Is the Dept of Justice Letting 'Zero Dark Thirty' Leaker Off the Hook?

Undersecretary of Defense Mike Vickers was referred to the US Department of Justice in September for investigation of his role on the film Zero Dark Thirty. That film chronicles the mission that killed Osama bin Laden, and was supposed to be released shortly before the 2012 elections. The film was delayed but opens this week.


It has been widely known for several months that Vickers disclosed sensitive information to the movie’s producers. Judicial Watched slapped the administration with a FOIA and discovered that Vickers disclosed the real identity of the SEAL Team 6 commander who was involved in the raid. He also colluded with the movie’s producers to keep his leak a secret. Producer/director Kathryn Bigelow was also allowed into a secret CIA awards ceremony.

Justice has so far declined to launch a criminal investigation, according to McClatchy. The Pentagon is still investigating, and is using that investigation to deny FOIA requests. The Pentagon is also failing to communicate with Rep. Peter King (R-NY) who requested the Pentagon’s inspector general look into Vickers’ leak.

King told McClatchy that the delay in notifying him “raises the question” of whether officials were trying to put it off for political reasons, but he wanted to see the full report before drawing any conclusions.

“I’m not looking for anyone to be indicted,” he said. “But the IG does not make referrals to the Justice Department as a matter of routine. To me the fact that any information at all would be given to Hollywood producers by this administration is disgraceful.”

“If it’s wrong enough or questionable enough for the IG to refer it to the Justice Department, that means it shouldn’t have been done.”


Zero Dark Thirty is controversial on the right for the leaks and for its original intent to have been released so close to the election. It’s controversial on the left because it supposedly “glorifies torture.”



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