You’d think it would be hard for the Pentagon to stay mad at one of the Navy SEALs who took out bin Laden, but Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is still fuming over the new book No Easy Day, in which former SEAL Mark Own (real name Matt Bissonnette) recounts the tale of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden. The defense secretary was in charge of the raid, and in an interview with CBS’s This Morning that airs Tuesday, he says it’s the lying that hurts the most.
Panetta notes that the Pentagon is still reviewing the book to see if it contains any classified information (Bissonnette insists in his account, “I’m not talking secrets. I’m not talking tactics”). However, even if the Pentagon determines that it isn’t a crime to offer up a detailed narrative that’s somewhat different from the president’s story, Panetta is still upset that Bissonnette didn’t bother to check with them first:
The fact that he did it without running it by the Pentagon so that we could take a look at it. I mean, deliberately, just basically said, “We’re not, you know, we’re not gonna do this.” That’s … that’s a concern. I cannot, as Secretary, send a signal to SEALs who conduct those operations, “Oh, you can conduct these operations and then go out and write a book about it … and/or sell your story to the New York Times.” How the hell can we run sensitive operations here that go after enemies if people are allowed to do that?
Panetta has a point, but he still has to admit that it’s good to see something knock 50 Shades of Grey off Amazon’s bestseller list.