September 10, 2012, - 1:36 pm

Navy SEAL Matt Bissonnette Should be Prosecuted (But Won’t Be): “No Easy Day” & the “60 Minutes” Interview

By Debbie Schlussel

Did you see last night’s CBS News “60 Minutes” interview with former Navy SEAL Matt Bissonnette (some sources say his real name is Mark Bisonnette) a/k/a “Mark Owen”? If you missed it, I’ve posted the video below. The author of “No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama Bin Laden” says he is one of two SEALs who shot Osama Bin Laden in last year’s raid on the crappiest-looking “mansion” ever–the Bin Laden compound in Abottabad, Pakistan. The interview was timed to coincide with the release of the book.


Yes, the interview was interesting and riveting. Yes, it was cool to see and hear what the raid was like, the planning that went into it, and how it went down. And it answered a gawker-like curiosity: who the SEAL that shot Bin Laden was, what he looks like, and what his mannerisms are? But America does not need to learn this information. And a Navy SEAL disclosing it is no different than a U.S. soldier releasing thousands of classified documents via Wikileaks. Different motives, but the same illicit behavior. It’s a national security risk. And a huge violation of what Mark Bissonnette agreed to do when he signed the agreement every Navy SEAL must sign, agreeing to keep details of his missions confidential.

For those on the right who want to make this about a SEAL exposing frauds told by Barack Obama, that’s ridiculous. This isn’t about Obama or “getting” him politically. Obama will be gone in four months or four years. But the damage of what Mark Bissonnette did will last far longer and is more important than politics: government officials breaching top secret clearances and classified restrictions that are there for a reason. And for that Bissonnette should be prosecuted, but he won’t be. He won’t be prosecuted because . . . good luck finding a jury who will convict and send to prison the man that killed the mastermind of the largest massacre of Americans on U.S. soil (or anywhere else).

Bissonnette claimed in last night’s interview that he didn’t release any confidential information or breach any restrictions regarding the disclosure of sources and methods. But I’m not so sure. And he can’t be either. The Pentagon says there is classified information in the book, and Pentagon officials would know this far better than Bissonnette, who is trained to do his job, not to know which details are a secret and which aren’t. That’s for the military brass to decipher, not him.


Bissonnette seems like a cool guy, the kind you’d want to have a beer with. He’s definitely a hero for what he did and for doing it well. But disclosing it to the public is not heroic at all. It’s shameless publicity-seeking, and sets a dangerous precedent for those who come after him and not just in the Navy SEALs, but in the Green Berets, Special Forces, etc. The men who go into these professions know they are supposed to remain nameless, faceless, and silent. Sadly, in recent years, the Navy SEALs have become a league of publicity hounds, from the anti-Semitic, cheesy “Act of Valor” movie (read my review) to Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, who modestly calls himself the best there is–”the most lethal sniper in U.S. military history–in the title of his own book. You don’t see this kind of braggadocio from the Army Special Forces and other similar outfits in the U.S. Armed Forces. And that’s because they know the deal. You don’t get to talk. We simply cannot operate with everyone in these positions of secrecy blabbing to the world. And if you do speak publicly, particularly in a book, you have to run it through the Pentagon to review it first. Bissonnette didn’t do this. He broke the rules and should pay the price, but he won’t.

My friend, FBI Special Agent Robert Wright, was involved in several high-level HAMAS terrorist investigations in the U.S. (some of them with strong ties to Al-Qaeda), including “Operation Vulgar Betrayal.” Bob spoke out on ABC News after 9/11 because the Bush Administration was doing nothing to remove Specially Designated Terrorists from HAMAS from America’s streets. He said more people would die if he did not do something to push the Bush Administration into action. And he was right. But the FBI went after him for speaking out on ABC News. And he wrote two books on the matter, but he did the right thing. He submitted them to the FBI for review, and the FBI won’t allow him to release them. He filed suit and continues to be embroiled in the fight to get these books published. It’s unfair to him and the many federal officials doing important work in the fight against Islamic terrorism that they must wait forever and go through the process, while Bissonnette just does what he wants, despite agreeing to do otherwise when he took the job.

