SEPTEMBER 03, 2013
A legal filing in the Military Commission proceeding of a Guantanamo Bay terrorist actually credits Judicial Watch with exposing how the Obama administration released sensitive intelligence information to the filmmakers of Zero Dark Thirty.
The critically acclaimed movie told the dramatic story of the U.S. raid that killed Al Qaeda chief and 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan. Judicial Watch obtained documents that show the Obama administration gave the Hollywood filmmakers—Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal—unusual access to classified intelligence information, including the names of Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) operatives involved in the bin Laden raid.
The records, from the CIA and Department of Defense (DOD), include meetings and communications between Bigelow and Boal in preparation for Zero Dark Thirty, which was nominated for multiple Academy Awards. As part of JW’s lawsuit for the records, Obama administration officials disclosed in sworn court documents that the sensitive information released to the filmmakers could cause an “unnecessary security and counterintelligence risk” if released to the public.
Now that information is the focus of a military commission trial involving a key player (Ammar al Baluchi) in the September 2001 terrorist attacks. Baluchi is the nephew of 9/11 architect Khalid Sheik Mohammed (KSM) and the United States has charged him with helping finance the hijackers who murdered thousands of Americans by slamming passenger jets into the World Trade Center and Pentagon.
Baluchi’s attorneys—one civilian and one military—claim that Hollywood filmmakers have more information about how the CIA handled their client than they do. In the legal filing made public with redactions the lawyers want the military commission judge to order the government to give them uncensored correspondence between the Zero Dark Thirty filmmakers and U.S. officials.
The south Florida newspaper that wrote about this over the weekend also mentions Judicial Watch’s work, saying that the documents obtained by JW show an “agency and Pentagon eager to participate in the effort — even providing the filmmakers four CIA officers to brief them in the summer of 2011.” The reporter tried to get feedback from Boal, Zero Dark Thirty’s screenwriter, but he had “nothing to comment.”
Judicial Watch has repeatedly traveled to Guantanamo Bay Cuba to monitor the military tribunals of terrorists incarcerated in the military compound. In the last few years JW representatives have been present for the commission proceedings of USS Cole bomber Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, KSM, the 9/11 architect, and his cohorts Ramzi Binalshibh, Ali Abdul Aziz Ali, and Mustafa Ahmed Adam al Hawsawi , among others.
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