New details have emerged that while Director of the CIA, former defence Secretary Leon Panetta divulged Top Secret details of the 2011 raid that killed Osama bin Laden, potentially jeopardizing the safety of the Navy SEALs who executed the raid, and their families.
Panetta apparently let slip the name of the unit that executed the raid, as well as the identity of the ground scene commander, during remarks at an awards ceremony at the CIA complex in June 2011.
More than 1,300 people were in attendance, including the screenwriter of “Zero Dark 30,” Mark Boal, according to a copy of the unreleased Pentagon Inspector General’s report obtained by the Project on Government Oversight.
Boal was introduced to Adm. Bill McRaven, now commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, who was shocked at Boal’s presence at the event.
“ADM McRaven informed us he was concerned about the possible release of the special operators’ identities,” the report says.
McRaven reportedly was worried enough that he increased the security for the Navy SEALs and their families, fearing terrorist retribution for the raid.
He even held a meeting with family members and told them “to call security personnel if they sensed anything.”
The identity of the ground commander Panetta named is protected by federal law from public release, the Pentagon report says.
The Obama administration has vigorously prosecuted anyone who has released classified information — even going so far as to evoke the Espionage Act, a 96-year-old law designed to stop spies.
“Divulging that kind of information is a serious issue, and always has been,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said last year, when pressed on the administration’s use of the Espionage Act.
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