Osama filmmakers say it’s a `nonpartisan’ story

August 12th, 2011 - 12:26 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, Aug 12 (IANS) In the midst of a row over alleged “top-level access” given to them by the Obama administration, the makers of a film about the hunt for Osama bin Laden have touted it as a “nonpartisan” story.

Responding to Republican lawmaker Peter King’s demand for a probe into Obama administration’s participation in the film, Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal, the director and writer behind the Oscar winning “The Hurt Locker”, also referred to its long gestation period.

“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 (Bill) Clinton, (George W.) Bush and (Barack) Obama, as well as the cooperative strategies and implementation by the Department of Defence and the Central Intelligence Agency,” Bigelow and Boal said in a statement, as reported by The Hollywood Reporter.

“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.”

The level of the Obama administration’s participation in the film became a matter of controversy after columnist Maureen Dowd reported in her Sunday column that “the moviemakers are getting top-level access to the most classified mission in history” from the Obama administration for a film that was due for an October 2011 release.

“It was clear that the White House had outsourced the job of manning up the president’s image to Hollywood when Boal got welcomed to the upper echelons of the White House and the Pentagon and showed up recently - to the surprise of some military officers - at a CIA ceremony celebrating the hero SEALs,” she wrote.

King, chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, wrote a letter Tuesday to the inspectors general of the defence department and the CIA raising concerns about the reported collaboration.

White House press secretary Jay Carney dismissed the reports Wednesday, calling King’s accusations “ridiculous” and “false”.

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at arun.kumar@ians.in)

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