The federal government wants to seize all royalties made from the publication No Easy Day, Mark Owen’s memoir about the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden.
Mark Owen, whose real name is Matt Bissonnette, is a former Navy SEAL who participated in the mission. He published his memoir in September 2012, less than a year and a half after the raid. It quickly topped the best-seller lists–and provoked the ire of Pentagon officials. (RELATED: Gen. Wesley Clark On SEAL Team 6 Book)
“The department continues to assert forcefully that Mark Owen breached his legal obligations by publishing the book without pre-publication review and clearance,” one Pentagon spokesman said. “Settlement negotiations continue with an intent to pursue litigation if talks break down.”
The Pentagon’s announcement today likely indicates that negotiations with Owen aren’t going well, and suggests that their lawyers may be preparing a civil suit to get the money. While Owen had intended to give all proceeds to charities supporting Navy SEALs, controversy surrounding the book prompted several to refuse his donations. (RELATED: Navy SEAL Auctions Knife From Bin Laden Raid)
“We have agreed with the government that Owen would not distribute any of the proceeds of the book pending our settlement discussions,” said Owen’s lawyer. “That means that he has not touched any of the funds for any purpose.”