Leon Panetta revealed name of Bin Laden raid's leader in speech

PUBLISHED : Friday, 07 June, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 07 June, 2013, 1:50am


Several weeks after overseeing the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, then-CIA director Leon Panetta revealed the name of the raid commander in a speech attended by the writer of the film Zero Dark Thirty, a draft report by Pentagon investigators says.

Under security rules, the commander's name was not supposed to have been made public, but the draft report did not say whether Panetta knew a member of the public was in his audience at CIA headquarters. A former CIA official familiar with the event said on Wednesday that Panetta did not know of the writer's presence; if the disclosure was inadvertent, it would not constitute a violation of the rules.

The CIA was very sloppy … in enforcing security procedures

The former official spoke on condition of anonymity because a security issue was involved. The unpublished draft report was first disclosed by the Project on Government Oversight and confirmed by Republican congressman Peter King, who asked for the probe nearly two years ago. The Defence Department inspector general's report does not accuse Panetta of wrongdoing.

King said he has not seen the draft report but was briefed on some of its contents. "It's been told to me what's in there," he said. It confirmed his suspicion that the Obama administration cut corners on security in its dealings with Hollywood executives eager to produce a film about the May 2, 2011, raid on bin Laden's compound in Pakistan, he said.

It would not surprise him if Panetta was unaware that the movie writer was in his audience, he said.

"Whatever he did was not done intentionally," King said, adding that he still questions why someone allowed a person without proper security clearances to attend.

"The CIA was very sloppy and the administration was very sloppy in enforcing security procedures when it came to Hollywood," King said.

"It almost seems as if they were star-struck."