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Pentagon says 'No Easy Day' contains classified information

The cover for the book, 'No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama bin Laden' by Mark Owen, is seen in this undated photo.
August 29, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
A Navy SEAL's book about the raid that killed Osama bin Laden was released Tuesday and Pentagon officials said it contains classified information.

The book, "No Easy Day," written by an ex-SEAL Team Six member under the pseudonym Mark Owen, has been No. 1 on Amazon.com's pre-sale list for the last two weeks. The publisher says it's a blow-by-blow narrative of last year's assault, beginning with the helicopter crash and ending with the phone call confirming the al Qaeda leader's death.

The Pentagon isn't looking to stop people from reading it, but may stop the author from profiting from it.

"We are concerned that classified information may be contained in this book," said George Little, a Pentagon spokesman.

"This is a solemn obligation," Little added. "And the author in this case elected not to abide by his legal obligations. And that's disheartening and, frankly, is something that we're taking a very close look at."

The Pentagon said Owen did not follow his legal obligation to send the book to the Pentagon for pre-publication review. The author may soon be prosecuted.

"The author is in material breach of his secrecy agreement with the United States government," Little said.

Owen's attorney said his client sought legal responsibilities before agreeing to publish the book and scrupulously reviewed the work to ensure that it did not disclose any material that would breach his agreements or put his former comrades at risk.

On Sunday's "60 Minutes," a disguised Owen responds about the political implications.

"My worry from the beginning is it's a political season. This book is not political whatsoever, it doesn't bad mouth either party," Owen said.

All the controversy only seems to be helping book sales.

On Tuesday, ABC News obtained a copy of a memo written by the SEAL's commander to members of his unit. In it, he says he's "disappointed, embarrassed and concerned" troops are openly speaking about their secret work.

Former Special Operations commandos also put out a book. It's called "No Easy Op," a rebuttal to Owen's publication.

"What do you do when you find yourself pissed off at your former employer, out of a job, and in need of a paycheck? You start cashing in your chips," they said.


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