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Top Pentagon officials are deeply troubled by a former Navy SEAL's publication of a book about the May 2011 raid that killed Osama bin Laden but that won't stop troops worldwide from buying the book at local exchange service stores.
"There has been no directive from this department to withhold sale of the book from military exchanges," Pentagon spokesman George Little said Tuesday. "This book is being made widely available in bookstores and online. It is not our typical practice to get into the business of deciding what does and what does not go on bookshelves in military exchanges."
The Pentagon is considering legal action against the former SEAL who wrote the book, "No Easy Day," under the pseudonym "Mark Owen." The book was released nationwide today and contains classified information that puts the author in violation of a confidentiality agreement he signed with the Navy, Little said.
An attorney for the author maintains that the confidentiality agreement he signed did not require submission for prepublication review.
Little said permission to sell the book on military installations should not be interpreted as a lack of concern within the Pentagon about the risks posed by its publication.
Sale of the book on installations "doesn't mean in any way, shape or form that we don't have serious concerns about the fact that the process of pre-publication review was not followed. This is a solemn obligation and the author in this case elected not to abide by his legal obligations," Little said.
He declined to say what that classified information might be in the book and the risks it may pose.