While I was riveted by his interview last night, perhaps I’m out of line for saying so, but other than entertainment, I got only three things out of the interview: 1) that Bissonnette is kinda chubby–which was surprising because Navy SEALs are supposed to be physical specimens of superhuman strength and endurance (but they spent four hours disguising him, so that might explain it, although he doesn’t look too different from purported photos of himself floating around the net); 2) that Bissonnette while rumored, according to FOX News–which outed him, to live in Alaska, has to be from Boston or somewhere in New England with his use of the adjective “wicked” when he called the CIA agent, “wicked smart”–a Boston colloquialism; and 3) that the CIA agent who planned the whole thing is named Jennifer or “Jen” (apparently, her parents got the “Jennifer” memo of the late ’60s and ’70s). Hmmm . . . if we are to believe that there was actually a CIA agent named Jen who planned the whole thing–and that it’s not a propaganda story designed to prop up and recruit women to the CIA or make Al-Qaeda mad that a woman helped take its leader down, if I were an Al-Qaeda spy I’d be looking for a CIA agent named Jen to target for a hit (assuming that is her real first name and not a pseudonym).

Other than those three useless (except to the enemy) items and sheer entertainment value, there was no reason for the interview and no reason for the book. We really didn’t need to know any of this or what is in the book, whatever it is (I haven’t read it, but the Pentagon brass have, and they’re angry). America would have missed nothing had Mark Bissonnette chosen to stay silent. In fact, we’d be better off seeing the dead Bin Laden photos, which Barack Obama still won’t let us see out of concern over angering his Muslim friends, rather than hear Bissonnette’s story, which adds nothing to our knowledge base beyond superficial entertainment and adds everything to aiding and abetting the enemy in knowing our operational tactics and procedures.

And, finally, there is the issue of both FOX News and CBS News’ Scott Pelley, the uber-arrogant, exuberantly officious anchor of the nightly newscast no one watches, who did last night’s interview with Bissonnette. Pelley repeatedly called Bissonnette by his now-useless alias, “Mark Owen.” That’s silly because he was outed weeks ago, and everyone now knows who he is. Genie’s out of the bottle, dude. For Scott Pelley to act like he’s some high-brow journalist for sticking to the pseudonym is beyond absurd. And don’t forget that it was FOX News Channel a/k/a “PAWNN” (the Prince Al-Waleed News Network) that outed Bissonnette, giving his real name and telling us he lives in Alaska. I’m sure someone will tell me that if PAWNN didn’t do it, another network would have. Riiight. Puh-leeze. If CNN or MSNBC or ABC or CBS had outed Bissonnette, conservatives would be pouncing all over them for the obvious reasons: it’s not patriotic, and it’s harmful to national security. But since FOX News is the faux-conservative network, all is forgiven by the hypocrites on the right.

FOX News’ lame excuse for outing him is that he “had no reasonable expectation of privacy,” something we’d hear out of the mouths of Al-Jazeera terrorist sympathizers and mainstream American media outlet Marxists in the New York Times or at ABC News. How ’bout patriotic Americans’ “reasonable expectation” that FOX News actually cares about America’s national security and this man’s safety? More important, what about the reasonable expectation of safety and anonymity of the fellow SEALs on the mission, who did not write books? Any terrorist that finds this guy could torture him or find some other way of learning the names and identities of the others.

Back to Pelley, who did last night’s interview. he’s is a crappy “reporter” who creates propaganda, as he did when he “interviewed” Hezbollah spy/former CIA/FBI agent, Nada Nadim Al-Aouar DelaDurataye Valley Prouty, in which he repeatedly lied to the viewers on her behalf in a phony sob story of “patriotism.” Pelley does us no favors here in his interview with Bissonnette, in which he repeatedly feigns amazement, regarding Bissonnette’s claim that some Navy SEALs caught an hour of sleep on the helicopter to the Bin Laden kill or that, after the mission was over, Bissonnette went to Taco Bell for a meal. Not sure why any of these stories are surprising. Was he expecting Bissonnette to tell him that, after the mission, he no longer had the human need for food and calories? He’s a human like everyone else.

