The former Virginia Beach-based Navy SEAL who wrote an unauthorized account of the Osama bin Laden raid also participated in the development of an upcoming video game that features real- world U.S. anti-terrorist tactics, according to people with knowledge of the situation.
Matt Bissonnette, who wrote the bestselling book "No Easy Day" under the pen name of Mark Owen, was among two dozen active and retired special forces members who consulted with Electronic Arts Inc. to help make "Medal of Honor Warfighter" as authentic as possible, these people said. They requested anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.
Military personnel are required to receive authorization to work on such projects to prevent classified information on military tactics, strategies and protocols being made public, officials said.
No such requests were made for the "Warfighter" game, according to Defense Department spokesman Lt. Col. Damien Pickart and Col. Tim Nye, a spokesman for the U.S. Special Operations Command that oversees the Navy SEALs.
"In general terms, if any of these ... service members signed a nondisclosure agreement, then that agreement would most likely be as binding for an electronic game as it is for a book or movie," Nye said. "Having never played the game, I have no idea if it discloses any classified information or sensitive ... tactics, techniques or procedures."
Bissonnette could not be reached for comment. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta rebuked him this month for writing his detailed account of the May 2011 raid in which Bissonnette and fellow members of Virginia Beach-based SEAL Team 6 invaded bin Laden's compound in Pakistan.
Jeff Brown, a spokesman for the Redwood City, Calif., game publisher, confirmed that retired and active-duty special operations members, including several SEALs, had worked on the game that is set for release Oct. 23. He said his company, which released a similar version of the game in 2010 called "Medal of Honor," was not required to make sure the consultants had obtained the necessary government clearances to work on the game.