'Zero Dark Thirty': top 3 controversies surrounding the Osama bin Laden film
"Zero Dark Thirty," which premières in New York and Los Angeles Wednesday and opens nationwide Jan. 11, is the story of the hunt and capture of Osama bin Laden. Directed by Kathryn Bigelow, who won an Academy Award for "The Hurt Locker," the movie is already garnering critical accolades – and plenty of criticism, too. Here are the top three controversies currently surrounding the film.
1. Did the film’s creators get inappropriate access to Special Forces operatives and classified information?
That’s the charge of Rep. Peter King (R) of New York, chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, who released a statement Tuesday charging that national security “was, indeed, placed at risk by people who wanted to help Hollywood make a movie.”
The Defense Department’s inspector general (DOD IG) has in fact initiated an investigation into a DOD official for sharing with the filmmakers the identity of a Special Operations planner involved with the bin Laden raid, Pentagon spokesman George Little has said.
Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence Michael Vickers – a contender to head the Central Intelligence Agency following the departure of David Petraeus – is the object of the investigation, Mr. Little confirmed.
In particular, Little said, the DOD IG is looking into “whether Mr. Vickers provided classified information in an interview with the filmmakers.”
That said, Pentagon officials were aware of an interview that Vickers did to provide “strategic context” on the raid to the filmmakers. Indeed, Pentagon officials themselves arranged the interview. And Little was quick to add that Vickers revealed no classified information.
Vickers himself was portrayed in the film “Charlie Wilson’s War.”
Representative King says he plans to monitor the DOD IG investigation. He also questions whether any Special Operations service members felt pressured to do interviews with the producers.
“There was an event where operatives were involved, and they did not know until they got there that the Hollywood people were going to be present, which means identity would have been shown,” King told CNN.
“Obviously,” he said, “things went wrong here.”