By
updated 8/11/2011 9:33:03 AM ET 2011-08-11T13:33:03

A movie about the hunt for Osama bin Laden, expected in theaters just weeks before the 2012 presidential election, is already generating a partisan political feud.

  1. Other political news of note
    1. Animated Boehner: 'There's nothing complex about the Keystone Pipeline!'

      House Speaker John Boehner became animated Tuesday over the proposed Keystone Pipeline, castigating the Obama administration for not having approved the project yet.

    2. Budget deficits shrinking but set to grow after 2015
    3. Senate readies another volley on unemployment aid
    4. Obama faces Syria standstill
    5. Fluke files to run in California

Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, says he's worried that the Obama administration will only be too happy to give sensitive details about the Navy SEAL mission to the Oscar-winning moviemakers behind the project.

Video: New details emerge on bin Laden death (on this page)

White House spokesman Jay Carney suggests that King should have better things to do than complain about a movie.

King on Wednesday sought an investigation by the CIA and Pentagon inspectors general, wanting them to review the administration's cooperation with director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal, both Academy Award winners for the 2009 film "The Hurt Locker." The bin Laden movie will be distributed by Sony Pictures Entertainment.

King said too much information already has leaked out about the Navy SEALs raid in May that killed bin Laden in Pakistan, and he noted that Pentagon officials have cautioned against further discussion of the mission.

Among other things, King asked the inspectors general to determine what consultations occurred in the administration about providing Hollywood with access to covert military operators and clandestine CIA officers.

Carney told reporters: "When people, including you in this room, are working on articles, books, documentaries or movies that involve the president, ask to speak to administration officials, we do our best to accommodate them to make sure that facts are correct. That is hardly a novel approach to the media.

"We do not discuss classified information. And I would hope that as we face the continued threat from terrorism, the House Committee on Homeland Security would have more important topics to discuss than a movie."

Carney said information provided about the raid was focused on President Barack Obama's role and it's the same information given to anybody writing about the topic.

In an interview, King said, "People in the CIA reached out to me saying they were opposed to this." But he acknowledged that others in the spy agency were willing to cooperate.

"Most SEALs want to stay in the background," he said, and not "tip off the enemy of what they do and don't do."

King said he was not trying to take credit away from the president.

"I, as much as anyone after the killing of bin Laden, gave full credit to the president," he said. "I knew this was an extremely tough decision. Top people in the administration were opposed to it. It was courageous, heroic and showed real leadership."

Bigelow and Boal say their movie will be nonpartisan.

"Our upcoming film project about the decade-long pursuit of bin Laden has 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 the CIA," they said in a statement.

"Indeed, the dangerous work of finding the world's most wanted man was carried out by individuals in the military and intelligence communities who put their lives at risk for the greater good without regard for political affiliation. This was an American triumph, both heroic and nonpartisan, and there is no basis to suggest that our film will represent this enormous victory otherwise."

Marine Col. Dave Lapan, a Defense Department spokesman, told reporters the film project is only in the script development phase.

"DoD is providing assistance with script research, which is something we commonly do for established filmmakers," Lapan said. "Until there is a script to review, and a request for equipment or other DoD support, there is no formal agreement for DoD support."

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Video: New details emerge on bin Laden death

  1. Transcript of: New details emerge on bin Laden death

    ANN CURRY, co-host: There are dramatic new details this morning on exactly what happened during that daring raid that ended in the death of Osama bin Laden . NBC 's Peter Alexander is in Washington , DC , this morning with more on this story. Peter , good morning.

    PETER ALEXANDER reporting: Ann , good morning to you. This is the most detailed report of exactly what happened that night when Navy SEALs stormed bin Laden 's Abbottabad compound in Pakistan . The SEALs covert operation , then dubbed Neptune 's Spear , lasted just about 38 adrenaline-fueled minutes. And the New Yorker 's Nicholas Schmidle spoke to numerous special operations sources involved with the raid. This is the perfect story of a near miss, dramatic heroism and ultimately the war on terror 's crowning success. Their target? The world's top terrorist: Osama bin Laden . On the night of May 1st a pair of Black Hawk helicopters , including the one that crashed, unloaded 23 SEALs , a Pakistani American translator and a dog named Cairo at bin Laden's secret hideout . That translator turned away curious Pakistanis .

    Mr. NICHOLAS SCHMIDLE (New America Foundation): He just told them that there's a security operation going on behind these walls. Go back to your homes and...

    ALEXANDER: Turn your lights off.

    Mr. SCHMIDLE: ...turn your lights off, and that was it. So people did that. They had no reason to think that they were talking to an American.

    ALEXANDER: According to Schmidle 's military sources, the SEALs , each carrying a booklet with photos and descriptions of who they could expect to find inside, first killed bin Laden 's courier near the guest house, then entered the al-Qaeda leader's home.

    Mr. SCHMIDLE: As they began making their way first from the first floor to the second floor, there were metal gates, almost cages, blocking the entrance to going up the stairs. And so I think that they thought at this point if there are metal gates blocking the entranceways each -- up each stair then we're sort of -- we're onto something.

    ALEXANDER: They knew their bigger target was likely upstairs?

    Mr. SCHMIDLE: That's right . The first SEAL turns to the right. At the end of the -- this short hallway he sees a tall, rangy individual with a long beard poking his head out the door...

    ALEXANDER: And that's bin Laden .

    Mr. SCHMIDLE: ...and that's bin Laden .

    ALEXANDER: Schmidle 's sources say bin Laden was standing behind two women , including his youngest wife, Amal , who was hysterical. The SEALs feared the women were wearing suicide vests.

    Mr. SCHMIDLE: The first SEAL through the door stepped forward, wrapped them both in a bear hug, turned them and sort of pushed them off to the side.

    ALEXANDER: He was willing to sacrifice his life if they detonated those vests.

    Mr. SCHMIDLE: Exactly. As he moved the women out of the side, the second SEAL lifted his M-4 rifle and first shot bin Laden once in the chest, bin Laden began falling back, he shot him once in the head and that was it.

    ALEXANDER: Nine years, seven months and 20 days after September 11th , the world's most wanted terrorist, code named Geronimo , was dead. But had the SEALs every considered detaining, not shooting bin Laden ?

    Mr. SCHMIDLE: The SEALs contended that there was never, that this was not a capture or kill mission. These guys were going in on a kill mission.

    ALEXANDER: NBC News has independently confirmed Schmidle 's reporting. And after the raid the president met those SEALs at Fort Campbell , Kentucky . That's where he also first heard about the dog Cairo , whose role had he been needed would have been to sniff out bin Laden in that compound. The squadron commander told Mr. Obama , 'If you want to meet the dog, Mr. President, I

    advise you bring treats.' Ann: A lot of them. Peter Alexander , dramatic details. Thank you. It is now 7:20. Once again, here's Matt.

    CURRY:

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments