Why would any American reveal the identity of anonymous Navy Seal author?
by Sheila Musaji
A book, No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama bin Laden, written by one of the Navy SEALS who was part of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden is scheduled to be released On September 11th. The author wrote under the pseudonymn Mark Owens to protect his identity.
After it was announced that the book was coming out, there was immediate reaction from the U.S. Military. USA Today reported that Adm. William McRaven issued a warning letter to current and former U.S. troops that they face prosecution for revealing information about their covert operations. McRaven is quoted as saying “As former members of our special operations community, authors have a moral obligation, and a legal duty, to submit their works for pre-publication security review.” In this case, the book was not submitted for such review as required by Pentagon regulations which note that “a lecture, speech or writing that pertains to military matters, national security issues, or subjects of significant concern to (the Defense Department) shall be reviewed for clearance by appropriate security and public affairs office prior to delivery or publication.”
The USA Today article further notes that McRaven’s letter says that all special operations troops who have security clearances sign a non-disclosure agreement that remains in effect even after they leave their service. “If the U.S. Special Operations Command finds that an active-duty, retired or former service member violated that agreement and that exposure of information was detrimental to the safety of U.S. forces, then we will pursue every option available to hold members accountable, including criminal prosecution where appropriate.”
The book is being published by Penguin Group (USA), and when they announced its’ publication, they asked that the author’s real identity remain hidden. The publisher issued a request that said: “Mark Owen, like every SEAL he has served with, has put his life on the line time and again for his country for more than a decade. Sharing the true story of his personal experience in “No Easy Day” is a courageous act in the face of obvious risks to his personal security. That personal security is the sole reason the book is being published under a pseudonym. We respectfully request that all news organizations and all Americans consider these facts when deciding whether to pursue or publicize his real identity.”
Think Progress reported that “Penguin, the book’s publisher, had previously asked reporters not to divulge Owen’s real name, saying that he faced “risks to his personal security.” And CNN’s Barbara Starr said the network will not report Owen’s real name. “CNN is not doing so at this time at the request of the Pentagon,” she said yesterday, “which is citing its concern about the security of the other SEAL team members.”
There are serious issues that will be investigated by the military as to whether the author violated military protocol, and whether or not the book contains information that could endanger other soldiers.
There are issues with the publishing company not checking out the legality of the book before agreeing to print it. Although, Huffington Post reports that “Christine Ball, a spokeswoman for Dutton, said the work was vetted by a former special operations attorney provided by the author.“He vetted it for tactical, technical and procedural information as well as information that could be considered classified by compilation and found it to be without risk to national security,” Ball said.” The words “provided by the author” don’t inspire confidence in the opinion of this individual.
There are issues of questionable ethics in the decision to publish on September 11th and therefore benefit from a tragedy.
The author wrote under a pseudonymn, and both the publisher and the Pentagon requested the media not to divulge the authors real name due to security concerns, not only for the author, but for other members of the Navy SEAL team.
Nevertheless, as has been widely reported, Fox News was the first to publicly identify the author. There are many who are questioning Fox News’ decision. For example, Was Fox News wrong to ID the Navy SEAL who wrote about killing Osama bin Laden? is the title of an article in The Week.
The Examiner reports that “Although Fox has received negative press for publicizing the former SEAL’s actual name, it has defended its decision, saying, “Once you write a book, anonymously or not, you have no reasonable expectation of privacy.”
Once the identity of the author was made public, an al Qaeda forum reprinted the information and called for the author’s assassination. Think Progress reports “Fox News yesterday revealed Owen’s true identity and Business Insider published photos. Now it appears al-Qaeda affiliates and/or sympathizers are looking for revenge.”
Al Qaeda is a criminal group who specialize in terrorism, and bin Laden was their leader, so it seems that Fox News should have realized that identifying this man would put him in danger, and that once the identity of one of the men involved in the raid was known, identifying the other team members would be easier. Therefore, Fox News statement that the author has “no reasonable expectation of privacy” is very questionable. It is not only the individual author of this book that may have been put in danger by their release of this information.
While all of these questions remain, the New York Post reports that “The former Navy SEAL who has written his eyewitness account of the slaying of Osama bin Laden is in talks with Steven Spielberg to turn the book into an action movie, Page Six can exclusively reveal.” And, Forbes reports that the author also consulted on a video game “Medal of Honor: Warfighter” and that he is scheduled to appear on 60 Minutes on September 9th.
In a spectacular example of dishonesty, Pamela Geller posted an article titled Muslim on Online Forum Posts Photo Of Navy SEAL Who Participated In Bin Laden Raid And Calls For ‘Allah To Kill’ Him which said nothing about who had actually released this information. Her readers are left with the impression that it was a “Muslim” who leaked this information. And reading the comments makes it clear that that is the message they got loud and clear.
Ex-Navy SEAL compromised by identity reveal http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-18563_162-57499520/ex-navy-seal-compromised-by-identity-reveal/
Fox News’ Selfish Partisan Evil Endangers Navy SEAL http://crooksandliars.com/karoli/fox-news-selfish-partisan-evil-endangers-na?utm_medium=referral&utm_source=pulsenews