And like too many other humans, in our fame-obsessed Facebook/Twitter/YouTube era, Mark Bissonnette couldn’t completely pledge himself to patriotism and American national security by shutting the bleep up.

I agree with General James Vaught, a retired officer who oversaw the Army’s elite Delta forces. He criticized the SEALs’ involvement in “Act of Valor” and takes the same view of Bissonnette.

“Get the hell out of the media . . . We don’t ever want to get to the point where our sensitive tactics, techniques and procedures are open for everybody to take a look at so the next time we come in on a target we are exposed.”

On Friday, Gen. Vaught criticized Mr. Bissonnette for circumventing the traditional military vetting process and seeking to elevate himself.

“They are trying to appoint themselves as unique heroes, when they’re no damn thing. I had guys that worked for me that make them look like children,” he said.

“I think it’s a stupid act and a very grand disservice to the other members of the SEAL community,” Gen. Vaught said.

Mark (or Matt) Bissonnette’s thirteen combat deployments and successful SEAL Team Six Bin Laden mission are heroic and valorous. His public discussion of the Bin Laden mission is neither.

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33 Responses

Ordinarily, you’d think that the satisfaction of having been a Navy SEAL and the prestige that carries is enough. I know in my case that I have increased respect and admiration for all sorts of people – Vietnam vets, SF (SEALS not so much because I was Army): people who’ve done and achieved things that are extraordinary – much more than, say, celebrities. But, I don’t think that the majority of the public is like I am. In a culture where reality-TV stars who aren’t particularly talented, attractive or gifted in any way are celebrated and rewarded, it’s possible to see why this guy was tempted to and did sell-out.

I’m not saying that what he did was right, but I can see why he did it.

DS_ROCKS! on September 10, 2012 at 1:53 pm

Sorry Debbie, but on this one your indignation seems a little, um, SELECTIVE. The elephant in the room here is the obvious fact that Barack Obama is certainly at least as deserving of indictment for giving up info about the bin Ladin raid. And while we’re at it, perhaps they should indict Sen. Feinstein for revealing that classified info about the drone program.

ONE standard under law, folks. Is that really too much to ask?

Statusmonkey on September 10, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    I agree. You know what this guy gave up a lot of his life for this country and was ready to die for his country and for the government first of all to be pissed at him is obsurd. The american people dont obviously get it either. The government hides information from the american people every day of their (our) lives so its about time someone stand up and tells america whats going on. This book doesnt reveal even half of what the government knows about what went on over there it basically is a descriptive story of what we already know; that the seals killed bin ladin. Maybe if america knew more about what goes on in their own country they would be better off. The founding fathers made these laws for a reason so everyone needs to get off this guys back and get on the governments for not telling americans more of whats going on. Its called freedom of speech.

    willis0908 on September 27, 2012 at 4:57 pm

No one in the Israeli special forces ever gives interviews or breaks the code of silence.

Say what you like about the Israelis – they’re not publicity hounds and they don’t seek fame. The only satisfaction they have is doing dangerous work to protect their country.

For Mark Bissonnette, his ego and personal needs took precedence over the lives of his fellow soldiers and the welfare of the country.

You can’t expect a SEAL to keep his mouth shut for the good of his unit or for good of the service. That’s passe these days when every one has gotta have their 15 minutes of fame. Whether or not its truly deserved.

NormanF on September 10, 2012 at 2:37 pm

I have no problem with him writing a book. If he gave no secrets away then fine by me. At least he was there and can give an accurate account of what happened. I love first person accounts which tell the story as it unfolds. I will reserve judgment on the book itself until I read it.

Glen Benjamin on September 10, 2012 at 2:56 pm

Plus more information is released on those science shows that show all the secret weapons being worked on and how they work. His telling the story of the raid is nothing compared to what can be had and what is exposed so easily.

