Mark Bissonnett of Washington, D.C., under fire for not clearing his book's contents with Pentagon

10:32 PM, Sep 4, 2012   |    comments
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WUSA) -- In the days immediately after the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, President Obama praised the "quiet professionals," the Navy SEALs, who carried out the raid.  Now, the Justice Department is criticizing one of those professionals for not being quiet enough.  

Before retiring from the Navy a few months ago, Matt Bissonnett was a member of SEAL Team Six, which on May 2, 2011, shot bin Laden to death in his Pakistani compound.

Bissonnett is now a best-selling author, having co-written "No Easy Day", his account of the day bin Laden died.  In the book, Bissonnett gives some details about the raid, but nothing, he says, that would compromise national security.  But the Defense Department has a much different view, saying the book does, in fact, contain sensitive information and that Bissonnett, who wrote under the pseudonym Mark Owen, did not clear the book with the Pentagon before it was published, as he was required to.

"There was a requirement for pre-publication review in this instance, it wasn't followed, and the author is in material breach of his secrecy agreements with the United States government," said Pentagon spokesman George Little.

John Mahoney, a Washington lawyer who handles cases involving national security clearances, says from everything he knows about this case, Bissonnett could very well have broken the law.

"For him to publish a book that could possibly disclose national security secrets without getting clearance from {the Department of Defense} could lead to criminal charges and the loss of his security clearance or even a court martial," Mahoney said.

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