Ever wonder how “Zero Dark Thirty,” the Academy Award-winning 2012 movie about the killing of Osama Bin Laden, ever got made? After all, it gives a lot of detail about missions, etc. that are probably classified. And unlike “Argo,” the details of the mission took place way too recently to be released to the public.
Today, Vice News figured it out. Or at least, they figured out what the film makers, director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal, wanted to do. The two allegedly spent a terrific amount of money attempting to convince CIA agents spill the beans, according to Vice. How did they do that? Mainly with expensive dinners at places like Citronelle in Washington D.C. and offers of tickets to Prada fashion shows and the premiere of “Zero Dark Thirty.”
The inspector general did flag Bigelow and Boal as potential violators of federal law for “the bribery of public officials and witnesses,” but the Justice department did not end up prosecuting them since the CIA took administrative action against their own agents instead. In a statement to Vice, the CIA said it:
Implemented mandatory annual ethics training for all OPA employees that is tailored to circumstances they may encounter and took administrative actions designed to reinforce ethical duties and reporting requirements.
So basically, they reminded their agents not to talk to Hollywood people. From the report, it seems like the officers actually didn’t give up that much (they didn’t tell the producers anything classified, only sensitive), but sadly, their gifts were also not always as exciting as they perhaps hoped. Bigelow gave one CIA officer “black Tahitian pearl earrings” after returning from a Chanel commercial shoot in Tahiti that turned out to be painted pearls worth about $60 or $70 on eBay, according to Vice. Boal gave another a bottle of tequila he said was worth several hundred dollars, but turned out to be worth $170.