Crisis Talks? CIA Agent’s Secret Meeting With Sony Exec Revealed In Leaked Emails
Dec 19, 2014
Sony execs were quick to slam President Obama today when he announced he wished the studio had consulted him about shelving the release of The Interview. But Hollywood-Washington relationships weren’t always so icy, RadarOnline.com has learned: Emails released in the leak show recent contact between Sony and the CIA.
Radar will not identify the name of the CIA operative because of national security considerations, but the document indicates the agent was hosted at Sony’s Culver City headquarters by the company’s security chief.
The e-mail did not indicate if the CIA official discussed North Korea’s demands that Sony not release The Interview — a comedy about the assassination of that country’s dictator.
It did confirm the CIA official sat with Sony Senior Vice President for Corporate Security Stevan Bernard in the company’s floor-side seats in the Staples Center to watch the Lakers and Clippers play on October 31, 2014 — less than one month before the major security breach.
This is just one indication of a close relationship between Sony execs and the U.S. government. Radar also found e-mails between Under Secretary of State Richard Stengel and Sony Pictures Entertainment Chairman Michael Lynton concerning the recruitment of filmmakers and musicians in efforts to fight the ISIS terror group in the Middle East. Other emails showed government agents asking Sony to recruit studio heads to combat terrorism.
Other emails showed government agents asking Sony to recruit studio heads to combat terrorism.
Hollywood execs aren’t the only ones Uncle Sam wants to help fight terrorism. RadarOnline.com has learned that a top American diplomat is working on a secret plan to recruit hip hop artists to produce a Muslim “We Are the World” video to fight against ISIS.
The bizarre revelation was found in the massive cache of e-mails leaked by hackers who successfully blackmailed Sony to stop the release of The Interview, a comedy about the assassination of North Korea’s dictator.
U.S. Under Secretary of State Richard Stengel wrote to Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton, who oversees Sony’s music labels, to share what he called “a very out of the box and perhaps very bad idea” last September.
One of his jobs is to “work on anti ISIL messaging,” Stengel wrote. ISIL is the Obama administration’s acronym for the middle east terror group that is commonly called ISIS by the media. It used brutal means to capture much of Syria and large sections of northern Iraq.
“What if there were a Muslim Anti-ISIL We Are the World video/concert?” he asked Lynton. “It could have Muslim artists from all over the world plus hip hop stars. It obviously couldn’t and shouldn’t be a a USG effort, but could be big all over the world.”
Using hip hop artists to influence young Muslims is logical since the religion has “a very rich musical tradition,” he said.
The effort would need a symbolic leader from the Muslim world, Stengel suggested. “Who is the Muslim Bob Geldof?” he asked Lynton. Geldof is the British musician who wrote “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” and founded the Band Aid effort to raise money for starving kids in Africa. “Cat Stevens,” Lynton replied. Stevens, 66, is a British-born singer and songwriter who changed his name to Yusuf Islam after converting to Islam in 1977. He has been actively promoting understanding of Islam, using songs such as his 1971 hit “Peace Train.”
“Do you think he would do something like what I’m proposing?” the diplomat asked.
Lynton, who said he recently met with Stevens, offered to reach out to his agent.
Stengel is the same State Department official who recruited Lynton and other Hollywood movie studio executives to secretly help the U.S. government in “countering ISIL narratives in the Middle East.”