People of Northwest Public Radio
Wed September 5, 2012
SEAL Foundation Says It Won't Accept Money From Bin Laden Raid Book
Originally published on Thu September 6, 2012 3:44 am
Many reports have stated that Matt Bissonnette, the former Navy SEAL who wrote the book No Easy Day, plans to give a large share of his profits to the Navy SEAL Foundation, a group that aids Naval Special Warfare personnel and their families. But the foundation says it won't accept any money from the book, which has sparked questions over whether it contains classified details that could put U.S. military personnel at risk.
The book describes the SEAL raid that resulted in Osama bin Laden being shot to death on May 2, 2011. Bissonnette was reportedly part of SEAL Team 6, which undertook that mission. Pentagon officials say that he included "sensitive and classified information" in the book, which they did not get to review before publication.
In a just-released statement, the Navy SEAL Foundation says that it "is committed to providing immediate and ongoing support and assistance to the Naval Special Warfare community and their families. With this principled mission in mind, the Foundation will not be accepting any donations that are generated from the book or any related activities."
The book, which Bissonnette wrote under the pseudonym of Mark Owen, has topped the bestseller list at Amazon since it went on sale yesterday. After leaked copies became public in late August, its Penguin Group publisher, Dutton, moved up the publication date by a week and increased the first printing from 300,000 to 575,000 copies.
The SEAL foundation says that it has received many inquiries about possible donations stemming from the book's profits. Responding to those questions, the group noted Wednesday that the Pentagon has not yet ruled out taking legal action against Bissonnette.
"As a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, the Foundation is not involved with any of the actions taken by the DOD. The Navy SEAL Foundation honors our warriors and protects their families," the statement concludes.