Pentagon rules target Hollywood leaks

The fallout over the production of Zero Dark Thirty, a movie that depicted the hunt for Osama bin Laden, may be catching up to the Pentagon.

The Department of Defense said Tuesday it is looking to crack down on soldiers who act in or provide filmmakers with classified information about their operations without permission.

{mosads}New rules would require soldiers to get permission from the DOD before taking part in or divulging sensitive details about military operations to filmmakers. These rules would apply not only to feature films like Zero Dark Thirty and Act of Valor, but also television programs, documentaries, and even computer and video games, the Pentagon said.

“This rule addresses how military personnel may appear in entertainment media,” the Pentagon wrote. “This rule requires the written permission of the Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs (or his/her designee) in order for active duty military personnel to serve as actors in significant roles and in roles beyond the scope of their normal duties.”

This comes after actual Navy SEALs were chosen to star in Act of Valor, another popular military film.

It also follows a 2012 report from the Pentagon’s inspector general, which found Michael Vickers, under secretary of defense for intelligence, tried to help the Zero Dark Thirty filmmakers reach out to members of SEAL Team Six for information for the movie.

These revelations started a controversy in Washington that led to Republicans accusing the Obama administration of putting soldiers lives in danger for a publicity stunt. 

But the proposed rules from the DOD aim to clamp down on such intelligence leaks to Hollywood, the Pentagon said.

The public has 60 days to comment on the rules.


Tags Defense Department Navy SEALs Pentagon Zero Dark Thirty

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