Glen Benjamin on September 10, 2012 at 2:58 pm

Loose lips sink ships. Still true today. It seems no one can keep their mouth shut, from the White House on down. Sure, he should be prosecuted, along with the leakers in the Obama administration.

John on September 10, 2012 at 3:19 pm

The author of this book should have followed the directions given him by his superiors regarding what he could put in the book and even any advice given on the book or whether to write a book. The opinions of the other SEAL team members is very telling on what this book means, they say he is not welcome in the circle of SEALs ever again. That kind of disgrace takes it to a whole different level than just pissing off the government. For the rest of the SEALs to do that, you know he screwed up bad. As a veteran, but not of anything approaching a spec ops unit, I know that there are certain things you don’t blab about even long after you discharge. And there are many civilians who have friends and family members in the military that know that you don’t reveal certain information in public (the internet) that they know simply because they know the service member. If the U.S. will prosecute a soldier for bitch slapping enemy combatants, I don’t see why they wouldn’t prosecute someone who has compromised U.S. national security and the SEAL teams.

RT on September 10, 2012 at 3:34 pm

Debbie – I agree with you that no civilian jury would convict him. However, can’t he be court-martialed under military law?

I_AM_ME on September 10, 2012 at 3:56 pm

The video (on my end) keeps starting and stopping but the bit I have heard of his accent does not sound Bostonian…did they use someone else’s voice perhaps?

That being said “wicked” is indeed a Bostonian/New England colloquialism. We use it often and it’s amusing to those not from the area…but not as amusing as our very strange and unique accents (which I do not speak in…or at least I try not to…but you can hear it when I said “weird” (WE-ARD) or “queer” (Quee-AR).

Oh, I just heard that pompous prig Pelly say they have altered his voice. I thought so. It sounds altered and pronounced.

Wicked is a very good clue….

Skunky on September 10, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    @Skuzzy,

    Me, me, me, me me.

    [yawn]

    SPEAKING of pomposity…

    Statusmonkey on September 10, 2012 at 6:26 pm

He should have submitted the book for review. If the Pentagon refused to allow its release in any reasonable form, a lawsuit should have been forthcoming at that point. The author and the publisher who knowingly evaded military disclosure requirement should be pursued legally.

Worry on September 10, 2012 at 6:53 pm

If there was nothing in the book to worry about, why not submit it for review?

Mark
Newar, CA

Mark D on September 10, 2012 at 7:31 pm

    To take the other side Mark, the fear would be that it would never be approved. Debbie mentioned Special Agent Robert Wright’s case. Try reading the whole post.

    However, Bissonnette should have at least attempted to go through the regular process. Pursuing legal remedies after that would have been appropriate.

    Worry01 on September 10, 2012 at 8:54 pm

I’m still wondering who these Navy seals killed and hauled away in a body bag. Dr. Steve R. Pieczenik, who worked counter-intelligence under three presidents and who Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan character is based upon, has long claimed that Bin Laden died more than a decade ago shortly after 9/11. It’s been long-established that the videos of him released post 9/11 were staged by the CIA as part of their false flag operations. This guy doesn’t know who he killed. He only knows what he was told. He couldn’t identify the guy.

Gary Welsh on September 10, 2012 at 8:17 pm

I think the publicity seeking individual in a job of this nature is out of line. I believe this one individual has ultimately shamed himself & tarnished his team & the high standard we have all come to respect of such an elite group within our military. This certainly doesn’t sound in line with the character of my grandfathers military.

Brian Phillips on September 10, 2012 at 9:00 pm

I give absolutely no credence to the government conspiracy types who are floating around the Internet, despite some fancy graphics and lots of “references” and sources. That being said (er . . . written), I now believe this entire event has the blessing from the blackest corner of the U.S. military/intelligence services. Why it’s being done, I don’t know. But there was NOTHING of value in that hour long show that wasn’t known already. Any new tidbit was, in the grand scheme of things, unimportant.

