Pentagon weighing options against former SEAL; lawyer says he didn't violate agreements


Associated Press

Posted on August 31, 2012 at 12:32 PM

Updated Friday, Aug 31 at 12:32 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — A lawyer for the former Navy SEAL who wrote a book about the raid that killed Osama bin Laden says his client is not violating any non-disclosure agreements.

Attorney Robert Luskin made that assertion in a letter to the Pentagon's top lawyer today.

He says the former SEAL "sought legal advice about his responsibilities before agreeing to publish his book" -- and that he made sure it "did not disclose any material that would breach his agreements or put his former comrades at risk."

But the Pentagon says it is considering legal action against the author. It says it hasn't made a final judgment on whether the book actually reveals secrets.

A Pentagon spokesman says the author is considered to be in violation of two non-disclosure agreements that he signed in 2007, by failing to submit the book for an official security review before it's published.

He won't say what legal options the Pentagon is considering, or when it might act.

The lawyer for the former SEAL says he has "earned the right to tell his story."

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APPHOTO WX129: FILE - This book cover image released by Dutton shows "No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission that Killed Osama Bin Laden," by Mark Owen with Kevin Maurer. The Pentagon's top lawyer has informed the former Navy SEAL who authored the forthcoming book describing details of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden that he violated agreements to not divulge military secrets and that as a result the Pentagon is considering taking legal action against him. The general counsel of the Defense Department, Jeh Johnson, wrote in a letter transmitted to the author on Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012, that he had signed two nondisclosure agreements with the Navy in 2007 that obliged him to "never divulge" classified information. Johnson said that after reviewing a copy of the book, "No Easy Day," the Pentagon concluded that the author is in "material breach and violation" of the agreements. (AP Photo/Dutton, File) (22 Aug 2012)

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