CIA "overlooked" Osama bin Laden movie documents
July 25th, 2012
06:48 PM ET

CIA "overlooked" Osama bin Laden movie documents

By Adam Levine

The Central Intelligence Agency says it "inadvertently overlooked" documents related to its assistance to filmmakers creating a movie about the Osama bin Laden raid and failed to hand them over as part of a lawsuit against the CIA and the Department of Defense.

The oversight was revealed in a court document filed as part of the lawsuit by Judicial Watch, which is seeking information about how much the CIA and Pentagon disclosed about the raid by cooperating with filmmakers.

"The CIA discovered a 4- to 5-inch stack of records," according to the filing by the government's attorney, Marcia Berman. "From its initial review of the documents, the CIA has determined that the newly discovered documents are responsive to plaintiff's request but contain some duplicates of produced records."

The number of documents found is "approximately 30 new documents (primarily e-mails), with many documents containing multiple pages," according to the filing.

"These documents were supposed to be turned over to us two months ago under a federal court order," said Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch. "This new 'discovery' and resulting delay stinks to high heaven - maybe an independent criminal leak investigation can look into this issue, too."

The government has asked the court for an extension until August 24 to properly review the documents but Judicial Watch is objecting to the request.

"They are suggesting that many are duplicative, so even less reason," not to turn them over sooner, he said.

The assistance to moviemakers has been roundly criticized by some Republican members of Congress. Rep. King Peter King of New York claimed that the White House gave the filmmakers access to top White House and Pentagon officials with knowledge of the bin Laden raid.  An original release date just before the election was seen as a boon to the re-election campaign of President Barack Obama. It has since been pushed to a later date.

The filmmakers included director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal, who made the Oscar-winning movie "The Hurt Locker."

When King first made the movie an issue, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters that "there is no difference in the information that we have given to anybody that is working on this topic from what we gave to those of you in this room who worked on it in the days and weeks after the raid itself."

He added, "We do not discuss classified information, and I would hope as we face a continued threat from terrorism, the House Committee on Homeland Security would have more important topics to discuss than a movie."

Documents released in May to Judicial Watch as a result of its Freedom of Information lawsuit reignited the debate in Washington over whether national security was compromised in the process of helping the filmmakers.

The documents showed, for example, that a defense official offered the filmmakers access to a planner from SEAL Team 6, the super-secret Special Operations unit that successfully executed the high-stakes raid in Pakistan last year.

It is not clear if any such access eventually took place. But according to a transcript from the meeting, on July 14 of last year, Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence Michael Vickers told Bigelow and Boal that the defense department would offer up a plum interview.

Last August, Bigelow and Boal released a statement regarding the movie which read in part, "Our upcoming film project about the decade-long pursuit of bin Laden has been in the works for many years and integrates the collective efforts of three administrations, including those of Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama."

The CIA is looking into how the newly found documents were overlooked, the filing said, "to ensure the adequacy of its search." The plaintiffs have not yet been given the documents.

The CIA declined to comment on matters before the court.

– Larry Shaughnessy, Dugald McConnell and Brian Todd contributed to this report

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Filed under: Al Qaeda • CIA • Navy SEALs • Osama bin Laden • Terrorism • USSOCOM
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  6. Neil

    Please help us save five jobs.
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    August 3, 2012 at 10:52 pm | Reply
  7. Hahahahahahaahahhaha

    Quick!!!!! Someone pull that towel head's finger already!!!!! Hahahahahahahahahaha

    July 26, 2012 at 10:33 am | Reply
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    July 26, 2012 at 10:30 am | Reply
  9. sam

    Stop spreading the misconception about the bin laden death in 2011 through the social medias.. Bin laden was dead in 2003 due to renal failure and half body paralysis...if u want to make film, make film about how 911 was planned and why Bush was in Florida that day.Also include why Donald Rumsfeld had/has no answer about the missing 2.5 trillions of dollar in pentagon the day before the incident,collected from hardworking innocent Americans income tax.Also include how long actress – Condaleza rice took to get prepared to move her mouth regarding the imaginary WMDs in Iraq.

    July 26, 2012 at 2:48 am | Reply
    • Marine5484

      You just said it all, sam. Thank you.

      July 26, 2012 at 10:06 am | Reply
    • Chris

      You both might want to get just a few more sheets of tinfoil out before your next comments.

      July 26, 2012 at 11:47 am | Reply
    • Dude

      Yes, you are a special important person, just like your mother says.

      And it is so nice that she lets you live in her basement. I mean command center.

      You are not a tiny insignificant person, you know secret insider information. That makes you a special important person.

      August 23, 2012 at 11:55 am | Reply
  10. Robert Austin

    Or the Osman Brothers?

    July 25, 2012 at 10:52 pm | Reply
  11. Fonzi

    Bull makes the world go 'round.

