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MSNBC Panel: Outrage Would Ensue If Bush Leaked Bin Laden Raid Info

A MSNBC panel on the show "NOW" discusses a report that the Obama administration leaked information about the bin Laden mission to a movie studio doing a movie on the raid that led to the assassination of the al Qaeda leader. The panel said if former President George W. Bush had done this the reaction would be different. Here are their reactions:

Michael Hastings, Rolling Stone, BuzzFeed : This very serious issue is that the Obama administration has engaged in a selectively leaking campaign. When there's top secret information they want to put out that makes them look good, they are more than happy to roll out the red carpet. When, sort of, the more embarrassing, nefarious top-secret information … they put the stone wall up of bureaucracy. I mean, if it was Cy Hurst saying, 'I want to do a bin Laden story,' he would not have had that kind of meeting.

Sam Stein, Huffington Post: I think it's fair the administration can control whatever type of information they want to release to whoever they want to release it. I think it's also kind of lame, too, to be honest with you. I think, you know, giving it to a Hollywood producer for the purposes of packaging it in some sort of glorified theater is like -- it just strikes me as like a little bit too cute by half. And also it would be nice, we were talking about this off set, this administration has been very tough on journalists. They've cracked on leakers. They've been tougher in more respects than Bush, I believe. For them to then turn around and do, I just feel this is hypocritical.

S.E. Cupp: The Espionage Act has been invoked, I think, something like six times in the past -- just in this term under Obama. And I think that's a really excellent point. I think essentially what Obama and the administration wanted here was a campaign ad. Frankly, Hollywood already does plenty of campaign ads without, you know, getting the collusion here. But I think it puts the campaign in a fairly bad light, or the White House.

Nicholas Confessore, NYT: If you had seen a S.E.A.L. operator leak details of the operation to a reporter from The New York Times, I'd have to imagine we'd be seeing a prosecution, not e-mails.

Sam Stein: If Bush had done this with 9/11 and brought in a Hollywood producer, conservative filmmaker and say, 'I want to talk to you about where I was the morning of and how great and grand we were' -- I just think there would have been a popular outcry. And I think if you're going to be consistent you have to apply those standards to Obama as well.

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