Ex-Navy SEAL compromised by identity reveal

(CBS News) One of the Navy SEALs involved in the killing of Osama bin Laden was compromised Thursday when his identity was revealed by a television network.

It's the first time anyone on the mission has been exposed publicly. The man is a recently retired member of SEAL Team Six who has written the first, first-person account in a book to be published next month. The book, called "No Easy Day" was written under the pseudonym "Mark Owen."

Owen's true name was disclosed by Fox News today and later repeated by the Associated Press. CBS News does not identify members of classified counter-terrorism units.

The book is being promoted as the first inside account of the most daring counterterrorism operation since 9/11, written by one of the Navy SEALS who led the assault on the hideout of Osama bin Laden.

While much has already been disclosed about the raid, the publisher of the book, Dutton, quotes author Mark Owen as writing: "It is time to set the record straight about one of the most important missions in U.S. military history. 'No Easy Day' is the story of 'the guys,' the human toll we pay, and the sacrifices we make to do this dirty job..."

Sources say Owen, who is no longer a SEAL, did not get his manuscript approved, as required, by the Pentagon, the White House or the CIA.

Ex-Navy SEAL pens account of bin Laden raid

Owen could face legal problems If the government determines his book discloses classified information that could harm U.S. national security.

But his publisher is more concerned that Owen could face physical danger ... retaliation from al Qaeda or bin Laden sympathizers now that his identity has been revealed by Fox News and the Associated Press.

In a statement, Dutton said Owen "...has put his life on the line time and again for his country for more than a decade. We respectfully request that all news organizations ... consider these facts when deciding whether to pursue or publicize his real identity."

Legal experts say there's a remote chance that whoever leaked Owen's identity could be prosecuted for disclosing the name of a covert intelligence officer. While he was a SEAL employed by the Pentagon, the bin Laden raid was directed by the Central Intelligence Agency.

  • Bob Orr

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