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Osama movie: Probe sought into US govt role

A top Republican lawmaker has demanded an investigation into a report that the White House is cooperating with a film on the mission to kill Osama bin Laden.

world Updated: Aug 11, 2011 11:09 IST

A top Republican lawmaker has demanded an investigation into a report that the White House is cooperating with a film on the mission to kill Osama bin Laden.

In a letter Wednesday to the defence department and the CIA, House Homeland Security Committee chairman Peter King asked for a probe and classified briefing about any cooperation or consultation between the agencies and the producers of the film.

The Sony film is set to be directed by Kathryn Bigelow, who in 2008 made The Hurt Locker, which won six Oscars, including best picture and best director.

“The administration's first duty in declassifying material is to provide full reporting to Congress and the American people, in an effort to build public trust through transparency of government,” King wrote.

“In contrast, this alleged collaboration belies a desire of transparency in favour of a cinematographic view of history.”

White House spokesman Jay Carney called the claims “ridiculous”. The White House is offering the same level of cooperation to the filmmakers as it does with other journalists, he asserted Wednesday.

“We don't discuss classified information,” Carney added.

The spokesman also took a shot at King, saying he hoped that his committee would find more important things to do given that the country is fighting a war on terror.

Word of the Obama administration's cooperation with Bigelow was first reported Sunday by New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, who wrote that the White House was hoping the film, set for an Oct 12, 2012, release date, would boost Obama ahead of next year's election.

Dowd wrote that the “White House is also counting on the Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal big-screen version of the killing of bin Laden to counter Obama's growing reputation as ineffectual".