL was killed, after the project languished for years, is suspect.
Would it surprise anyone that an over anxious Obama election team would use knowledge of OBL's whereabouts to hint to a leading movie director of the genre that it was time to accelerate the "Kill Bin Laden" project? Perhaps with a wink and a nod that the project could get funded by a rich Obama supporter?
This thought of a conspiracy deserves an investigation to assure secrets are properly protected and that peoples good names are maintained. This would not be the first set of honest professionals unwittingly leveraged by a president to favor their re-election. Done right, this should be an interesting movie, but something does not smell right.....