It was done for the benefit of something, but I don’t for a minute think that a Navy Seal is going to write and publish anything that doesn’t have some blessing from on high.

Two annoying observations:

1. I am tired of authors/artists/etc. saying that portions of the profits from the work will be donated to charities which will benefit . . . blah, blah, blah. How much of a “portion?” How about a percentage of the gross, rather than the profit? Remember what Eddie Murphy said about “profits” in Hollywood? Monkey points.

2. If Scot Pelley sticks the end of his glasses into his mouth one more time in order to look serious and intense, I’m going to scream.

gmartinz on September 10, 2012 at 9:33 pm

This is America , the 2012 edition. Celebrity Uber Alis.
Honey BooBoo
Shnookie
And now a Navy Seal

Not Ovenready on September 11, 2012 at 12:42 am

DS:
I disagree with you. This book will be a tribute to our fine SEALS. Under this administration, there is far too much secrecy. The American people have a right to know exactly what our Government is up to.

Robin

Robin on September 11, 2012 at 1:26 am

There is way too much secrecy in government at all levels.

Brian on September 11, 2012 at 1:26 am

One thing I learned working for the feds is when it comes to secrets, the are no secrets….everybody has the dish on something or someone and they’re always chomping at the bit to let it out.

IceNoMore on September 11, 2012 at 8:17 am

Debbie, The Obama White House was the first to hand over sensitive bin Laden raid information to news agencies and to Hollywood producers so they could create a fawning movie about Obama’s greatness. Remember the outcry from even Dems in Congress about those leaks? I know Obama is a selfish, naval-gazing, anti-American, but this SEAL doing the same thing surprised me.
It could be that the White House hasn’t treated this SEAL team well, which wouldn’t surprise me, either, but the code to never out intelligence secrets should out way any personal vendetta that one of them has against any sitting president.

Dina K on September 11, 2012 at 10:52 am

I do not think this guy brok any law due to the fact he only repeated what Obama and his staff has already released. If thy go after this guy , They will have to go after the people in the white house. They are also subject our laws . No one is suppose to be excused………………OBAMA BOY FRIEND AND FELONY PASS WITH DOPE ””””http://liberty.com/content/barack-obama-used-cocaine-had-gay-sex-1999 >> Obama must be defeated.******SHARE THIS WITH AMERICA !!!!***** http://www.snopes.com/politics/soapbox/trojanhorse.asp**** Obama admit he is a muslism*http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=tCAffMSWSzY#t=28*

Walter on September 11, 2012 at 11:10 am

This whole affair surprises me and then it doesn’t. On the one hand you have a Navy SEAL writing a book that according to him doesn’t have any classified information enclosed. Then on the other hand you have the most transparent administration on the planet saying that he’s full of it. Now who do we believe. Even though that Odumbo and Panetta are lunkheads I happen to think that Bissonnette should have let the Navy vet his book just to make sure that it was ok. Debbie’s right in the fact that he wouldn’t have known what was and wasn’t cleared due to his job. Sadly because of his wanting to get the story out there he has lost the loyalty of his fellow SEALs. That has got to be a blow to Bissonnette because like the Green Berets these are a select group of individuals who form a brotherhood.
Now on to Scott Pelly. This clown is nothning but a pompous twit with an extra large cranium. He tried to look so serious in that interview but came across as a goofball. I’m so greatful that we have other sources to get the news because this dipwad along with the other two Obama butt sniffers Williams and Sawyer are just unwatchable.

