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Defense

Panetta Leaked Information to Hollywood Writer

The former CIA director says he didn’t know the writer was present during a speech with classified information.

A spokesperson for the former CIA director said the administration official was not aware the writer was in the room.(PAUL J. RICHARDS-POOL/Getty Images)

photo of Jordain Carney
December 11, 2013

Former CIA Director Leon Panetta leaked "top secret" information to Mark Boal, who wrote the script for Zero Dark Thirty, about the raid which killed Osama bin Laden, according to documents released on Tuesday.

The incident happened at a June 24, 2011 CIA awards ceremony where Panetta spoke. A Panetta spokesperson told the Associated Press that the former Obama administration official wasn't aware that Boal was in the room when he gave his speech.

The documents were released by Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog organization.

 

The CIA's "security policy and administrative procedures were not followed in allowing Mr. Boal… access to the classified Bin Ladin [sic] Operation Award Ceremony," according to an October 2012 CIA review of the event.

The review found that none of the CIA's protective agents -- referred to as "OS" in the documents -- were aware that an "uncleared visitor" was in attendance.

It's not the first time Panetta has been accused of being the leak. According to a Defense Department Inspector General draft report released earlier this year by the Project On Government Oversight, "Panetta specifically recognized the unit that conducted the raid and identified the ground commander by name."

Judicial Watch argues in its release of the documents that the fact that the CIA redacted more than 90 lines of Panetta's speech for security reasons confirms that "significant portions of the speech should not have been made in front of the filmmaker who lacked top security clearance."

Former House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Peter King requested an investigation in August 2011 into the allegations of leaked information by the administration, including that "a Hollywood filmmaker … attended a CIA ceremony.

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