Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has stated that no unauthorized information was provided to Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal for Zero Dark Thirty, their killing-of-Osama bin Laden that comes out on 12.19. Panetta told a Senate panel Wednesday that no one in Defense gave up any confidential material.

Zero Dark Thirty director Kathryn Bigelow, producer-screenwiter Mark Boal during recent (or fairly recent) filming in Chandigarh, India.

Republican Rep. Peter King of New York, a rightwing attack dog, long ago charged that the CIA and Pentagon jeopardized national security by cooperating too closely with Boal and Bigelow, claiming that they received “extremely close, unprecedented and potentially dangerous collaboration” from the Obama administration.

King’s motive was to push Zero‘s release date, originally set for October 2012, until after the November election. He succeeded. Sony has changed the release date to 12.19. Big deal.

Not to dispute Panetta, but so what if Biggy-Boal theoretically did receive inside info? Why is it incorrect or unethical to provide accurate information to people whose portrayal of an historic event will be watched for decades or centuries hence? ZDT‘s release date has been bumped, the operation is long over, Osama sleeps with the fishes…who cares?

Zero Dark Thirty costars Joel Edgerton, Jessica Chastain, Mark Strong, Edgar Ramirez, Kyle Chandler, Jennifer Ehle, Chris Pratt and Nina Arianda.