In Denial: Republicans and the Navy SEALs Movie

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta appeared yesterday on ABC’s This Week where he was thrown softball questions by host Jake Tapper on the issue of whether or not the Pentagon revealed military secrets to director Kathryn Bigelow and her team. She’s currently shooting Zero Dark Thirty, a film about the Navy SEAL raid that killed Osama bin Laden, and according to documents obtained by Judicial Watch, a right-wing organization, the White House, Defense Department and the CIA gave Bigelow unprecedented access to classified material. We don’t really know the details here, but conservatives are convinced that Zero Dark Thirty will turn out to be a propaganda tool for President Obama ahead of the election.

In the clip above, Tapper certainly could have pressed Panetta at least a little bit on the issue. It’s not great journalism, that’s for sure. On the other hand, the irony of this story is of course that once that movie is released (and it won’t be released until after the election), Republicans will make a complete about-face and laud its virtues. Why? Because this is Kathryn Bigelow we’re talking about, and she’s more than likely to portray the Navy SEALs in a very positive light. And Republicans cannot resist that. Remember World Trade Center (2006), the movie that celebrated the heroism of regular cops on 9/11? Right-wing pundits cried like babies when they saw it and fell in love with director Oliver Stone, at least for two hours. 

Who knows, Bigelow might even paint some of Obama’s people in a less than flattering light. After all, Vice President Joe Biden advised against the bin Laden operation. 

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