A former US Navy SEAL who has written a book on his involvement in the military mission to assassinate al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden will be forced to pay the government nearly $7 million in royalties to avoid prosecution for not getting the necessary pre-publication approval for the work.
Matt Bissonette — who writes under the pen name Mark Owen — is to pay the US government more than $6.6 million for failing to get clearance from the US Defense Department before publishing the 2012 book — titled No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission that Killed Osama bin Laden — detailing his role in the secret raid that killed Bin Laden, the Associated Press reported Saturday.
Bissonette was put under investigation for breaking non-disclosure agreements and publishing the book without getting its contents cleared by the Pentagon, the report added, citing settlement documents filed with the US District Court in Virginia.
He has agreed to forfeit all profits and royalties, as well as film rights and speaking fees to bring an end to more than two years of civil and criminal investigations. In the settlement filed at the Virginia court, Bissonette admitted that he had failed to submit his book for review ahead of publication. “It was a serious error that I urge others not to repeat.”