A former Navy SEAL who was involved in the raid that killed Osama bin Laden is now being forced to pay the government $6.6 million for failing to get the book approved by the Department of Defense.
Matt Bissonnette, who wrote under the pseudonym Mark Owen, is now being required to give the U.S. Government all profits and royalties for his book “No Easy Day”. These profits currently add up to around $6.6 million and will most likely continue to increase, albeit not by much. The majority of this will have to be paid within the next four years. Bissonnette must also pay $100,000 within 30 days for using unauthorized slides in a presentation.
As a Navy SEAL, Bissonnette signed a non-disclosure agreement that would prohibit him from releasing sensitive information from his time in the military. His book, the Justice Department claimed, contained sensitive and classified material. Under the agreement made, Bissonnette will acknowledge his mistake of not submitting the book for review. Between that and the payments, the U.S. Government will not pursue more liability claims.
The Justice Department is not refuting the story that Bissonnette told, they are merely saying that he went about it the wrong way. I understand the need for protocol, but this idea of “pay and we will leave you alone” seems awfully mafia-esque to me. Bissonnette did write another book, however, about his time as a Navy SEAl titled “No Hero: the Evolution of a Navy SEAL”. He did clear this one, and the book was allowed to be published with only some redactions. Hopefully Mr. Bissonnette can recoup the money he was forced to pay to the government and this situation can be avoided in the future.