The Pentagon said Monday it is reviewing a copy of a soon-to-be-published firsthand account of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, checking for leaks of classified information.
Pentagon spokesman George Little said Defense Department officials "received the manuscript and we are looking at it."
The book, "No Easy Day," is scheduled for publication on Sept. 11, the anniversary of the 2001 attacks that bin Laden masterminded.
The author, a former U.S. Navy SEAL who participated in the raid, did not submit the book until now for the pre-publication review that is required by the military secrecy agreements officials say he signed.
A special operations advocacy group, Special Operations-OPSEC, is criticizing President Barack Obama over alleged leaks and the making of the raid the national security centerpiece of his re-election campaign. It has asked the U.S. attorney general to block the book's release until the government can make sure it reveals no classified information.
In a letter released to The Associated Press, the group asked the Justice Department "to immediately seek ... an injunction in federal court to prevent this book from being published and distributed" until it can be reviewed.
Justice Department spokesman Dean Boyd said the department is reviewing the letter.
Pentagon regulations stipulate that retired personnel, former employees and non-active duty members of the Reserves "shall use the DoD security review process to ensure that information they submit for public release does not compromise national security."
The CIA and Special Operations Command could also weigh in on the review, since the CIA ran last year's operation against bin Laden.
Pentagon officials say that if they determine the manuscript reveals classified information about the raid, the Pentagon would "defer to the Department of Justice."
If the book has classified information, the former SEAL could face criminal charges.
The publisher says the author intends to give the "majority" of the proceeds to charity, but the Justice Department could still sue to collect any future book proceeds as well.
The publisher, Dutton, announced the book's pending release last week, saying that "No Easy Day" will "set the record straight" on the bin Laden operation.
The book has shot up to the top of the Amazon.com chart, reaching No. 1 as of late Friday morning and remaining there Monday, displacing the million-selling erotic trilogy "Fifty Shades of Gray."