58° Good Afternoon
58° Good Afternoon
Long IslandPolitics

Report: Panetta leaked info on Navy SEALs

WASHINGTON -- Several weeks after overseeing the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, then-CIA Director Leon Panetta violated security rules by revealing the name of the raid commander to the writer of the film "Zero Dark Thirty," according to a draft report by Pentagon investigators.

The unpublished report was first disclosed by the Project on Government Oversight and confirmed Wednesday by Rep. Peter King, who asked for the investigation nearly two years ago.

King (R-Seaford) said he has not seen the draft report but was briefed on some of its contents. He said it confirmed his suspicion that the Obama administration cut corners on security in its dealings with Hollywood executives eager to produce a film about the May 2, 2011, raid on bin Laden's compound in Pakistan.

In the movie, which received a best picture Oscar nomination, Panetta's character was played by James Gandolfini.

"CIA was very sloppy and the administration was very sloppy in enforcing security procedures when it came to Hollywood," King said in an interview. "It almost seems as if they were star-struck."

The episode is among many that have raised questions about leaks of classified information and the apparently selective enforcement of security rules by government officials.

A Pentagon spokesman, Army Col. Steve Warren, said the Defense Department had no comment on the draft report by its inspector general.

Bridget Serchak, a spokeswoman for the inspector general, said there is no projected date for finishing the report. She said if it is unclassified when completed, it will be made public.

The report cited two instances when administration officials divulged the names of individuals involved in the bin Laden operation -- in both cases to makers of "Zero Dark Thirty." The movie told the story of the decade-long hunt for the al-Qaida leader and the dark-of-night Navy SEALs raid in which he was killed.

The report also said Panetta "also provided (Defense Department) information identified by original classification authorities as top secret." The report did not address the question of possible penalties for Panetta's actions.

Several days after the ceremony, Panetta became defense secretary. He held that post until February 2013, when he retired.


We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.

Latest Long Island News