Film School: Your Exciting New Path to Obtaining Government Secrets
Right around the time in 2011 that Robert Gates was ordering everyone who knew anything about the operations of the strike that offed Osama bin Laden to shut the hell up in the name of Secrecy, a newly-released document obtained through a FOIA request shows that top Pentagon and CIA officials were holding hot gossip sessions with filmmakers Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal to share sexy details from the mission planning that Bigelow and Boal wanted for their new movie. The officials also made the filmmakers swear not to tell anyone else who they got their secrets from to avoid making the rest of the kids on the playground ("The Fourth Estate") feel bad about being left out. But now the jig is up!
Your Wonkette officially has no problem with movie people who score high-level interviews to conduct research so that their war film scripts are more parts factually accurate than wholesale lies -- heavens, if only there were more of it -- but sweet Space Jesus are we sick of hearing OH GOD NO NOT THE SECRETS screams from officials every time even dumb questions like "How many head shavings are Gitmo prisoners permitted each year?" get asked and then go unanswered in the name of National Security. So naturally we laughed when we read that Pentagon and CIA officials even have the capacity to feel a nonzero amount of guilt about surreptitiously breaking the rules they fuss about so dramatically in public:
[Mark] Boal visited with acting CIA director Michael Morrell and had access to a mock-up at CIA headquarters that depicted the Abbottabad, Pakistan compound where the raid was carried out, the records indicate.
"On the operators side, Adm. McRaven and Adm. Olson do not want to talk directly, because it's just a bad, their [sic] just concerned as commanders of the force and they're telling them all the time—don't you dare talk to anybody, that it's just a bad example if it gets out—even with all sorts of restrictions and everything," [Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence Mike] Vickers said, according to a transcript of the meeting released Friday to Judicial Watch. The conservative watchdog group filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit demanding the documents.
CIA officials seemed aware that cooperating with Boal was in some tension with the government's public line that it was trying to crack down on leaks.
"We’re trying to keep [Boal's] visits at HQs [sic] a bit quiet, because of the sensitivities surrounding who gets to participates in this types of things [sic]," CIA spokesman Marie Harf wrote to a colleague in June 2011. "I’m sure you understand."