DOJ still sitting on Zero Dark Thirty leak case

I have to say, I am thoroughly pumped about seeing the OBL-takedown flick Zero Dark Thirty; judging from the trailers and early reviews, it sounds like it’s a fair representation of the military and the goals of the entire operation. It’s not like we don’t all know how it’s going to end, but anything that leaves a positive impression of American badassery, I am decidedly for it.

The movie has been dogged by the White House’s dodgy dealings in talking the filmmakers, especially when everyone involved thought the movie might release before the November elections and the subsequent patriotic fist-pumping would give President Obama a popular boost. We found out months ago that a top defense official leaked sensitive information to the filmmakers, but Pentagon investigators referred the case to the Department of Justice, which has so far declined to do anything with it. McClatchy reports:

Pentagon investigators concluded that a senior Defense Department official who’s been mentioned as a possible candidate to be the next CIA director leaked restricted information to the makers of an acclaimed film about the hunt for Osama bin Laden, and referred the case to the Justice Department, according to knowledgeable U.S. officials.

The Justice Department received the case involving Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence Michael Vickers in September, but so far it’s declined to launch a criminal prosecution, said two senior U.S. officials who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.

ABC has more:

Specifically, Vickers is said to have disclosed to the filmmakers the identity of a member of SEAL Team Six — though not a member of the team that conducted the raid on Osama bin Laden‘s compound. Names of members of that team are not to be disclosed because of the potential for violent retaliation.

Some in the Pentagon think the Inspector General is holding the report until after the current Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta, retires so as to not sully or embarrass him.

A senior defense official disputed that. “It’s wrong for anyone to suggest the investigation has been held up for political reasons or to avoid embarrassment,” the official said. …

The official added that Pentagon officials “really don’t think this will amount to anything.”

Mm hmm. The Obama administration’s record on handling national-security information that might offer a boon for Obama’s cred isn’t looking too great, is it?

Meanwhile, the other complaint circulating around Zero Dark Thirty? That it glorifies torture, obviously.