The former SEAL who took part in the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden has settled with the US government. He had been accused of violating federal law after penning a tell-all memoir.
Matt Bissonnette will pay the US government more than $6.6 million (5.8 million euros) for violating a non-disclosure agreement, reports revealed on Saturday.
The ex-SEAL, who was a member of the team that killed the terrorist leader in May 2011, drew controversy after publishing a book, “No Easy Day,” that detailed the events leading up to Bin Laden’s killing.
“After the initial accusations of me leaking all that classified stuff…they found nothing,” Bissonnette said in an interview with news website the Daily Beast.
The Obama Administration filed a claim against Bissonnette after he published the book without first giving it to the Pentagon for approval. In addition to the proceeds from the book, the former member of the military will also pay $100,000 in proceeds from presentations he gave using photographs that were also not approved.
Bissonnette will also have to issue an apology for not submitting the manuscript for a formal review prior to publication.
Justice Department spokesperson Nicole Navas said this case should serve as a reminder to military personnel that they must comply with non-disclosure agreements.
Another Navy SEAL, Robert O’Neill, also drew controversy after he told the public he shot Bin Laden. The US Navy Criminal Investigation Service (NCIS) opened an investigation into him, although he claimed he didn’t reveal anything classified.
O’Neill’s account of what happened also differed from that of Bissonnette, who claimed that a different SEAL likely fired the fatal shots.
blc/rc (AP, AFP, dpa)