No SEAL of approval: Commando writes unsanctioned book about Bin Laden raid

Cover art for "No Easy Day" by Mark Owen/Dutton Publishing
A new book detailing the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden, could lead to its author and publisher facing an investigation after it emerged the Pentagon had not granted permission for its publication.

The much anticipated account, entitled “No Easy Day”, was written by Matt Bisonette under the pseudonym Mark Owen. Bisonette is a retired Navy SEAL who participated in the mission that killed America’s number one terrorist enemy.

However, the author may now be subject to an investigation, as he failed to consult the Defense Department before publication, Colonel Tim Nye, spokesman for the US Special Operations Command told Reuters.

Bisonette had originally intended to publish the novel safely under the pseudonym Mark Owen in an attempt to shield him from the anticipated investigations that would certainly follow.

However, a day after news of the book hit the internet, so too did his true identity.

Matt Bisonette was first identified as the author by Fox news, later confirmed by the Associated Press. Bissonnette, 36, has been awarded five Bronze Stars and a Purple Heart, according to his service record, as reported by the New York Times.

Bisonette had said in a press release through his publishers that the book is an attempt to “set the record straight about one of the most important missions in US military history."

“‘No Easy Day’ is the story of ‘the guys’, the human toll we pay, and the sacrifices we make to do this dirty job,” according to Bisonette.

According to his publishers, Bisonette was "one of the first men through the door on the third floor of the terrorist leader's hideout and was present at his death."

However, none of the major government authorities involved in the planning and execution of the raid – the Pentagon, the White House, or the CIA – have vetted the book, and the author could face criminal charges if he reveals any classified information about the events of that fateful day.

"This book came as a surprise to folks at the Pentagon," a senior defense official said, speaking on condition of anonymity, as reported by Reuters. "Naturally, we'll be interested to read the book when it is made available."

The White House was equally surprised, as spokesman Tommy Vietor said "We learned about this book today from press reports. We haven't reviewed it and don't know what it says."

And the CIA? "As far as we can determine, this book was not submitted for pre-publication review," according to spokesman Preston Golson.

Dutton says the book was vetted by a former special operations officer provided by the author and that no confidential information had been revealed.

Former special operations agents must often sign nondisclosure agreements, forbidding them to release sensitive information.

With controversy swirling around White House intelligence leaks running up to the November presidential election, and Obama under Republican criticism that he is taking too much credit for the May 2011 raid, there is speculation that the book is in some way politically motivated.

However, no one can really know until its release on the 11th anniversary of the September 11 attacks.