WASHINGTON, DC -- The Department of Defense says it will investigate whether there was any impropriety in aiding the making of a yet-to-be-released movie about the killing of Osama bin Laden.
The probe by the Pentagon's inspector general comes after questions were raised last summer by Rep. Peter King, R-New York, who demanded investigations by the Department of Defense and CIA inspectors general into what, if any, classified information about special operations tactics, techniques, and procedures were leaked to the filmmakers.
King claimed that the White House gave the filmmakers access to top White House and Pentagon officials with knowledge of the bin Laden raid. The filmmakers included Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal, who made the Oscar-winning movie "The Hurt Locker."
"This alleged collaboration belies a desire of transparency in favor of a cinematographic view of history," King wrote last August in calling for the investigation.
"Administration officials may have provided filmmakers with details of the raid that successfully killed" bin Laden, he wrote, citing a New York Times report.
King also objected to reports that the movie, which doesn't have a title yet, would be released right before next November's presidential election.
The movie's release is now set for December 2012.
Just before last Christmas, the Pentagon inspector general wrote King to inform him that the office would "investigate the concerns raised in your August 9, 2011, letter."
Thursday, King issued a news release that read in part, "I am pleased that" the Defense Department and CIA inspectors general "agree with me that potential leaks to filmmakers are something worth investigating and taking action to address."
When King first made the movie an issue, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters "there is no difference in the information that we have given to anybody that is working on this topic from what we gave to those of you in this room who worked on it in the days and weeks after the raid itself."
"We do not discuss classified information and I would hope as we face a continued threat from terrorism, the House committee on Homeland Security would have more important topics to discuss than a movie," Carney said.
Last August, Bigelow and Boal released a statement regarding the movie which read in part, "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."
The CIA's inspector general did not decide to probe that agency's role in the movie, but it did write King that the agency would develop "a written policy to create a single point of reference that will govern future interactions with the entertainment industry."
Philip Strub, the director of entertainment media at the Pentagon, said he has had only one meeting with Bigelow and her team about her movie since bin Laden was killed. He's since spoken to Boal on the phone once about a script, which, Strub said, is not yet complete.