Matt Bissonnette‘s “No Easy Day” case has been resolved, and he has been ordered to pay more than $6 million to the American government. Bissonnette has also apologized for his mistake.
Mr. Bissonnette, a former Navy Seal, was part of The United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group (NSWDG), or DEVGRU, which is a U.S. Navy component of Joint Special Operations Command better known as SEAL Team Six.
Bissonnette, who was part of the extraordinary group of men, who killed Osama bin Laden in May 2011, published a book entitled “No Easy Day” under the pseudonym Mark Owen. The book was a best seller and took in million of dollars and was used for movies.
He also made a fortune doing consulting work for military contractors while he was still on the SEAL team. However, there are a few big problems with “No Easy Day” – Mr. Bissonnette violated non-disclosure agreements and failed to get the proper authorization from the Defense Department to use certain documents before releasing his book.
The U.S. government filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Virginia and on Friday they won. According to the settlement:
“Bissonnette will give the U.S. government all profits and royalties from the book or movie rights. The proceeds already total more than $6.6 million. Bissonnette also has 30 days to pay $100,000 from the proceeds of presentations he gave using slides that were not approved by the department. Under the agreement, Bissonnette said he would acknowledge he made a mistake by failing to submit the book for pre-publication review. And in exchange for the payments, the U.S. government has dismissed other liability claims.”
Justice Department spokeswoman Nicole Navas said:
“The agreement doesn’t discredit Bissonnette’s military service but reinforces that service members comply with the non-disclosure documents they sign.”
Mr. Bissonnette stated that he should have submitted “No Easy Day” for vetting before it was published in 2012 “so Pentagon officials could ensure that it did not include classified information.” Mr. Bissonnette went on to say:
“I acknowledge my mistake and have paid a stiff price, both personally and financially, for that error,” he said in a statement Friday. “I accept responsibility for failing to submit the book for review and apologize sincerely for my oversight.”
Bissonnette’s second book “No Hero: the Evolution of a Navy SEAL,” which focuses on his life as a member of SEAL Team Six, was first vetted before being released.