Feds Seize $6.6 Million from SEAL over Book Detailing bin Laden Raid

Bissonnette

(Photo: Tech. Sgt. Brian Snyde/United States Naval Special Warfare)

The federal government has settled its lawsuit against former Navy SEAL Matt Bissonnette (aka “Mark Owen”), a participant in the SEAL Team Six raid that killed Osama bin Laden and author of the book No Easy Day that described his experience.

The Justice Department is dropping the charges that Bissonnett’s book revealed classified information, but they are still exacting over $6.6 million from the author for his failure to secure the Pentagon’s approval before publishing his book.

“After the initial accusations of me leaking all that classified stuff… they found nothing,” Bissonnette told The Daily Beast. “They were just upset with me and wanted to get me one way or another. For four years, they looked into every little thing. Now… one signature and it all goes away,” he said.

“That’s the dog that didn’t bark,” Bissonnette’s Washington, D.C.-based litigator, Robert Luskin, confirmed to The Daily Beast. “When they heard him out and they made an extensive review of what they thought might be classified, I think they decided the right result was to walk away from that.”

But Bissonnette will be still be required to forfeit all past and future proceeds from his book for his failure get the Pentagon’s signature before publishing potentially sensitive information.

Bissonnette claims to have received advice from former Army lawyer Kevin Podlaski, who, after reading Bissonnette’s manuscript, said he did not need to seek pre-approval from the Pentagon. Podlaski and his lawyers have denied these claims, and Bissonette’s Dallas-based malpractice lawyer Randy Johnston said he expects to sue Podlaski next year.

“Unfortunately, the advice I got—that I did not need to submit the book for pre-publication review—was wrong,” Bissonnette wrote in his statement. “I acknowledge my mistake and have paid a stiff price—personally and financially, for that error.”

Despite the hefty fines, the Justice Department was quick to acknowledge Bissonnette’s service: “This enforcement action does not discredit Mr. Bissonnette’s military service,” said Justice Department spokesman Nicole Navas.

It does, however, “reinforce that it is important for our service members… to protect classified information after leaving the U.S. military and government in an effort to protect our nation’s national security.”

Navas conveniently fails to mention that her employer wasn’t able to find any information in Bissonnette’s book that would have compromised national security. So while Bissonnette may have failed to secure the approval of the proper authorities, it isn’t clear why such a hefty fine should be levied for a publication that revealed little more than the movie Zero Dark Thirty, which describes the same operation in uncanny detail.

{ 32 comments… add one }
  • William R. Krueger September 10, 2016, 7:39 pm

    This is so bogus. It is an indication of how crooked our government is right now. What means to an end does it serve our government to punish this man for life because he didn’t get permission to write his book? If it’s true he needed permission then fine him a specified amount not leave it open ended so this money grubbing government can grab as much money as they can.
    No wonder people distrust them.

  • Jay August 27, 2016, 9:20 am

    He should’ve just changed his last name to Clinton before publishing the book!

    • Richard August 27, 2016, 2:55 pm

      Well why can’t we the people hold cillery hinton to the same standards?

  • SkipNcClair August 26, 2016, 8:51 pm

    Since when does the servant tell the master how things are done? The citizen writes a book, and the servant says I’m taking xyz from you. Now if I was your master, I would tie you to the post and horse whip that slave or servant until he understood who the boss is. Apparently not only does the servant not know his or its place and who it works for, the slave that swore an oath to the constitution seems to think it or he can disregard that and be a big fu-king hypocrite and not give the master his day in court as required by law before anyone or anything can take from him. So I say piss on the fu-cking USA govt. piss on the pentagon for being traitors, I would piss on you however if you were on fire, unless i just drank some turpentine I sure do hope all this at the end sounds really politically correct so you pussies won’t cry and your feelings won’t get hurt. Hows that for politically correct? By the way you scum suckers is this the same pentagon that loses billions of dollars and goes unpunished ? Bet your parents are real proud of you!!!!!

  • Mike August 26, 2016, 6:57 pm

    Government theft at its’ finest.

