Aug 23, 2012 No Comments ›› Pat Dollard
Excerpted from Fox News: The author of a recently announced insider account of the raid that killed Usama bin Laden has been identified to Fox News as a 36-year-old former Navy SEAL Team 6 member from Alaska who also played a role in the high-profile rescue of an American captain kidnapped by Somali pirates.
The book, “No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama Bin Laden,” is set to hit shelves on Sept 11. It is penned under the pseudonym “Mark Owen,” according to the publisher, but multiple sources told Fox News his name is in fact Matt Bissonnette, 36, of Wrangell, Alaska. Bissonnette could be exposing himself to legal trouble, as the Pentagon has not vetted the account.
The tell-all book also has apparently upset a large population of former and current SEAL members who worry about releasing information that could compromise future missions. One Navy SEAL told Fox News, “How do we tell our guys to stay quiet when this guy won’t?” Other SEALs are expressing anger, with some going so far as to call him a “traitor.”
According to a press release from his publisher, Penguin Group, “Owen (Bissonnette) was one of the first men through the door on the third floor of the terrorist leader’s hideout and was present at his death.”
In the book, Bissonnette writes “it is time to set the record straight about one of the most important missions in U.S. military history.”
An experienced member of the elite Navy SEAL special operators, Bissonnette also participated in the highly publicized rescue of Captain Richard Phillips in the Indian Ocean in 2009. That mission involved a daring rescue that ended when SEAL snipers shot and killed three Somali pirates with direct shots to the head.
Bissonnette received the rank of chief before he retired.
The book is co-authored with Kevin Maurer, author of four books, many of which were based on Special Operations.
Along with using the pseudonym “Mark Owen,” Bissonette protected his fellow SEAL Team 6 members by changing their names in the book.
Both the Pentagon and CIA said Wednesday that the book was not in any way vetted by either department to prevent unwanted classified information from being released. When asked about the book, officials in both departments said they were unaware of the SEAL’s true identity, but described co-author Kevin Maurer as a well-respected journalist.
Lt. Cmdr. Chris Servello, a Navy spokesman, said it’s possible Bissonnette or any former service member could be punished for revealing national security secrets. “Any service member who discloses classified or sensitive information could be subject to prosecution — this doesn’t end when you leave the service,” Servello said. “There is nothing unique to the special warfare community in this regard.”
Meanwhile, the Pentagon said that because the author is a retired service member, any potential criminal prosecution would be handled by the Department of Justice.
Excerpted from Mediaite: Fox News is likely to take some heat for publicizing the name of the Navy SEAL Team 6 member and anonymous author of the upcoming tell-all No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama bin Laden.
Thursday morning, the network published an article by Justin Fishel that, citing “multiple sources,” identifies the author (who goes by pseudonym “Mark Owen“) to be a 36-year-old recently retired Navy SEAL from Alaska who was “one of the first men through the door” of Osama bin Laden‘s Pakistan compound the night of that fateful raid.
Not only did Fox News’ website name the SEAL, but the network also broadcast his full name Thursday morning during a report by Jennifer Griffin.
“Owen” has already received hefty criticism from current and former SEALs for writing the book. “How do we tell our guys to stay quiet when this guy won’t?” one told Fox; others called him a “traitor.”
And now that his real name is seemingly out there, critics are concerned that Fox has opened “Owen” up to potential violent reprisals from jihadists seeking to avenge bin Laden; and the outing opens the SEAL up to legal troubles with the Justice Department for exposing classified information.