The rightwing transparency group, Judicial Watch, released Tuesday a new batch of documents showing how eagerly the Obama administration shoveled information to Hollywood film-makers about the Bin Laden raid. Obama officials did so to enable the production of a politically beneficial pre-election film about that “heroic” killing, even as administration lawyers insisted to federal courts and media outlets that no disclosure was permissible because the raid was classified.

Thanks to prior disclosures from Judicial Watch of documents it obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, this is old news. That’s what the Obama administration chronically does: it manipulates secrecy powers to prevent accountability in a court of law, while leaking at will about the same programs in order to glorify the president.

Stack of ‘Overlooked’ CIA Records Detailing Meetings with bin Laden Filmmakers

But what is news in this disclosure are the newly released emails between Mark Mazzetti, the New York Times’s national security and intelligence reporter, and CIA spokeswoman Marie Harf. The CIA had evidently heard that Maureen Dowd was planning to write a column on the CIA’s role in pumping the film-makers with information about the Bin Laden raid in order to boost Obama’s re-election chances, and was apparently worried about how Dowd’s column would reflect on them. On 5 August 2011 (a Friday night), Harf wrote an email to Mazzetti with the subject line: “Any word??”, suggesting, obviously, that she and Mazzetti had already discussed Dowd’s impending column and she was expecting an update from the NYT reporter.

Moments later, Mazzetti forwarded the draft of Dowd’s unpublished column to the CIA spokeswoman (it was published the following night online by the Times, and two days later in the print edition). At the top of that email, Mazzetti wrote: “this didn’t come from me … and please delete after you read.” He then proudly told her that his assurances turned out to be true.



  1. bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist says:

    The Bush/Cheney cabal established in express terms that its legal for the President and his authorizied underlings to leak confidential information.

    Obama has FAILED to bring transparency to government operations. Thats a political failure for which he should be criticized, but not a legal issue.

    Yep–he’s not perfect, he lies, he wants. He’s human.

    So–what we have here is one turd vs a cess pool.

    • deowll says:

      What Shrub did was establish that the President can declassify anything he thanks needs declassifying which I think was already accepted?

      What Obama did was say this is top secret while his staff cheerfully shared out the classified information to supporters.

      This creates a situation in which a change in who is President could end up in people being tried for crimes they did commit and doing time in the Fed. Pen.

      I don’t understand what’s with the Obama White House. The President and many on his staff have law degrees. Like Clinton and his lover they should know what they can and can’t get away with if push comes to shove.

  2. shooff says:

    We built the organizations, both sides. Where do these dirt poor get gas for these vehicles? bullets? Are you telling me that any of this stuff is real.

    Can’t we drone strike their refineries, ammunition factories? Wait they don’t have any. Think about it. We pay both sides one way or the other.

    The whole thing is a joke. Really, our freaking allies let him live in Af/Pak the whole time. We need a bad guy to hate (Nazi’s, Viet Cong, Russia, Bird Flu, Bin Laden and his crew) who’s next?

    I’m sure they already have some one in mind. Can you say Ahmadinejad?

  3. NewformatSux says:

    At the time, the movie was called Seal Team Six, wasn’t it?

    I was going to say this is pretty weak, an e-mail that says ‘Any Word’? Reminded me of the Penn State-Louis Freeh takedown of Joe Paterno, total travesty. Then I see a response came back as well.

  4. orchidcup says:

    If we could know the truth we would be mortified, if not surprised.

    The truth is more elusive than the Higgs boson.

    • bobbo, we think with words, and flower with ideas says:

      Amusing–but no, not at all.

      Here as usual the “truth” has been fully observed. Its there==just obfuscated by cover lies. The Higgs may not be there.

      analogies are important, they should not be used to confuse. OTOH==ok, it was funny at first blush. Maybe… just too strong an image for the matter at hand?

  5. Ah_Yea says:

    Of course it’s not ok for a real member of Seal Team Six to reveal what actually happened.
    http://reuters.com/article/2012/08/31/entertainment-us-usa-security-binladen-b-idUSBRE87U00F20120831

  6. bobbo, we think with words, and flower with ideas says:

    Any Word?

    Apparently, the only actionable leak here, again not illegal, has been made by Mark Mazzetti. It will be fun to watch if he gets fired. If not, just a useful back channel into the White House.

    Free Speech: one inside reporter ratting out another one. both fully employed, fully inside, …. just doing their jobs.

  7. NewformatSux says:

    http://mcnaughtonart.com/artwork/view_zoom/423
    Leaks are in the upper right.

    • bobbo, we think with words, and flower with ideas says:

      Fun link. I like links to links that allow one to pursue a subject as fully as one wishes.

      The characterization of the leaks is however total BS. Unlike the leaks of Bush, these Obama leaks create no risks to any agents in the field and no “war footing” has been compromised.

      Typical FUD. Enjoy the art and the links, but its all fud and propaganda. Read it, enjoy it, read 5 more propaganda sources from both/all sides before you start to form any conclusions.

      Key takeaway: its all BS.

  8. Dallas says:

    All this sounds riveting !

    • bobbo, we think with words, and flower with ideas says:

      Can you hear the staccato violins and drum beats in the background?

  9. NewformatSux says:

    This is a big improvement in transparency. FOIA requests previously would have resulted in deleted e-mails. Has this been set up in a way that makes this harder to do now?

    Any tech-savvy people here who can advise on Eudora and whether this was a proper FOI search?
    http://climateaudit.org/2012/08/10/uea-cant-find-wahl-attachments/

  10. noname says:

    It’s a it’s a filming conundrum of conspiracy, not just mere theory but hatched forward by CIA, MI5 and “bobbo, we think” the mastermind in more thwarted attempts in establishing exponential growth events in THE existential World Order of unworkable tyranny marshaled forth by brilliant insight and economic sense. Bin Laden death is a mere envisaging by-product. It’s a compelling inducement of finical addition, flanked in by the elites.

    It’s all very plain.

  11. Glenn E. says:

    Greenwald of the Guardian seems to be writing under the mistaken notion that the CIA does whatever the current president tells them to do. But I believe it’s the reverse. And that goes double for the Pentagon. It’s more like the current president goes along, with whatever scheme the CIA or DOD recommends. And never takes the blame for manipulating the public, behind the scenes. It’s always “the president’s plan”. Yeah, right.

    They’re the same people, year after year, in those agencies. Regardless of who pretends to be running the show, at the top. Do you think the entire employee base of the FBI, CIA, NSA, or DOD, changes every time a new president comes along? Even the cabinet members are more or less picked FOR each incoming president. And then the Senate rubber stamps their approval. I’m sure president Cheney “leaked” as many secrets for political gain, as Obama supposedly has done.

    Remember when the CIA operative’s ID was leaked, because her husband opposed the Iraq war? Cheney or Bush, still haven’t been charged with that bit of secrecy violation. It was practically a treasonous offense. As was Nixon, messing with the Paris Peace talks. Back when he was running for office. But apparently, it’s Ok when your Republican, to sell the country off, in order to get elected. Just don’t let some democrat try doing it.

  12. noname says:

    The CIA/NSA/FBI/Pentagon/….. have become America’s “Praetorian Guard”. It shows after every election. A candidate campaigns, saying what the public wants. What the public wants differs then what the CIA/NSA/FBI/Pentagon/….. wants. Once in office the new President unwillingly(?) succumbs to America’s “Praetorian Guard” backdoor influence and power.

    The public wants to garner world respect, “being liked is indeed better than being feared” Whereas America’s “Praetorian Guard” wants to garner world fear, “being feared is indeed better than being liked”

    The “Praetorian Guard” wants a macho formidable government. This takes money, government contractor and operational influence in the government to expand and project their power.

    Eisenhower famously warned the U.S. about the “military-industrial complex”, ironically and cowardly on the way out. I guess he may have felt, while he was in power, he knew how to say no, but worried for subsequent leaders & Presidents, how they would be intimidated and succumb.

    Beginning with Bush and 9/11, America’s “Praetorian Guard”, has diverted a ever larger portion of it’s focus inward, into America her self. Setting up illicit citizenry surveillance, data gathering, detention, extra-constitutional court systems, dossier for each citizen, …..

    Obama campaigned against this, but has done nothing to change it! Romney would likely accelerate it.


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