  • John August 26, 2016, 4:14 pm

    Obama must need a set of gold golf clubs since congress turned down his request for some 65″ chrome wheels for Airforce one.

  • DeeTee August 26, 2016, 3:12 pm

    I’m with everyone else. We go after a SEAL but leave Hilary alone??? I call BS, more libtard corruption

  • Terry Barlow August 26, 2016, 12:37 pm

    How much did Hillary get fined for emails containing classified information????
    Seems like Hillary is above the law and has the support of Obama and the DOJ to break the law!!!

  • Robert D Floyd August 26, 2016, 11:22 am

    So, does that mean Hilary Clinton should give up all of her money from her foundation because she shared classified information illegally?

  • lloyd August 26, 2016, 11:12 am

    O-homo did not have Bin Laden killed by seal team 16. Bin Laden died about 10 years previous to the O-Homo phony raid, He died of Liver and Kidney failure. The CIA had flown Bin Laden to numerous hospitals for his Dialysis treatments for years This story is a lie including a burial at sea and all other parts of the story. Seal members had begun leaking that the story was a fabrication, This brought about the team being blown up in one of our helicopters to silence them.

  • Russell August 26, 2016, 10:29 am

    These Bastards have to pay for their worthless Syrian refugees,and their illegal aliens,so screw you America!

  • Demetri Betzios August 26, 2016, 9:48 am

    If his name was Clinton those hypocrites would be cheering him on. Its all about extorting your money. This is our new U.S. government, you need to pay up for everytbing you do, unless you are a Democrat or liberal of course.

  • John August 26, 2016, 8:06 am

    Why would ANYONE volunteer to fight? Down thru history veterans have ALWAYS been screwed by the Government….and now it’s only worse.
    Why do we have 22 suicides a day from service people? Is it because they can see all the innocent people that are being tortured & killed for no other reason than corporations wanting to steal resources & war contractors wanting to loot the treasury?

    • fred August 26, 2016, 10:09 am

      Because there’s a massive and very effective PR campaign from the govt to convince people to sign up for the adventure and to “defend our freedom.” Look at the military worship culture we have in the United States – they’re all “heroes” – even if they spent 20 years as a secretary. This among a conservative culture that views nearly the entire rest of the government with disdain!

      Give a postal worker an AR-15, though, and they’re worshiped.

      Veterans #1 job should be preventing other veterans by discouraging people to enlist and serve our overlords.

      • Dan August 26, 2016, 10:25 pm

        I am dumber for having read your drivel. I’m proud to be a veteran so was my brother and my father.

  • jack daugherty August 26, 2016, 7:10 am

    Its a little disturbing to me to hear a Navy SEAL state that “he didn’t know” that he had to get approval to release a book on a top-secret mission.
    He is either lying or is way too dumb to be a SEAL.

    • Elroy August 26, 2016, 10:11 am

      Get over yourself. There are standards of intelligence that you have to meet before you can even be considered and they are high. He’s for sure not “too dumb to be a SEAL”. And were you listening? The man has an absolutely astounding career performing missions as a SEAL in Afghanistan and Iraq. He deserves absolutely NOTHING but your respect. People like who make these stupid knee jerk armchair wannabe operator comments out of their ass like you just made are laughable WTF do YOU know about the kind of character this man has?

    • hoochbear August 26, 2016, 1:23 pm

      Damn right! And same standard ought to be applied to inside information on special ops & related missions. Should have known better. Both bin Laden exposes should have been subjected to the higher standard.
      And any of you think that Ollie North is some kind of hero. Hell No! Should have been court-martialed and at the very least retired with a dishonorable discharge. We are supposed to be a nation of laws. He was dealing with the enemy. F for failed. We should have done some serious enforcement of laws back then. Until you acknowledge that , dont try to give me any crap about today!

      • tedbear August 26, 2016, 8:51 pm

        By your North comment, then anyone that let guns, cocaine, and cash flow through Mena, AK should be in prison, right? That would put the Clintons in orange jumpsuits for the rest of their lives. But I bet you have rational reason why that’s not right.

