The commander of the U.S. Naval Special Warfare Command said a new book about the raid that killed Osama bin Laden was “the last straw.”
During a visit to Oklahoma City, Rear Adm. Sean Pybus said Thursday the book “No Easy Day,” a memoir written by former Navy SEAL Matt Bissonnette, is a violation of the Navy's ideals and may have endangered U.S. troops. Pybus characterized the book as unacceptable.
By publishing the book, Pybus said, Bissonnette, who wrote under the pseudonym Mark Owen, was using his military history to seek attention and money — something that could damage the Navy's image.
“It ought to be enough to work with one of the military's finest forces,” he said.
Pybus told his force last week that “hawking details about a mission” and selling other information about SEAL training and operations puts the force and their families at risk.
“For an elite force that should be humble and disciplined for life, we are certainly not appearing to be so,” Pybus wrote in a letter to the roughly 8,000 troops under his command. “We owe our chain of command much better than this.”
The letter was obtained by The Associated Press.
Bissonnette, a member of SEAL Team Six, was a part of the raid on bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, that killed the al-Qaida leader.
His book was released Sept. 4 and was at the top of the Amazon.com Best Sellers list Thursday.
Bissonnette's decision to release the book without review by Pentagon officials has generated controversy in recent weeks.
In the book, Bissonnette writes that he was ascending a staircase in the dark when a SEAL ahead of him opened fire at bin Laden as he peeked out of a second-floor doorway, according to The Associated Press, which obtained a copy of the book. The SEALs discovered bin Laden lying in a pool of blood and fired several more times until his body stopped moving, the book claims.