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Kathryn Bigelow’s Bin Laden film under fire from Congressman

Kathryn Bigelow’s Bin Laden film under fire from Congressman (photo)

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Academy Award winning “Hurt Locker” filmmakers Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal’s movie on the Navy SEALs that hunted down and killed Osama Bin Laden won’t hit theaters for over a year but it’s already generating controversy in Washington D.C. New York State Congressman Peter King, chairman of the committee on homeland security, has requested an investigation into and debriefing from the CIA regarding the “ongoing leaks of classified information regarding sensitive military operations.”

The brewing kerfuffle started with this Maureen Dowd column from last weekend’s New York Times. The piece, entitled “The Downgrade Blues,” profiled President Barack Obama’s struggle to maintain his popularity in hard economic times. One way, according to her, was by providing “top-level access to the most classified mission in history” to BIgelow and Boal who “got welcomed to the upper echelons of the White House and the Pentagon and showed up recently — to the surprise of some military officers — at a C.I.A. ceremony celebrating the hero Seals.”

“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. The Sony film by the Oscar-winning pair who made ‘The Hurt Locker’ will no doubt reflect the president’s cool, gutsy decision against shaky odds. Just as Obamaland was hoping, the movie is scheduled to open on Oct. 12, 2012 — perfectly timed to give a home-stretch boost to a campaign that has grown tougher.”

Though King’s open letter contains lots of salient questions he wants answers to (“Will a copy of this film be submitted to the military and CIA for pre-publication review, to determine if special operations tactics, techniques and procedures, or Agency intelligence sources and methods, would be revealed by its release?”), I suspect it’s Dowd’s last sentence that has King, a Republican, really worried. Campaigns and home-stretch boosts in an election year? Uh oh. (King is also “keeping his options open” about running for the Senate in New York in 2012.)

In response to King’s accusations, Bigelow and Boal released their own statement, which goes to great lengths to paint their film as non-partisan:

“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, as well as the cooperative strategies and implementation by the Department of Defense and the Central Intelligence Agency. Indeed, the dangerous work of finding the world’s most wanted man was carried out by individuals in the military and intelligence communities who put their lives at risk for the greater good without regard for political affiliation. This was an American triumph, both heroic and non-partisan, and there is no basis to suggest that our film will represent this enormous victory otherwise.”

Obviously leaking classified info to these filmmakers would, if true, be a big no-no. And Boal probably shouldn’t have been around for any special SEAL Team 6 ceremonies either. But I’m not convinced this is anything more than a political football. Anyone who’s seen Bigelow’s work knows she makes thrilling action movies, not propagandistic policy statements. “The Hurt Locker,” while superb, was ridiculous. Now we’re worried they’re going to give away state secrets? Even if they did, I don’t know that we’d believe them. Unless the President was planning on making a cameo in the film as himself, I don’t share the outrage.

Do you think Rep. King has a point? Tell us in the comments below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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