US Navy SEAL who wrote unauthorised book about Osama Bin Laden killing settles legal battle with government

'I am delighted to finally put an end to a lengthy and painful chapter of my life'

 

Rachael Revesz
New York
Friday 19 August 2016 22:05
Comments
'Mark Owen' admitted he obtained the wrong legal advice before publishing his book in 2012
'Mark Owen' admitted he obtained the wrong legal advice before publishing his book in 2012

The US Navy SEAL who was sued by the government for publishing a book about the killing of Osama Bin Laden has settled his case, saying he is “delighted to finally put an end to a lengthy and painful chapter” of his life.

Matthew Scott Bissonnette wrote the book No Easy Day, a first-hand narrative about the mission which led to him shooting dead the al-Qaeda leader in Pakistan in May 2011.

He was charged with releasing classified information.

The settlement requires that he forfeit all profit he made from the 2012 book to the government, totaling more than $6.6 million, along with any future profits derived from the book or television rights.

Mr Bissonnette must pay close to half the amount within 30 days.

The author, who wrote under the pseudonym “Mark Owen”, was also investigated for allegedly keeping a picture of the Bin Laden's dead body.

He said in a statement that the last thing he had intended to do after serving 14 years in the military was to spend four years “at odds” with the US government.

“I set out to write No Easy Day after seeing numerous accounts of the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden coming from our own government leadership,” he said.

“I believed strongly then – and I still believe – that the men and women who found and killed Bin Laden deserved to have their story told in their own voice, by one of those who risked his life to make the mission a success.”

He admitted that the legal advice he received was wrong and his lawyer did not advise him to submit the book to the Pentagon for pre-publication review.

“I acknowledge my mistake and have paid a stiff price, both personally and financially, for that error,” he said.

“I accept responsibility for failing to submit the book for review and apologize sincerely for my oversight.”

His next book, No Hero, has been approved by the US government for publication, he added.

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