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.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta delivers remarks to the troops as he visits Camp Victory July 11, 2011 in Baghdad, Iraq. Panetta spoke to the 1-63 Dagger Brigade, 1st Battalion, 63rd Armor Regiment, 2nd Advise and Assist Brigade; 25th Infantry; 116th Calvary Brigade Combat Team and thanked them for their service. (Photo by Paul J. Richards-Pool/Getty Images)
National Journal
Jordain Carney
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Jordain Carney
Dec. 11, 2013, 10:54 a.m.

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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