Ken b on September 11, 2012 at 12:05 pm

If anyone wants to know the who, what, where, and why things are “classified,” go to the Defense Security Service website dss.gov. Then, download and read the National Industrial Security Program Operations Manual (and all amendments) (NISPOM). If this [Mark] former NAVSPECWARDEVGRU operator actually DID release “classified” information- he would ALREADY be in custody period. If ANY of his alleged “releases” can be proven to of already been in the Public Domain-even in the slightest-he CANNOT be prosecuted criminally. I am not certain as to the applicability of the UCMJ regarding this issue (he is Retired from the Naval Service). NCIS, DSS, SECDEF, SECNAV, CNO, COMNAVSPECWAR, COMUSSOC, etc et al all the way down the food chain to include any and all J-2, OICJICs …everyone involved would know EXACTLY what is, or is NOT “classified.” He’d already be in custody.
As to his violating the SEAL Esprit de Corps, and tarnishing the Frogs past and present, Bissinette- well it’s as if he NEVER was a Frog…something to the effect that if nobody utters his name, then he does not exist. There is a saying, “whatever goes on patrol stays on patrol.”

Sick_Boy on September 11, 2012 at 3:57 pm

I have read the book and seen the interview on 60 Minutes. I love Mark Bissonnette. What he and the other SEALS and Special Ops have done for this country is nothing short of amazing.

I may not be the best judge, but I didn’t read or see anything I would say is classified. The news articles I read right after the raid gave a LOT more detail on the capabilities of the downed helicopter than this book or interview gave. I was appalled by the newspaper (liberal) article. I found nothing appalling connected to Mark Bissonnette.

I thought the book hid the identies of the involved men very well. I do not know any names. I know some are married and some are not. I do not know if Mark is married. How vague and appropriate. Stories of good men like this is exactly what the children and adults in this country need. Are we really supposed to think the occupy wall street crowd are heroes? Gag me. They are cowardly greedy scum. Any idiot can complain that they are not receiving enough free stuff. It takes supreme chararcter to be a Special Op and actually work rowards a better world.

Of course Obama doesn’t want stories of real men out there in our culture. His narcissistic, America-hating, arugula eating pansy self doesn’t measure up. Not even close. And he knows it.

So he goes after a real American. He diminishes Mark Bissonnnette so people will not concentrate on obama’s total incompetence so he can get re-elected to finish running this country into the ground.

Don’t fall for it. Read the book yourself. Don’t listen to obama’s smoke and mirrors. Make up your own mind.

I really appreciated the list of fallen Special Ops at the end of the book. It made me cry, these beautiful men willing to die for us and our country. I have so much more respect for them than the cowardly government in Washington who can’t even balance a budget.

Nancy K on September 11, 2012 at 5:54 pm

Scott Pelley did an interview with Condoleeza Rice that was precious. Mind you that I care for neither of the two. He was so aggressive that she finally told him (basically), “Look Scott, you can let me speak or we can end the interview.”

Can’t stand to watch him. Like Debbie wrote, the news that no one watches.

Richard on September 12, 2012 at 11:52 pm

How dare you u fucking self righteous bitch? He had his a full on disguise which layered his face to look chubby u retard. And who the fuck are you to say what he can and cannot do? Do you have security 4 clearance …stick to the housewives of beverly hills…leave our people alone-you should be grateful for st6, devgru and our operators around the globe making itto safe for you and your fat ass 9-5 corporate husband sleep well at night. Go fuck yourself .
Name withheld

Youfukingcuntdebbie on September 13, 2012 at 11:18 pm

    LOL,so well put, gotta love ya man!

    nightstlker on September 25, 2012 at 10:25 pm

I saw Acts Of Valor and while I was in awe of our military…my brain kept saying “why the hell are we revealing tactics? That’s just risky& dumb!”. Its a movie&I’m a civilian. They could’ve made some stuff up and id still think its cool. Divulging actual tactics is simply unnecessry and ego tripping. Yes…I know the SEALS Kick as*…no need to let our enemies and every socio/psycho get any bright ideas. Keep it in the family. And yes..I’m just patriotic enough to feel mark broke a code of silence legal or not…its just not done. U don’t serve in the military for accolades or glory..you do it for God & country. Writing a book abt a historical mission? Ego. He should be shunned.And putting himself in the public eye does create risk for fellow SEALS and that’s unforgivable no matter how small the risk..its not his risk to take.

imani on November 13, 2012 at 1:59 am

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