    July 25, 2012 at 10:38 pm | Reply
  12. lucianne

    Thank goodness the President was not looking for a photo op, he was looking for a strategic victory for the defense and safety of the American people. Unlike previous presidents, he is not trying to start another war, or infuriate people who already don't like us much.

    July 25, 2012 at 10:38 pm | Reply
    • Dude

      Just as North Korea and Iran were starting to open up, Bush saved us from the potential outbreak of peace with his "Axis of Evil" speech.

      August 23, 2012 at 11:57 am | Reply
  13. TPalin

    Peter King is a bloated publicity seeking moron. Obama got Osama. End of discussion.

    July 25, 2012 at 10:33 pm | Reply
  14. robertd188

    Sounds like the CIA is under sustained budget and other pressures.

    July 25, 2012 at 8:50 pm | Reply
  15. NativeUSA

    Wow the CIA esp in this administration not being transparent...........say it aint so.

    July 25, 2012 at 8:48 pm | Reply
  16. Realistic

    Osama was KILLED IN ACTION and was "WANTED DEAD OR ALIVE" period.
    Murdered in cold blood? You "smell to high heaven" sport!!!
    WHY would you want the US Govt to post pics of his DEAD BLOODY BODY to give these nutcases another reason to cause some more terror on INNOCENT people?
    YOU should be dumped in the Arabian Sea next to you "murdered" buddy!!!

    July 25, 2012 at 8:34 pm | Reply
  17. Keksi

    Does CIA has any docs on Tim Osman?

    July 25, 2012 at 8:32 pm | Reply
  18. Zoglet

    The CIA perverting the course of justice??? Surely not??

    July 25, 2012 at 8:01 pm | Reply
  19. George Patton

    Did the C.I.A. really "overlook" Ussama bin Laden? Somehow I don't quite think so. Moreover, I doubt if that it was the true bin Laden who was murdered on May 2 of last year in Abbotabad, Pakistan as the true one most likely died from kidney failure back around 2002 in the mountains of Tora Bora. I guess people are going to fall for the government line as they don't seem to think for themselves.

    July 25, 2012 at 7:45 pm | Reply
    • Thinker

      Its sounds like you let fox news do your thinking for you, or is it Glen Beck?Rush Limbaugh?

      July 25, 2012 at 8:00 pm | Reply
      • George Patton

        What I want to know Thinker, is why this purported Ussama bin Laden was murdered in cold blood rather than be taken alive which would have been done just as easily? And why was his body dumped in the Arabian Sea so quickly? And finally, why were the photographs of his dead body not shown publically? This still smells to High Heaven!!!

        July 25, 2012 at 8:19 pm |
    • Realistic

      Are you "trying" to tell us that you DO NOT believe Bin Laden was KILLED (not murdered) in Pakistan?
      Do you think the women and their kids were a part of this big conspiracy?
      IF this is what you are saying call 1-800-URA-FOOL immediately to claim your prize!!

      July 25, 2012 at 8:30 pm | Reply
      • Realistic

        Osama was KILLED IN ACTION and was "WANTED DEAD OR ALIVE" period.
        Murdered in cold blood? You "smell to high heaven" sport!!!
        WHY would you want the US Govt to post pics of his DEAD BLOODY BODY to give these nutcases another reason to cause some more terror on INNOCENT people?
        YOU should be dumped in the Arabian Sea next to you "murdered" buddy!!!
        Did you claim your prize?

        July 25, 2012 at 8:36 pm |
      • Justin

        Pics or it didnt happen.

        July 25, 2012 at 9:27 pm |
      • Zhukov

        There are many others, especially outside the US, who believe the possibility exists that the "take down" of bin Laden was total bs.

        July 25, 2012 at 9:44 pm |
      • worldlypatriotusaveteran

        Justin: Rest assured, the pictures have been shared with Allies, countless oversight committees, and "others" who have absolutely no doubts of the images' authenticity.

        It's not necessary to show you that a 10-megaton nuclear detonation would be very devastating, so the governments who possess these weapons don't have to explode one for most sane people to understand the effects of a blast.

        The image of a body of a dead person with a large, gaping bullet-entrance wound on the forehead, is not a sight to be shared with the public. Sorry to disappoint you!

        Why would you want to provide fuel for religious fanatics to become martyrs, at the price of innocent lives, just so YOU can be satisfied that the event occurred?

        July 25, 2012 at 9:50 pm |
    • Chris

      More tinfoil will help with your condition. As a vet of the Afghan war I find it hilarious that arm chair generals and intel specialists such as yourself think they have all the answers.

      July 26, 2012 at 11:50 am | Reply
    • Dude

      Good investment in that "Faked" rubber stamp. Saves you a lot of time having to read the piles of evidence that you are wrong.

      August 23, 2012 at 11:59 am | Reply

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