  • Jeff August 26, 2016, 7:03 am

    Not funny. The Clintons get hundreds of millions added to their “retirement” political favor foundation for lying, cheating, stealing, selling America to foreigners, selling our and other countries natural resources to developers willing to pay “the” commissions in the form of Bill Speeches and Foundation filling, being unethical, and being near to many that know their ways and for some reason just die at moments when they are near telling…. while those who fight and live to tell about it are silenced, hounded, bankrupted, fired and jailed. Hmmm…………coincidence or pattern?

    • Demetri Betzios August 26, 2016, 10:12 am

      More than one half of the citizens of this country are traitors. They hate this country and capitalism. They have sold out our Constitution, liberty, and freedom to transform it into some bogus socialist utopia. There is no recovery now. You cannot pay off 200 trillion in unsecured debt even with inflated dollars. The damage is done. We have morphed into a worthless European type fascist country. Make no mistake, our own citizens have done this. I will miss you America, rest in peace.

      • hoochbear August 26, 2016, 1:36 pm

        I guess you must hate anyone on Social Security, disability, working poor, unemployed, everyone of such. Mitt suggested he didnt want 47%. You have raised it to 50% . Hate your neighbor. Far as the upcoming election, it’s a neo-socialist against a neo-Fascist. Not much choice. Bet lots of us have even considered voting Libertarian. But you need to read ,because obviously you are ignorant about, the rise of Hitler & the Nazi party. Few in American times have ever more resembled Hitler than Donald Trump. Us “Traitors?” I guess ,like Hitler you would love to exterminate those who disagree with you.

        • Rouge1 August 28, 2016, 8:22 pm

          Spoke like a true commie hoochbear.

        • Jim Turner September 16, 2016, 11:59 pm

          Hillary is the Socialist and the one with blood on her. Not Trump. Hell he was not even into to politics when she was busying killing for money. Now selling anything of value to any country through the Clinton Foundation. Whey in the hell you think she deleted 30,000 emails for fun. Give me a break. Hillary is much closer to a Hitler than Trump will ever be.

        • Jim Turner September 17, 2016, 12:01 am

          Hillary is the Socialist and the one with blood on her. Not Trump. Hell he was not even into to politics when she was busying killing for money. Now selling anything of value to any country through the Clinton Foundation. Why in the hell you think she deleted 30,000 emails for fun. Give me a break. Hillary is much closer to a Hitler than Trump will ever be.

  • wake_Up_America August 26, 2016, 5:27 am

    It just never stops. This country no longer has any decency AT ALL. The gov’t simply does whatever it wants and that’s it. We, the people need to take back this once great nation. Folks you need to open your eyes and see what is going on and what has been going on for way too long in this land. . .this type of nonsense to happen to any of us citizens.

  • Tmac August 26, 2016, 4:49 am

    That amount should payoff the National Debt.

  • Miles August 24, 2016, 6:16 am

    Well hillary needs to forfeit eveydime she made from the beginning of the email incidents and in the future including campaign donations and she needs to resign from her current positions and drop out of the race then be tried as a war criminal and mofia type assassinations that have been going on for decades cause she didnt get approval from anyone for anything because she believes she is above and beyond any law ,agency, person, country or even being questioned about her actions.

  • SuperG August 23, 2016, 3:43 pm

    So an American, who served his country, is having his money stolen from him by that same country, because he didn’t say “Simon says”? This is just puerile and obstinate and is more befitting of a banana republic, than the USA. I didn’t know that we’d come so childish that we’d steal from a veteran.

    • DRAINO August 25, 2016, 5:50 pm

      They have stolen lives….look at the VA and how they treat vets. What’s $6.6 mill if you still have your life? But yes, its a raw deal for not doing anything wrong.

    • wake_Up_America August 26, 2016, 5:29 am

      This nation now operates like some rogue third world country out in the middle of nowhere. I am so disgusted by what this country does to its citizens daily including its clowned out, used and based veterans. I would never fight for this sorry excuse of a country.

      • JJMJ65 August 26, 2016, 10:57 am

        Feel free to go somewhere else if you are not happy in this country.

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