Pentagon threatens to sue former US Navy Seal for publishing book on killing of Osama Bin Laden

 

Saying that it will pursue "all remedies legally available to us," the Pentagon is threatening to sue the former US Navy Seal who is about to publish a memoir detailing his role in the killing of Osama Bin Laden.

A letter to Matt Bissonnette, a member of the team which raided the terrorist's hideout in Pakistan last year, argues that Tuesday's scheduled launch of his book No Easy Day would represent a "material breach" of legally binding non-disclosure agreements.

"Public dissemination of your book will aggravate your breach and violation of your agreements," it warned, citing contracts he signed in 2007. "You have a continuing obligation to 'never divulge' classified information."

Mr Bissonnette, who used the pseudonym Mark Owen, told how he was part of a team who discovered Bin Laden cowering in a bedroom on the upper floor of his hideaway, next to two women who were "hysterically crying and wailing in Arabic".

The terrorist, who wore a sleeveless T-shirt, loose beige trousers and a brown tunic, was twitching and convulsing after having been shot by the first "point" man into the room. Mr Bissonnette fired several more rounds into his body.

His team then formally identified the dead man as Bin Laden. Two empty firearms were found during a search of the area, leading them to conclude that he "hadn't even prepared a defence" and had "no intention of fighting."

Though undeniably dramatic, the account is also highly controversial, because it sheds light on a still-classified raid. In statements released by Dutton, his publisher, Bissonnette has argued that it "adheres to my strict desire not to disclose confidential or sensitive information" and claims that a portion of profits from the book will be donated to charities that benefit families of fallen Seals.

No fewer than 575,000 hardback copies of No Easy Day have already rolled off the presses, some of which have been leaked. And the book is already number one on Amazon's charts, thanks to pre-sales.

Mr Bissonnette, who was identified last week by US news outlets, has striven to keep his identity secret. Prior to filming an interview with the US television show 60 Minutes, which is due to be aired next week, he used a team of make-up artists to alter his appearance.

Conspiracy theorists are meanwhile wondering if the Pentagon's efforts to suppress the book are politically motivated, since one excerpt from the book claims that "none of [the Seal team] were huge fans of Obama."

No Easy Day

More than half a million hardback copies of the book have rolled off the presses already

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Manager

£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity to...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Manager - Production

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Trainee Managers are required to join the UK's...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Manager

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will maximise the effective...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + uncapped commission : SThree: Hello! I know most ...

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss