Conservative government watchdog, Judicial Watch, lost a federal lawsuit Wednesday when a judge ruled the group cannot learn the names of the CIA agents and Navy SEAL who collaborated with filmmakers on the movie “Zero Dark Thirty.”
When Judicial Watch learned in August 2011 the Defense Department and CIA had talks with the film’s director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal, it filed a Freedom of Information Act request to obtain the recorded conversations, ABC News reported.
According to ABC:
While the organization was given access to the communications that took place between the filmmakers, the Defense Department and the CIA, the names of officials Bigelow and Boal were given had been redacted to protect their identities, the opinion said. These officers were directly involved in orchestrating the May 2011 raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, which is the focus of the film.
Judicial Watch then filed a lawsuit in 2012 arguing that if the filmmakers had the names of the operatives involved in the bin Laden raid, the American people should know them as well since those names were now entered into the “public domain.”
However, U.S. District Judge Rudolph Contreras ruled, “By sharing those names with Bigelow and Boal, the government did not release the information into the public domain,” and therefore, Judicial Watch would not be privy to those names, Courthouse News Service reported.
“Anything shared with the filmmakers should be shared with the public,” Judicial Watch attorney Christopher Fedell told ABC News.
But the judge disagreed, ruling, “Although it touches upon matters of considerable public concern, this case presents an exceedingly narrow question: whether a FOIA requester that knows information has been disclosed to a private party is necessarily entitled to that same disclosure. Under the law of this circuit, the answer to that question is ‘No,’” according to Courthouse News.
More from ABC News.