A report in the Washington Post focuses on a female CIA clandestine officer who is depicted in the lead roll in the new film, ‘Zero Dark Thirty,’ about the assassination of Osama bin Laden.
This spring, she was among a handful of employees given the agency’s Distinguished Intelligence Medal, its highest honor except for those who have come under direct fire. But when dozens of others were given lesser awards, the female officer lashed out.
“She hit ‘reply all’ ” to an e-mail announcement of the awards, a second former CIA official said. The thrust of her message, the former official said, was: “You guys tried to obstruct me. You fought me. Only I deserve the award.”
Over the past year, she was denied a promotion that would have raised her civil service rank from GS-13 to GS-14, bringing an additional $16,000 in annual pay.
Officials said the woman was given a cash bonus for her work on the bin Laden mission and has since moved on to a new counterterrorism assignment. They declined to say why the promotion was blocked.
The move stunned the woman’s former associates, despite her reputation for clashing with colleagues.
“Do you know how many CIA officers are jerks?” the former official said. “If that was a disqualifier, the whole National Clandestine Service would be gone.”
The targeter’s contacts with the “Zero Dark Thirty” filmmakers have also been examined as part of an inquiry, apparently by the CIA inspector general, into the information that agency officials shared with outsiders about the bin Laden raid.
Internal e-mails released this year under Freedom of Information Act requests showed how the agency set up repeated visits for Boal, allowing him to tour the “vault” where the raid was planned and even see a mock-up of the Abbottabad compound.
Former CIA officials said agency enthusiasm for the film has been tempered as details about it have surfaced, including the fact that the movie opens with a harrowing waterboarding scene in a secret CIA prison.
They eat their own, don’t they? All this secret nonsense is getting out of hand, perhaps even beyond the pale. The world is just too big, the changes too vast, too many people. This will only end in disaster.