Trouble for Ex-SEAL Who Wrote bin Laden Book

Matt Bissonnette is under criminal investigation
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 31, 2014 10:15 AM CDT
Trouble for Ex-SEAL Who Wrote bin Laden Book
The fatigue shirt showing an American flag emblem, worn by a US Navy SEAL during the mission to capture Osama bin Laden, is seen in a case at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum in New York.   (AP Photo/National September 11 Memorial and Museum, Jin Lee)

Matt Bissonnette, the former Navy SEAL whose book about the Osama bin Laden raid caused plenty of controversy, is officially under criminal investigation. Bissonnette's lawyer says federal officials are investigating whether Bissonnette disclosed classified material in No Easy Day. While the Pentagon in 2012 said Bissonnette might face legal action (he admitted to not following vetting procedures), his lawyer believed the parties had reached a settlement in the spring that would see Bissonnette forfeit some of his royalties. And in July, a Pentagon spokesman told Foreign Policy that "settlement negotiations continue with an intent to pursue litigation if talks break down." But the Justice Department opened the criminal probe rather than OK'ing a deal.

Even so, Bissonnette's lawyer says he expects the investigation to be "resolved favorably." But other sources tell the New York Times the investigators appear to be zeroing in on paid speeches Bissonnette has given at corporate events. The Times doesn't elaborate on what their speech-related concerns may be, but it does note that at one such speech last year, audience members' phones were reportedly collected to prevent the talk from being recorded. The news comes as the SEAL who killed bin Laden is set to reveal himself. (More Matt Bissonnette stories.)

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