Ex-SEAL Sues Lawyers Over bin Laden Book

Matt Bissonnette: Ex-lawyers gave me bad advice
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 6, 2014 7:41 AM CST
In this Sept. 5, 2014 photo provided by the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, a detail of the fatigue shirt which was worn by the US Navy SEAL during the mission to capture Osama bin Laden.   (AP Photo/National September 11 Memorial and Museum, Jin Lee)

(Newser) – Matt Bissonnette, the former Navy SEAL who wrote a book about the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, is suing his former lawyers for malpractice, saying they gave him bad advice that tarnished his reputation, cost him his security clearance and caused him to surrender much of the book's income. Using the pseudonym Mark Owen, Bissonnette, now under criminal investigation, filed the lawsuit in federal court yesterday. His 2012 book, No Easy Day, eventually prompted a criminal probe by the Justice Department. He says his losses will amount to at least $8 million after he agreed to surrender most of the book's proceeds. He says he also will lose consulting jobs, speaking engagements, and future employment.

Named as defendants are attorney Kevin Podlaski and the Carson Boxberger LLC firm in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Bissonnette says he acted on the advice of his former lawyers when he refused to let the Department of Defense and other government agencies perform a pre-publication review of his book and when he relied on their advice that they had removed all classified and sensitive information. "He was devoted to not disclosing anything he thought could be used by America's enemies," the lawsuit says. It also notes Bissonnette has agreed to forfeit to the US government the majority of all income he has received from the book along with future income. It says the payment to the government has already exceeded $4.5 million. Meanwhile, the SEAL who claims to have killed bin Laden is coming forward.

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