Pentagon officials determined the book “No Easy Day,” which offers a firsthand account of the raid that killed OBL, reveals “sensitive and classified information.” Since the book was released on Tuesday, it’s too late to halt its circulation but that doesn’t mean the author Mark Owen (pen name), is in the clear.
At the Pentagon, press secretary George Little said that an official review of the book, "No Easy Day," determined that it reveals what he called "sensitive and classified" information. He was not more specific but said the author was required to submit the book to the Pentagon before publication for a formal review of potential disclosures of such information.
"When you have special operations units that perform these missions, there are tactics, techniques, and procedures, not to mention human life, that are in play," Little said. "And it is the height of irresponsibility not to have this kind of material checked for the possible disclosure of classified information."
He told reporters during a briefing that the Pentagon is still reviewing what legal options should be taken against the author.
If the Pentagon determines the bin Laden book does disclose classified secrets, the government could consider bringing federal criminal charges against Bissonnette. The potential charges and penalties would depend largely on what type of secrets were disclosed.
This comes on the heels of Adm. Bill McRaven saying, “We will pursue every option available to hold members accountable, including criminal prosecution where appropriate.” Fellow SEALs were equally upset with Owen, essentially calling his disclosure of the raid the ultimate betrayal, with one group even releasing a rebuttal book. Owen could also face financial repercussions:
Obama administration officials said on Thursday that the Pentagon is expected to inform [Owen] that he has violated secrecy agreements and that both he and his publisher could be forced to forgo all royalties.
Regardless of why Owen broke the silence or whether he should have, this leads one to question whether the White House received the same type and extent of criticism for its cooperation with Hollywood in Zero Dark Thirty.
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