Friday, May 25, 2012
Greenwald: Makers of pro-Obama film able to access classified information on Bin Laden killing
Glenn Greenwald has a long article in Salon that exposes the Obama administration's double standard on releasing classified information. The administration has released information about the Bin Laden raid for purposes of a propaganda film that will promote Obama's image as a successful terrorist hunter and killer. Coincidentally the film is scheduled to be released in October just in time to influence voteers before the November elections.
Greenwald points out that the Obama administration while spouting rhetoric about accountability has waged an outright war on whistle blowers. Many more have been prosecuted under Obama than under Bush. Whisteblowers who have exposed such events as illegal NASA spying, and previously unknown U.S-caused deaths have been jailed or tried for their efforts.
While chastising whistle blowers who release classified information to reveal U.S. wrongdoing classified information is leaked with tacit White House approval when the information can be used in pro-administration propaganda. A good example is information about the Bin Laden raid.
The Group Judicial Watch filed a lawsuit seeking information about the raid that killed Bin Laden. The administration insisted in court that the operation is secret. Of course at the very same time information was being leaked to the press about the raid..
Judicial Watch also filed suit seeking information about the collaboration between a Hollywood filmmakers and the Obama administration. Director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal plan a film that recounts the bin Laden raid. Not only was the film originally scheduled to be released shortly before the fall elections but Sony Films chief executive has connections to Obama. NOTE: After the release date caused a furore the release date is now postponed until December after the elections.
In January of this year the New York Times reported:“Michael Lynton, the Sony Pictures chief executive, has been a major backer of President Obama and last April attended and paid the donation fee for a high-priced political fund-raising dinner for the president on the Sony studio lot in Culver City, Calif., which was rented by the Democratic National Committee.” These movie makers have access to a great deal of classified information
As part of the Judicial Watch lawsuit the Obama administration released emails from the CIA and Dept. of Defense. NBC News notes that the documents show that:, “the Obama administration leaked classified information to filmmakers on the raid that killed Osama bin Laden.” This was just a few weeks after the CIA warned the public about leaks concerning the raid. Nevertheless top officials granted the filmmakers access to people involved in the planning and to some of the techniques used. For much more see the full article.
Greenwald's example is hardly unique. On the drone program the administration routinely releases positive material about the raids describing how precise the targeting is etc. Yet organizations trying to get information on the program through the courts are told that even acknowledging the existence of the program is a threat to national security.