The former CIA director Leon Panetta revealed secret information to the scriptwriter of Zero Dark Thirty, Mark Boal, when he gave a speech at the agency’s headquarters marking the raid that killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, according to newly declassified documents.
Judicial Watch filed a request for the 200 pages of documents which the CIA has now released. The files concerned the internal investigation of its role in the acclaimed film about the capture of Bin Laden.
“I had no idea that individual was in the audience,” Mr Panetta said in a statement. “To this day, I wouldn’t know him if he walked into the room.”
The documents refer to Mr Panetta revealing the name of the ground commander of the unit that carried out the raid.
Parts of the speech transcript released in the documents are still blacked out.
Mr Panetta’s spokesman Jeremy Bash said the ex-CIA chief had assumed everyone in the audience had the proper clearance to hear the speech.
A spokesman, Dean Boyd, said the CIA has since “overhauled its procedures for interaction with the entertainment industry”. He said the agency has “a centralised record-keeping system for entertainment industry requests and, earlier this year, issued guidance on contact with the industry” to make sure classified material is protected.
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