Published August 22, 2012
Publishing giant Penguin Group announced Wednesday it has plans to release a book that provides a detailed, first person account of the raid that killed Usama bin Laden. The book, "No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama Bin Laden," is written under a pseudonym by a Navy SEAL who participated in the mission.
It's co-authored with Kevin Maurer and is set to be released on Sept. 11.
"Mark Owen," is the pseudonym used by the now retired SEAL Team 6 member and for security reasons he also kept the identity of his fellow SEALs secret.
Both the Pentagon and CIA said Wednesday that the book was not in any way vetted by either department to prevent any unwanted classified information from being released. Officials in both departments say they also don’t know the SEAL's identity, but they say co-author Kevin Maurer is a well respected journalist.
Lt. Cmdr. Chris Servello, a Navy spokesman, says it’s possible that this anonymous author could be punished if secrets are revealed. "Any service member who discloses classified or sensitive information could be subject to prosecution--this doesn't end when you leave the service," Servello said. "There is nothing unique to the special warfare community in this regard."
Meanwhile the Pentagon is saying at this point they are dealing with a retired service member and therefore if any allegation of criminal behavior would be handled by the Department of Justice.
A spokesman at Dutton, a division of Penguin Group, says proceeds from the book will be donated to charitable causes that benefit the family of fallen Navy SEALs.
Much attention has been given to the issue of security leaks in the ongoing presidential race. Supporters of Gov. Mitt Romney accuse President Obama of intentionally leaking operation details surrounding the bin Laden raid for the purpose of political gain.
OPSEC, a group of retired military and intelligence officers, came under fire this week from the c chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey, who told Fox News on Tuesday he was "disappointed" by the group's political use of the military uniform in a recent anti-Obama advertisement. Dempsey says he feels those who serve ought to remain "apolitical."
OPSEC fired back, arguing that Gen. Dempsey's criticisms can be applied equally to the Obama campaign's "One Chance" ad, which features images of Blackhawk helicopters in flight and military pilots. The video suggests Gov. Mitt Romney would not have made the same decision to call for the raid that killed Usama bin Laden.
Film producer Kathryn Bigelow received help from the White House when she produced "Zero Dark Thirty," a highly anticipated film that was originally set to be released before the November election but was pushed to a later date after Republicans cried foul.