Zero Dark Thirty, Mark Strong

Sony Pictures

The hunt for who may have shared sensitive military information with the makers of Zero Dark Thirty is apparently still in full effect.

A report being prepared by a U.S. Defense Department investigator is said to criticize Pentagon official Michael Vickers for giving director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal, et al., too many top-secret details, particularly the identity of a member of Seal Team 6, albeit not one who actually participated in the raid that took out Osama bin Laden last year in Pakistan, according to ABC News.

Bigelow's follow-up to The Hurt Locker had been in the works for many years with what was literally a less-Hollywood ending in mind and the actual death of bin Laden on May 2, 2011, necessitated an immediate revamp. 

The film's original release date of Oct. 12 (since bumped to Dec. 17) prompted speculation that members of President Barack Obama's administration had overshared with the filmmakers in an effort to boost their boss' image heading into the November election.

With the film inching closer to its theatrical debut and already racking up critical accolades and award nominations, the origins of the source material—and the film's purported political message—is once again in the spotlight.

"The only thing we ask is that you not reveal [the SEAL Team 6 member's] name in any way as a consultant because...he shouldn't be talking out of school." Vickers told the filmmakers in July 2011, according to documents obtained by Judicial Watch. "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."

An official who spoke to ABC said that they didn't think the Department of Defense's report criticizing Vickers, whose name has come up as a possible successor to Gen. David Petraeus as CIA director, will "amount to anything" in the end.

"He wasn't doing this on his own," the official said, noting that Vickers, the under secretary of defense for intelligence at the Pentagon, was instructed to give the Zero Dark Thirty folks unclassified information. "It's appropriate for department officials to work with the entertainment industry to try to inform how stories are told—especially those associated with one of the greatest intelligence and military successes of a generation."

In response to the initial controversy last year, Bigelow and Boal said the film had "been in the works for many years and integrates the collective efforts of three administrations, including those of Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama, as well as the cooperative strategies and implementation by the Department of Defense and Central Intelligence Agency."

  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share

We and our partners use cookies on this site to improve our service, perform analytics, personalize advertising, measure advertising performance, and remember website preferences. By using the site, you consent to these cookies. For more information on cookies including how to manage your consent visit our Cookie Policy.