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Obama aides gave classified information on bin Laden raid for film, watchdog says

NBC's Jim Miklaszewski reports on the newly declassified documents, which were found during the raid that killed Osama bin Laden. A Morning Joe panel then joins the discussion.

Judicial Watch has released hundreds of Defense Department and CIA communications that reveal the Obama administration leaked classified information to filmmakers on the raid that killed Osama bin Laden.

Judicial Watch claims the secrets were provided for a film on the bin Laden raid that was first scheduled to be released Oct. 12, just in time to boost the president's image shortly before the November elections. Sony Pictures has since pushed the release back to December.

According to the documents, the filmmakers were granted access to a Navy SEAL captain who was the "planner, operator and commander of SEAL Team Six," which killed bin Laden.  In one memo one of the filmmakers says he had a "good meeting with Brennan and McDonough" and says "they were forward leaning, sharing their point of view on command and control."


John Brennan is the president's chief counterterrorism adviser, and Denis McDonough is deputy national security adviser.

In putting the filmmakers together with the SEAL Team Six commander on the raid, Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence Michael Vickers writes in one document, "The only thing I ask is that you not reveal his name in any way ... because he shouldn't be talking out of school." 

The filmmakers include Kathryn Bigelow, Academy Award-winning director of "The Hurt Locker," and screenwriter Mark Boal.

Pentagon Press Secretary George Little told NBC News on Tuesday that the Defense Department and other agencies regularly engage with the entertainment industry to inform book and movie projects.

"Many individuals in the industry expressed interest in developing projects on what can only be described as one of the top intelligence and military successes of a generation," Little said. "Our engagement on these projects was driven by a desire to inform the public, not by timing."

Judicial Watch, a self-described "conservative, non-partisan educational foundation" that often points out federal spending that it believes is suspect, obtained the documents through the Freedom of Information Act.

Jim Miklaszewski is the chief Pentagon correspondent for NBC News; Courtney Kube is Pentagon producer.

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