The US Defense Department is threatening to pursue “all remedies legally available” against the author of a forthcoming book about the killing of Osama bin Laden. The Pentagon says the former Navy SEAL breached nondisclosure agreements.
The author of No Easy Day violated two agreements stipulating that he “never divulge” classified information, Defense Department general counsel Jeh Johnson stated in a letter to the former soldier, who uses the pen name Mark Owen. Johnson said that a review of the book showed that the material presented in it was a clear “material breach and violation” of the agreements.
Johnson said the Pentagon was now considering “all remedies legally available.”
The book divulges details of the operation in which US Navy SEALS killed al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden at his compound in Pakistan on May 4, 2011. A number of facts presented contradict the official version of the mission, according to a copy obtained by the AP. For instance, the book claims that bin Laden was unarmed when American soldiers shot him. The manuscript also refutes the claim that his body was treated with dignity, as it presents a recount of how one soldier, dubbed “Walt,” sat on the chest of bin Laden’s corpse.
The book’s publication was announced on August 22. Less than a day after the announcement, Fox News revealed the author’s name to be Matt Bissonette. Defense Department officials later confirmed his identity.
An official al-Qaeda website later called on its supporters to kill him for his role in murdering bin Laden.
The book was originally slated to be released on September 11, but the release date was moved to September 4 due to an overwhelming amount of online orders.