US: Classified Information in Book on Bin Laden Raid

Posted September 4th, 2012 at 3:50 pm (UTC-5)
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The United States says a new book about the Navy SEAL raid that killed terrorist leader Osama bin Laden last year contains “sensitive and classified” information that should not have been divulged.

Defense Department spokesman George Little told reporters Tuesday that military officials had reviewed the book, “No Easy Day,” written by a former commando who was on the raid that killed bin Laden in Pakistan in May 2011. He said officials “have concerns” about some of the disclosures and criticized the author.

“When it comes to sensitive Special Operations missions, such as the operation that took down Osama bin Laden, it is important that those who are involved in such operations take care to protect sensitive and classified information.”

Little declined to be specific about what information Pentagon officials considered classified, or what damage might result from disclosures in the book.

The book was written under a pseudonym, Mark Owen, but U.S. media have reported that the author is Matt Bissonnette, who retired from the Navy shortly after the raid.

The book has gone on sale throughout the U.S., including on military installations. But Little said the Pentagon “strongly believes” the book should have been submitted for review for possible security breaches before its publication, a claim Bissonnette's lawyer has disputed.

Bissonnette could be subject to criminal prosecution for divulging information about the secretive operation. Little said officials are reviewing their legal options.

Bin Laden was the guiding force behind al-Qaida's September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the U.S. that killed nearly 3,000 people. U.S. operatives hunted him for nearly a decade before finding him at his residential hideout in Abbottabad, Pakistan.