AAFES Won't Stock Bin Laden Raid Book
The military services have chosen not to sell "No Easy Day" on base or post exchanges after Pentagon leaders ripped the Navy SEAL author for detailing classified information about the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden, according to a Stars & Stripes report.
"Due to its unique mission and customer base, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service is not stocking 'No Easy Day,'" Judd Anstey, public relations manager for AAFES, wrote in an email to Stars and Stripes. "The department will not be issuing any directive" to the services on the sale of the book, said George Little, the chief Pentagon spokesman.
The Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) run the base exchanges for the Air Force and the post exchanges for the Army. The Navy Exchange Service Command runs the Navy exchanges for the Navy and Marine Corps.
Exchange officials have said they listen to servicemembers opinions on what books to stock. Troops are sure to be interested by Bissonette's book, especially considering the attention it has received.
However, "No Easy Day" posed a unique case for the exchanges. Pentagon officials confirmed the book details classified information posing an operational security risk to military units.
Anstey said the organization had made the decision because of the statements earlier this week by Pentagon press secretary George Little, who told the press "sensitive and classified information is contained in the book."
The book, released Tuesday, provides an account of the raid in Pakistan that differs in some ways from the official administration account. But the Pentagon has declined to say what it reveals, and some have disputed that it gives away secrets useful to America's enemies.
Military officials said Bissonette failed to follow the non-disclosure agreement he signed in 2007 saying he must present any publication he wrote to the Pentagon prior to publishing.
Admiral Sean Pybus, commander of the Navy Special Warfare Command, ripped Bissonette and other SEALs he said have spoken out of turn about their time in service.
"As the Commander of NSW, I am disappointed, embarrassed and concerned. Most of us have always thought that the privilege of working with some of our Nation's toughest Warriors on challenging missions would be enough to be proud of, with no further compensation or celebrity required," Pybus wrote in a letter to all active duty Navy SEALs.
The Navy SEAL Foundation, one of the charities to which most of the proceeds of the book would be donated, have also shunned Bissonette. Foundation leaders said Friday the proceeds would not be accepted.
In a statement on its web site, the Foundation said it "is committed to providing immediate and ongoing support and assistance to the Naval Special Warfare community and their families. With this principled mission in mind, the Foundation will not be accepting any donations that are generated from the book or any related activities."
-- Stars & Stripes contributed to this report.