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The Defense Department is readying to take legal action against the former Navy SEAL whose book on the mission to take down Osama bin Laden goes on sale next month.
The Pentagon’s senior attorney, in an Aug. 30 letter to “Mark Owen,” the pen name of former SEAL Matt Bissonnette, said DoD officials determined after reading an advance copy of “No Easy Day” that Bissonnette already has violated agreements he signed before leaving the Navy to “never divulge” classified information.
“Further public dissemination of your book will aggravate your breach and violation of your agreements,” Pentagon senior counsel Jeh Johnson wrote. “I write to formally advise you [of this] and to inform you that the Department is considering pursuing against you, and all those acting in concert with you, all remedies legally available to us in light of this situation.”
Bissonnette’s pen name was blown by Fox News not long after word got out that “No Easy Day” was slated for a Sept. 11 release date.
The book reveals that bin Laden was shot not when SEALs entered his upstairs room at the Abbottabad, Pakistan compound, but when he opened the door as the SEALs were rushing up the stairs.
If Bissonnette’s first-hand account is accurate it suggests that the mission was to kill and not capture the mastermind of the 9/11 terror attacks.
The first shot struck bin Laden in the head, according to Bissonnett. When SEALs entered the room bin Laden already was bloodied and lying on the floor with two women wailing over him. The SEALs pulled the women away, trained their weapons and fired until he stopped moving, according to reporters who saw advance copies of the book.
Legal action by the Pentagon is not Bissonnette’s only concern; there have been reports he is being targeted by terrorists seeking revenge for bin Laden’s killing.
Bissonnett also changed the names of other SEALs involved in the mission, according to the publisher.
His name came out amid debate over the possible damage to U.S. national security by leaks in the media about top secret operations.
Ironically, his first-hand account also comes out as other former Special Operations troops released a video critical of President Obama, in which they allege he deliberately leaked information on the mission to advance his reelection.