A top Navy commander joined other Pentagon brass in denouncing a former SEAL's book about the raid that killed Usama bin Laden, saying the tell-all broke a cherished tradition of respect for the chain of command.
The book, titled "No Easy Day," went on sale Tuesday. It contains blow-by-blow accounts of the raid on bin Laden's Abbottabad, Pakistan, compound, and discloses that many members of SEAL Team 6 were less than supportive of their commander-in-chief. In an open letter, Rear Admiral Sean Pybus, commander of the Navy Special Warfare Command, blasted the author for violating protocol and lamented other political forays by his fellow SEALs.
"In recent months, a number of people associated with Naval Special Warfare have violated this part of our Ethos," Pybus wrote. "As the Commander of NSW, I am disappointed, embarrassed and concerned. Most of us have always thought that the privilege of working with some of our Nation's toughest Warriors on challenging missions would be enough to be proud of, with no further compensation or celebrity required.
"Today, we find former SEALs headlining positions in a Presidential campaign; hawking details about a mission against Enemy Number 1; and generally selling other aspects of NSW training and operations," the letter continued. "For an Elite Force that should be humble and disciplined for life, we are certainly not appearing to be so. We owe our Chain of Command much better than this."
The Pentagon also blasted the book, which was sent to the publisher without the Department of Defense vetting it for classified information.
"Sensitive and classified information is contained in the book,” Pentagon spokesman George Little told reporters in Washington. “It is the height of irresponsibility not to have this material checked.”
The book is now the top seller on Amazon.com.
Little said the author, Matt Bissonnette, violated at least one non-disclosure agreement that he signed. Little declined to talk about the Pentagon’s legal options but repeated that the Defense and Justice departments are working together to weigh options.
Bid Laden was killed in a May 2011 Navy SEALs raid on his hideout in Pakistan.
Little also said Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has been briefed on the book and is "deeply disappointed" about its release without Pentagon review.
A lawyer for Bissonnette has disputed the claim that his client was legally obliged to have the book screened before publication.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.