Did you see the link on the Drudge Report and hear the news?
We are now in possession of a previously classified December 2012 Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) report
from the Office of Inspector General (OIG) strongly condemning the agency’s handling of “briefings, interviews, visits, and other support” given to the entertainment industry.
The report specifically criticizes the CIA’s granting of “Secret level” access to the makers of the movie Zero Dark Thirty. The OIG report was declassified
in response to a Judicial Watch request
for a Mandatory Declassification review.
The OIG “Report of Audit – CIA Processes for Engaging With the Entertainment Industry” is critical of both the agency’s procedures and its record keeping: "We found that the records maintained by the OPA [Office of Public Affairs] are not sufficient to document that entertainment industry requests to CIA for briefings, interviews, visits, and other support are handled in a consistent and fair manner and that engagement with the entertainment industry is effective in furthering CIA’s goal for engagement … OPA and other CIA employees have not always complied with Agency regulations intended to prevent the release of classified information during their interactions with entertainment industry representatives.”
The Washington Times took note
of what JW has uncovered shortly after the information was released. Here is how it was reported: "The CIA may have mishandled 'briefings, interviews, visits and other support' given to the entertainment industry, says a previously classified report, now declassified and provided to Judicial Watch under a Freedom of Information Act request.
The report specifically criticizes the CIA’s granting of 'secret level' access to the makers of the 2012 movie 'Zero Dark Thirty,' which dramatized the hunt for Osama bin Laden and the raid on his hideout in Pakistan.”
While the heavily redacted document carefully avoids the disclosure of the eight projects it reviewed dating back to Jan. 6, 2006, it specifically cites problems involving the CIA’s interactions with the "Zero Dark Thirty" filmmakers.
According to the OIG report, “There was an instance in which CIA allowed an entertainment industry representative to attend a CIA event in which information classified at the SECRET level was discussed.”
The report then adds in a footnote: "CIA officials told us that the filmmaker involved with 'Zero Dark Thirty' was invited to the event so that he could absorb the emotion of the event and that he was told he could not use anything he heard at the event for his project.
During our audit fieldwork, the then Director, CIA called for an internal examination of the decision to allow the entertainment industry representative to attend the event."
The CIA Inspector General cites one project in particular that was given “significantly more support” than any of the others reviewed.
Though the project is not identified, it is an apparent reference to "Zero Dark Thirty”: "We noted that the CIA provided significantly more support to one of the eight entertainment industry projects that we reviewed: [REDACTED]. Entertainment industry representatives for this project met with [REDACTED] CIA officers (the majority of whom were under cover) … on multiple occasions, including meeting with one officer 12 times."
The newly-released OIG report also questioned the CIA’s granting of access to foreign nationals who may not have received proper screening before their briefings, warning of possible “negative consequences” for the CIA: "We also noted three entertainment projects [REDACTED] in which foreign nationals may have participated in briefings, interviews, and visits provided by the CIA.
However, because of the lack of adequate records, we were unable to determine the extent of CIA’s support to the eight projects, the extent to which foreign nationals participated in CIA-sponsored activities, and whether the Director, OPA approved of the activities and participation of foreign nationals.
Failure on the part of CIA officers to adhere to regulatory requirements could result in unauthorized disclosures, inappropriate actions and negative consequences for CIA."
The CIA IG also concluded that taxpayers were not compensated for the assistance CIA provided to Hollywood film projects: "CIA Has Not Been Reimbursed for Costs Incurred in Supporting Entertainment Industry Projects . . . The CIA needs to establish a written policy concerning under what conditions reimbursement of costs incurred in providing support to entertainment industry projects should be sought.
In the absence of a formal policy, there is increased risk that costs incurred by CIA will not be handled in a consistent manner and that CIA funds may be used for questionable expenditures."
In the meantime, we know now the Obama administration put Hollywood before national security in order to help Barack Obama win re-election.
Tom Fitton is the president of Judicial Watch. He is a nationally recognized expert on government corruption. A former talk radio and television host and analyst, Tom is well known across the country as a national spokesperson for the conservative cause. He has been quoted in Time, Vanity Fair, The Washington Post, The New York Times, and most every other major newspaper in the country. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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