WASHINGTON — Did the Obama administration release classified information to Hollywood notables for a film about the operation that killed Osama bin Laden, a Sony Pictures movie scheduled for release in the heat of this fall's election campaign?
That's a question Rep. Peter T. King, R-N.Y., wants answered. And in response, the Pentagon's inspector general has launched an investigation, King disclosed Thursday.
At issue is whether the filmmakers — director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal, who won Oscars for their 2009 Iraq war movie The Hurt Locker — were given access to classified information about a mission whose details remain shrouded in secrecy.
The film is to arrive in theaters in October, amid President Barack Obama's re-election battle. The bin Laden raid is widely viewed as a political plus for Obama, who sent Navy SEALs to kill the al-Qaida leader at a compound in Pakistan even though the CIA could not say with certainty he was there.
When King first raised the issue in August, White House spokesman Jay Carney called claims that Bigelow and Boal had gotten access to confidential information "ridiculous."