Spiking the football.
When they published their revealing book last August about the nation’s fight against terrorism, the authors, two New York Times national security reporters, immediately felt heat from the Pentagon for dishing too much operational info about the killing of Osama bin Laden.
“I was stopped by a very senior officer in the special operations community who basically wanted to rip my lungs out,” said Thom Shanker, who co-authored “Counterstrike: The Untold Story of America’s Secret Campaign Against Al Qaeda,” with Eric Schmitt.
But, he revealed at a counter terrorism expo this week, the info came directly and officially from the White House, not some garbage can digging operation. “I said to him, ‘Sir, that information came officially to us from the podium at the White House,’” Shanker said.
He added, “Your civilian leaders make choices about describing missions, perhaps for their own partisan political ends, perhaps to show the nation that their tax dollars are being spent well, but that’s the way it is.”
Shanker, an acclaimed Pentagon reporter and author, said he had a little advice for the unidentified officer: If you make general, “this is part of your new world.”
Hopefully not for long, you putz.
Judicial Watch launched an investigation following reports suggesting that the Obama administration may have leaked classified information to a director of an upcoming film about the Bin Laden raid.
Judicial Watch obtained CIA and DOD documents through the FOIA, that describe meetings and communications between government agencies and Kathryn Bigelow, director of The Hurt Locker, and screenwriter Mark Boal. The Obama Defense Department granted Bigelow and Boal access to a “planner, Operator and Commander of SEAL Team Six,” which was responsible for the capture and killing of Osama bin Laden, to assist Bigelow prepare her upcoming feature film.
Some excerpts from the records of the meetings between DOD officials, Bigelow and Boal:
A transcript of a July 14, 2011, meeting between DOD officials, including Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence Michael Vickers, Bigelow and Boal indicates that Boal met directly with White House officials on at least two occasions regarding the film: “I took your guidance and spoke to the WH and had a good meeting with Brennan and McDonough and I plan to follow up with them; and they were forward leaning and interested in sharing their point of view; command and control; so that was great, thank you,” Boal said according to the transcript. Vickers asks if the meeting was a follow-up, to which Boal responds, “Yes correct; this was a follow-up.” The documents seemingly reference John O. Brennan, Chief Counterterrorism Advisor to President Obama and Denis McDonough, who serves as President Obama’s Deputy National Security Advisor.
The July 14, 2011, meeting transcript also reveals that the DOD provided the filmmakers with the identity of a “planner, SEAL Team 6 Operator and Commander.” (The name is blacked out in the document.) In proposing the arrangement, Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence Michael Vickers said: “The only thing we ask is that you not reveal his name in any way as a consultant because . . . he shouldn’t be talking out of school.” Vickers went on to say during the meeting at the Pentagon: “This at least, this gives him one step removed and he knows what he can and can’t say, but this way at least he can be as open as he can with you and it ought to meet your needs.” Boal later responds, “You delivered.”
A July 13, 2011, internal CIA email indicates that Bigelow and Boal were granted access to “the Vault,” which is described the CIA building where some of the tactical planning for the bin Laden raid took place: “I was given your name as the POC in [redacted] who could determine the feasibility of having a potential walk-through of…the Vault in the [redacted] building that was used for some of the tactical planning in the Bin Laden Raid [sic]. In consultation with the Office of Public Affairs and as part of the larger chronicling of the Bin Laden raid, OPA will be hosting some visitors sanctioned by ODCIA this Friday afternoon.” (The name of the sender is blacked out.) “Of course this is doable,” an official responds.
I’ll bet they got a full power point brief, too.
DOD Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs Douglas Wilson told colleagues in a June 13, 2011, email to limit media access and that he would follow up with the White House: “I think this looks very good as a way forward, and agree particularly that we need to be careful here so we don’t open the media floodgates on this. I’m going to check with WH to update them on status, and will report back.” A day later, he wrote Department of Defense communications staffers, saying: “Ok to set up the second session with Vickers. I am getting additional guidance from WH.”
Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence Michael Vickers told Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs Douglas Wilson and two other DOD communications staffers in a June 13, 2011, email that “[DOD] would like to shape the story to prevent any gross inaccuracies, but do not want to make it look like the commanders think it’s okay to talk to the media.” The email went on to say: “For the intelligence case, they are basically using the WH-approved talking points we used the night of the operation.” The talking points called the raid “a ‘Gutsy Decision’ by the POTUS,” adding that “WH involvement was critical.”
In other words, tailor the story to fit Obama’s heroic self-image.
A June 9, 2011, email from Commander Bob Mehal, Public Affairs Officer for Defense Press Operations, to Vickers and other DOD staff summarizes a meeting with Boal and notes the release date for the film: “Release date set for 4th Qtr 2012…”
Timing is everything when you’re
creating a propaganda film running a campaign.
A July 13, 2011, email to Commander Bob Mehal, Public Affairs Officer for Defense Press Operations, indicates that Sarah Zukowski, an associate for The Glover Park Group, arranged the July 14, 2011 visit by Bigelow and Boal to the DOD and the CIA. The Glover Park Group is described by Politico as a “Democratic-leaning advocacy firm.”
Exploiting the bravery of those who actually went into the snake pit to kill Bin Laden, and to take credit for the end result of policies that were in place long before the SCOAMF took office, is pure Obama.
- Judicial Watch Obtains DOD and CIA Records Detailing Meetings With bin Laden Raid Filmmakers (sys-con.com)
- Shocker: Obama WH leaked sensitive info for The Obama Is Totally Awesome blockbuster movie (hotair.com)
- Judicial Watch Obtains DOD and CIA Records Detailing Meetings with bin Laden Raid Filmmakers (gunnyg.wordpress.com)