Regardless of the warning from the Pentagon, the publisher for Mark Owen’s book will start selling the story as early as next week. “No Easy Day” is Owen’s firsthand account of the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan last year. The ex-navy seal used the penname “Mark Owen” in an initial attempt to hide his identity. The top legal counsel for the Pentagon informed Owen that he was in “material breach and violation” of several nondisclosure agreements he signed before leaving the military in April earlier this year.
The Pentagon alleges that classified material and other sensitive information was disclosed in the book which could compromise future special operations missions. Owen maintains that no classified information was released in his firsthand account. Since being announced, the book jumped to the top of Amazon’s best-seller list and caused the publisher to more than double the number of books in the first printing.
The larger question at hand is whether these accusations and lawsuit by the Pentagon are politically motivated. The President has already taken lots of criticism from former Navy SEALS who claim he is using the Bin Laden mission to score political points. I don’t think it is too farfetched to assume that the White House is the primary driver of the lawsuit from the Pentagon.