WASHINGTON: Pentagon Press Secretary George Little confirmed that the book, “No Easy Day” contains classified information regarding the bin Laden raid in 2011, adding that the United States hoped that the publication of the book will not affect US-Pakistan relations.
Addressing the media at the Pentagon, Little described the book as a “no-brainer,” saying that the Pentagon was concerned as the author had not submitted the book for a pre-publication review to them.
In the book, published by Penguin’s Dutton imprint, former US Navy SEAL writing under a pseudonym, Mark Owen, identified in media reports as Matt Bissonnette, describes his role in the famed raid on bin Laden’s Pakistani hideout as well other operations in Iraq and Afghanistan during his 14-year career as a Navy commando.
The book has already featured on Amazon’s bestseller list for the last two weeks, despite being released on September 4.
Responding to a question on Pak-US relations, Little stressed that US ties with Pakistan were on a better footing now and he hoped the that the issue of the book will not affect relations between the two countries.
The spokesman further said that in days after the raid, they had scrubbed the material of sensitive information before it was cleared for press briefings,”Regrettably, there were disclosures that were problematic.”
Asked if the US government would take legal action against the author, Little said officials were reviewing all legal options.
“Legal avenues are available to us. I’m simply not going to get into what we may or may not decide,” he said.
Earlier in the week the Defence Department had warned the ex-commando and his publisher not to release “No Easy Day” next week, saying the author violated non-disclosure agreements he signed while in uniform.
The Pentagon said it has reviewed the text but officials declined to say if the book reveals state secrets, vowing to keep all legal options open.
Bissonnette’s lawyer offered a rebuttal to the Pentagon, insisting the author had not broken faith with his commitments and that the non-disclosure agreements did not apply to the bin Laden operation.