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10 years ago

Trouble for 'No Easy Day' Author

Trouble may be brewing for a former US Navy SEAL who penned his account of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden.

Written under the pseudonym Mark Owen, No Easy Day is a memoir of the operation in Abbottabad, Pakistan that ended in Osama bin Laden's death. The author is a member of the United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group (DEVGRU), commonly known SEAL Team Six. Shortly after the book was announced, the author’s true identity was revealed by Fox News to be Matt Bissonnette.

Many concerns have been raised over both the content of the book and the now-revealed identity of the author.

Fox News was chastised for unmasking information that could put Bissonnette and his family in danger from al Qaeda.

Don Mann, a retired Navy SEAL who was not involved with the mission, believes that such a danger does exist.

[Don Mann, Retired Navy SEAL]: (Male English)
"He's in danger for sure. Al Qaeda, they don't have a short term memory. They'll remember this forever. A SEAL took out their spiritual leader and now we know who that SEAL is."

Usually, when former SEAL members write books, the Pentagon receives a copy to review before publication. Mann, who authored a book called “Inside SEAL Team Six,” says the process is to protect military members.

[Don Mann, Retired Navy SEAL]: (Male English)
"You know I was really careful not to put anything classified in. The things they redacted were a little shocking to me, to me it didn't seem sensitive to redact but it's not my call it's a review board's call and we let them redact whatever they wanted to, we didn't put up a fight we took it back how they gave it to us and we submitted it.”

Recently, the Pentagon announced that it was considering legal action against Bissonnette for breaking non-disclosure agreements. His attorney insists that the book’s material does not breach the signed agreements.

However the government may be forced to respond, according Mark Zaid, an attorney familiar with disclosure and leakage cases.

[Mark Zaid, Attorney]: (Male English)
"I can't imagine the government sitting back and doing nothing because then the message that is sent to anyone in the United States who has worked on classified information is you can brazenly turn your back on your non-disclosure agreements and make your own choices and you can't do that so I think there is definitely going to have to be, not necessarily swift but without a doubt reaction by the government to try and put a cork in this genie's bottle."

“No Easy Day,” published by Dutton Penguin, was released today, and is already a bestseller, having topped the wildly successful "Fifty Shades of Grey" on Amazon.

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