the Defense Department equates leaking to the news media with spying.
Panetta leaks and gets caught. Investigators now targeted.
Leon Panetta spoke in front of 1,100 people at an awards ceremony in 2011. At the time, Panetta was the Director of the CIA. He revealed the key names and details of the operation that killed Bin Laden. Author and filmmaker Mark Boal was in the audience. Boal lacked the clerance to receive that informatin. Nevertheless, he did and it shaped his film, Zero Dark-Thirty about the Bin laden operation. The Pentagon Inspector General investigated and produced a report, which named Panetta and another senior intelligence official as the beakers. Nothing happened to Penetta and the other official. But now, the investigators who produced the report are under suspicion under the Insider Threat Program, which “equates leaking to the news media with spying.” The report was leaked to Project on Government Oversight (POGO), a whistleblower watchdog group in Washington, DC. The McClatchy story appeared Saturday, December
‘Zero Dark Thirty’ leak investigators now target of leak probe By Marisa Taylor and Jonathan S. Landay
McClatchy Washington Bureau December 20, 2013
WASHINGTON — More than two years after sensitive information about the Osama bin Laden raid was disclosed to Hollywood filmmakers, Pentagon and CIA investigations haven’t publicly held anyone accountable despite internal findings that the leakers were former CIA Director Leon Panetta and the Defense Department’s top intelligence official. Read More
The director and screenwriter of Zero Dark Thirty accepted the best director and best picture awards at Monday night’s New York Film Critics Circle Awards and used the opportunity onstage to address simmering controversies: the debate over their film’s use of torture, as well as the impending Senate investigation into their sources in crafting the movie about the hunt for Osama bin Laden.
“I thankfully want to say that I’m standing in a room of people who understand that depiction is not endorsement, and if it was, no artist could ever portray inhumane practices; no author could ever write about them; and no filmmaker could ever delve into the naughty subjects of our time,” Bigelow said to applause from the press and peers assembled at the Crimson Club in Manhattan.
Boal, in accepting the best picture award, gave a more full-throated defense of the film, while also pulling in an even more current political headline.
“There’s been a lot written about this movie; some of it has popped off the entertainment page to the news page. And from time to time, some of you might have wondered if we would have liked to comment on some of that coverage, and the answer is yes,” he said, standing defiantly at the podium.
“Let me just say this: there was a very interesting story on the front page of the New York Timestoday by Scott Shane, about a CIA agent who is now facing jail time for talking to a reporter about waterboarding,” he explained, referencing the story of John Kiriaku, an ex-CIA operative who was sentenced to 30 months in prison for disclosing the name of a covert CIA agent’s name to a journalist. Kiriaku publicly discussed torture on television and was a source for many other journalists.
“This gentleman is going to jail for that. And all I can say is that I read that story very closely. It sort of reminds me of what somebody else said when they were running for president, which is, ‘If this shit was happening to somebody else, it would be very interesting. For us, it’s quite serious,” Boal continued, a nod at the pending Senate investigation into whether the CIA improperly gave him classified information to assist in the making of the film.
“But nevertheless, I stand here tonight being extremely proud of the film we made… In case anyone is asking, we stand by the film,” he added, throwing down a gauntlet. “I think at the end of the day, we made a film that allows us to look back at the past in a way that gives us a more clear-sighted appraisal of the future.”
Related: Alex Pasternack: “The “problem” with Zero Dark Thirty‘s portrayal of torture isn’t the portrayal itself, but what it represents”; Jose A. Rodriguez: “I was intimately involved in setting up and administering the CIA’s “enhanced interrogation” program, and I left the agency in 2007 secure in the knowledge not only that our program worked but also that it was not torture.” [Update: Scott Horton in 2007 on Rodriguez, aka, The Scapegoat]
(Image: david_shankbone, Flickr/CC)