Analysis: SEAL who wrote bin Laden raid book ID'd - myfoxcarolinas.com

Analysis: SEAL who wrote bin Laden raid book ID'd

Posted: Updated:

The Navy SEAL who wrote an account of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden under a pseudonym was identified Thursday as Matt Bissonnette, who retired from the Navy last summer.

Bissonnette was first identified by Fox News. One current and one former U.S. military official confirmed the name, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss military personnel matters.

The book, "No Easy Day," is scheduled to be released Sept. 11, with the author listed under the pseudonym of Mark Owen. Penguin Group (USA)'s Dutton imprint, the publisher, asked news organizations Thursday to withhold his identity.

"Sharing the true story of his personal experience in 'No Easy Day' is a courageous act in the face of obvious risks to his personal security," Dutton spokeswoman Christine Ball said in a statement. "That personal security is the sole reason the book is being published under a pseudonym."

Bissonnette also changed the names of the other SEALs in the account, the publisher says.

Efforts to locate Bissonnette for comment were unsuccessful.

Special Operations Command spokesman Col. Tim Nye said the retired SEAL could be endangered by being identified, which could also expose those active-duty SEALs the author worked with in the killing of bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan last year.

The book and the author's name come out amid debate over the possible damage to U.S. national security by leaks in the media about top secret operations.

Yet the book also comes at a time when special operations forces are prominently featured in the media as never before, even as the elite organizations demand secrecy.

A rash of new books trumpet special operators' exploits. For example, "American Sniper," a best-seller by recently retired SEAL Chris Kyle, details his 150-plus kills of insurgents from 1999 to 2009.

A handful of special operations advocacy groups have sprung up decrying leaks, but they identify themselves by name as former members of some of the elite units, in an online campaign video that slams President Barack Obama for releasing details of the bin Laden raid.

One of the advocacy groups is run by retired Navy SEAL Ryan Zinke, who prominently mentions his time years ago at SEAL Team 6, the top secret unit that carried out the bin Laden raid.

Even Special Operations Command made an exception to its normal reticence with the media when it signed off on the movie "Act of Valor," which followed active duty SEALs carrying out training exercises that were turned into what looked like real action scenes for the film.

The author of "No Easy Day" is slated to appear in shadow in promotional interviews for the book, meant to conceal his identity. CBS News' anchor Scott Pelley said Thursday evening that "60 Minutes" has interviewed the author and will air the interview on Sept. 9.

The book is already listed as one of the top 10 books on Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.com.

Beyond the risk he faces now that his identity is known, he could also face legal trouble if the Pentagon determines that he disclosed classified information in the account.

U.S. military and intelligence officials say they do not believe the book has been read or cleared by the Defense Department. The Pentagon reviews publications by military members - both active duty and retired - to make sure that no classified material is revealed.

  • Charlie LangtonCharlie LangtonMore>>

  • Heavy rain causes dilapidated Detroit house to collapse

    Heavy rain causes dilapidated Detroit house to collapse

    Tuesday, August 12 2014 7:43 PM EDT2014-08-12 23:43:12 GMT
    Heavy rain and flooding caused a dilapidated unoccupied house to collapse on top of a neighbor's residence on Detroit's westside.
    Heavy rain and flooding caused a dilapidated unoccupied house to collapse on top of a neighbor's residence on Detroit's westside.
  • Persecution of Iraqi Christians sparks outrage in Sterling Heights

    Persecution of Iraqi Christians sparks outrage in Sterling Heights

    Monday, August 11 2014 12:11 AM EDT2014-08-11 04:11:46 GMT
    Hundreds of people took to the streets of Sterling Heights Sunday to express outrage over the persecution of Iraqi Christians.
    Hundreds of people took to the streets of Sterling Heights Sunday to express outrage over the persecution of Iraqi Christians.
  • Vigil held in support of refugee children

    Vigil held in support of refugee children

    Saturday, August 9 2014 11:06 PM EDT2014-08-10 03:06:33 GMT
    The group One Michigan took part in an international vigil for refugee children Saturday with pro-immigrant groups across the Americas. They're holding a week of actions in support of thousands of refugee children arriving to the United States.
    The group One Michigan took part in an international vigil for refugee children Saturday with pro-immigrant groups across the Americas. They're holding a week of actions in support of thousands of refugee children arriving to the United States.
Powered by WorldNow

WJZY FOX 46
3501 Performance Rd.
Charlotte, NC 28214
Main Number: (704) 398-0046

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices