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Entries in Navy SEAL (15)

Monday
Feb042013

Former SEAL Chris Kyle Allegedly Killed by Former Marine

Chris Kyle pictured back right. (Tyler Golden/NBC)(DALLAS) -- Former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle and his neighbor Chad Littlefield took former Marine Eddie Ray Routh to a Texas gun range to help him, but for some reason Routh allegedly turned his gun on his two mentors, killing them both, police said on Sunday.

ABC News affiliate WFAA-TV in Dallas reported that investigators said Routh, 25, was recovering from post traumatic stress disorder, but police on Sunday said they could not confirm that.

Routh, a corporal in the Marines from June 2006 to January 2010, was deployed to Iraq in 2007 and Haiti in 2010, according to the Pentagon.  His current duty status is listed as reserve.

"Apparently Mr. Kyle works with people that are suffering from some issues that have been in the military and this shooter is possibly one of those people, that he had taken out to the range to mentor, to visit with, to help him, you know, that's all I can tell you," said Erath County Sheriff Tommy Bryant.

"Kind of have an idea that maybe that's why they were at the range, for some type of therapy that Mr. Kyle assists people with, and I don't know if it's called shooting therapy," Bryant said.  "I don't have any idea but that's what little bit of information that we can gather so far."

Witnesses told police that Routh left the shooting scene in Kyle's pickup truck.  He drove to his sister's home in Midlothian and when he allegedly told her and her husband that he had shot the two men, the couple called the police.

When investigators got there, Routh fled in another vehicle, but he was captured a short time later.

Routh was charged with two counts of capital murder and was being held Sunday at the Erath County Jail on $3 million bond.

Erath County Sheriff's spokesman Jason Upshaw said investigators have recovered the alleged murder weapon.

"Right now it appears that he used a semi-automatic handgun," Upshaw said.

Kyle, who had more than 150 confirmed kills as a sniper serving four tours in Iraq, is the author of the best-selling book American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History.

He helped found FITCO Cares, an organization that provides at-home fitness equipment for emotionally and physically wounded veterans, and was described by those who knew him as tireless and giving in his efforts to help vets.

"We have lost more than we can replace.  Chris was a patriot, a great father, and a true supporter of this country and its ideals.  This is a tragedy for all of us.  I send my deepest prayers and thoughts to his wife and two children," Scott McEwen, co-author of American Sniper, said in a statement to ABC News.

Remembering Kyle for the number of Iraqi insurgents he killed misstates his legacy, McEwen said.

"His legacy is not one of being the most lethal sniper in United States history," McEwen said.  "In my opinion, his legacy is one of saving lives in a very difficult situation where Americans were going to be killed if he was not able to do his job."

Kyle, 38, served four tours in Iraq and was awarded two Silver Stars, five Bronze Stars with Valor, two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, and one Navy and Marine Corps Commendation.

From 1999 to 2009, Kyle recorded more than 150 sniper kills, the most in U.S. military history.

After leaving combat duty, Kyle became a chief instructor, training Naval Special Warfare Sniper and Counter-Sniper teams, and he authored the Naval Special Warfare Sniper Doctrine, the first Navy SEAL sniper manual.  He left the Navy in 2009.

American Sniper, which was published last year by William Morrow, became a New York Times best seller.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Monday
Dec242012

Navy SEAL Commander’s Death Investigated as Possible Suicide

U.S. Navy photo by Photographer's Mate 2nd Class Eric S. Logsdon (RELEASED)(WASHINGTON) -- The death of a Navy SEAL commander in Afghanistan is being investigated as a possible suicide, military officials told ABC News on Sunday.

On Saturday, the Pentagon announced the death in Afghanistan of Navy Cmdr. Job W. Price, 42, of Pottstown, Pa.  Price died Saturday of what a Defense Department press release described as “a non-combat related injury” while supporting stability operations in Uruzgan Province, Afghanistan.

Price was assigned as the commander of SEAL Team 4, a Naval Special Warfare unit based in Virginia Beach, Va.

The Pentagon release says Price’s death is under investigation.

Two military officials confirm to ABC News that Price’s death is being investigated as a possible suicide.  One of the officials said Price was found on base with an apparent gunshot wound to his person.

SEAL Team 4 is one of the Navy’s eight Special Operations teams that routinely deploy to Afghanistan.  Four are based on the West Coast and four on the East Coast.

The elite SEAL unit commonly referred to as Seal Team 6 is a separate unit.  It is the most well-known of the Navy SEAL units because of its involvement in high-profile missions such as the one that killed Osama bin Laden.

Formally known as DEVGRU, an acronym for Naval Special Warfare Development Group, the unit is still most commonly known by its original name of SEAL Team 6.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Dec102012

Navy SEAL Killed in Raid to Free American Doctor from Taliban

John Moore/Getty Images (file photo)(WASHINGTON) -- One of the Special Operations troops involved in the raid to free an American doctor from the Taliban in eastern Afghanistan died of his wounds on Sunday.

A U.S. official confirmed the service member killed in the raid was a member of SEAL Team Six.

“I was deeply saddened to learn that a U.S. service member was killed in the operation, and I also want to extend my condolences to his family, teammates and friends,” Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said in a statement released on Sunday.  “The special operators who conducted this raid knew they were putting their lives on the line to free a fellow American from the enemy’s grip.  They put the safety of another American ahead of their own, as so many of our brave warriors do every day and every night.  In this fallen hero, and all of our special operators, Americans see the highest ideals of citizenship, sacrifice and service upheld.  The torch of freedom burns brighter because of them.”

President Obama also praised the Special Operations force for their bravery.

“Yesterday, our special operators in Afghanistan rescued an American citizen in a mission that was characteristic of the extraordinary courage, skill and patriotism that our troops show every day,” Obama said on Sunday.

“Tragically, we lost one of our special operators in this effort,” he said.  “Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, just as we must always honor our troops and military families.  He gave his life for his fellow Americans, and he and his teammates remind us once more of the selfless service that allows our nation to stay strong, safe and free.”

Dr. Dilip Joseph and two colleagues were kidnapped on Dec. 5 by a group of armed men while returning from a visit to a rural medical clinic in eastern Kabul Province, according to a statement from their employer, Colorado Springs-based Morning Star Development.  The statement said the three were eventually taken to a mountainous area about 50 miles from the border with Pakistan.

Morning Star’s crisis management team in Colorado Springs was in contact with the hostages and their captors almost immediately, the statement said.

On Saturday evening in Afghanistan, two of the three hostages were released.  Morning Star did not release their names in order to protect their identities.  Dr. Joseph remained in captivity.

Gen. John R. Allen, the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, ordered the mission to rescue Joseph when “intelligence showed that Joseph was in imminent danger of injury or death”, according to a military press release.

Morning Star said Joseph was in good condition and will probably return home to Colorado Springs in the next few days.

A Defense Department official told ABC News that Joseph can walk, but was beaten up by his captors.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Sep112012

Leon Panetta Blasts Ex-SEAL Who Wrote Bin Laden Raid Book

TIM SLOAN/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta became the highest-ranking U.S. official to speak out against the former Navy SEAL who wrote a firsthand account of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, saying the commando broke his promise to America and could have given away secrets that "tipped off" the enemy.

"There's no question that the American people have a right to know about this operation. That's why the President spoke to the American people when that operation happened," Panetta said Tuesday on CBS' This Morning.  "But people who are part of that operation, who commit themselves to the promise that they will not reveal sensitive operations and not publish anything without bringing it through the Pentagon so we can ensure that it doesn't reveal sensitive information -- when they fail to do that, we have got to make sure that they stand by the promise they made to this country."

"I cannot, as Secretary, send a signal to SEALs who conduct these operations [that] you can conduct those operations and then go out and write a book about it or sell your story to The New York Times.  How the hell can we run sensitive operations here that go after enemies if people are allowed to do that?" he said.

The book No Easy Day is a first-person memoir written by a former SEAL Team Six member under the pseudonym Mark Owen that includes a detailed account of the May 2011 operation in Abbottabad, Pakistan, to get bin Laden.  According to the book, Owen was the second man in the room after bin Laden was shot and put a few bullets in the terror leader himself before taking the unreleased pictures of the dead al Qaeda leader.

The book follows Owen's rise through the Navy's ranks to elite SEAL Team Six and describes the various levels of training, walks through some on-the-ground operational tactics employed by the SEAL commandos and gives a minute-by-minute account of the bin Laden raid.  Owen left the service in April, less than a year after the mission, according to military records provided to ABC News.

Beyond writing under a pseudonym, Owen said he changed the names of other people involved in the operation, including a CIA analyst, to protect their identities and took pains not to reveal sensitive information. The book's publisher, Dutton, also said the memoir was vetted by a former special operations attorney to make sure Owen wasn't betraying any classified information.

But officials from the Pentagon to the CIA to the White House said they were not provided a copy of the book to review before publication.  In late August, the Pentagon wrote a letter to Owen in which it said it was considering legal action against him for breaking non-disclosure agreements, sparking a brief back-and-forth between the Pentagon and lawyers for Owen, who said he had not violated the agreements.

While Panetta declined to say whether or not he thought Owen should be prosecuted, he said the government has to "take steps to make clear that we're not going to accept this kind of behavior."  Panetta said that leaking such information could "jeopardize other operations and the lives of others that are involved in those operations."

"I think when somebody talks about the particulars of how those operations are conducted, what that does is tell our enemies essentially how we operate and what we do to go after them.  And when you do that, you tip them off," he said.

No Easy Day was originally intended to be released Tuesday, on the 11th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks, but the sale date was moved up after the book's existence leaked, causing a tidal wave of controversy and demand for the first-ever inside look at the historic raid.

Owen said he plans to give a majority of the proceeds from the book to charities that support the families of fallen SEALs, but at least one major SEAL charity, The Navy SEAL Foundation, already announced it would not be accepting donations from the book sales, citing Owen's possible legal troubles.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Sep042012

Pentagon: SEAL's Bin Laden Book Reveals Classified Intel

JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Top Pentagon officials said Tuesday that a controversial firsthand account of the nighttime raid that killed Osama bin Laden written by a former U.S. Navy SEAL reveals classified information and could endanger other special operations servicemen.

The book, No Easy Day, was written by an ex-SEAL Team Six member under the pseudonym Mark Owen and is the first to detail the last violent moments of the al Qaeda leader's life. It went on sale Tuesday.

While the Pentagon's assessment of Owen's book continues, Department of Defense Press Secretary George Little told reporters the department "believe[s] that sensitive and classified information is contained in the book" and called its publication without review the "height of irresponsibility."

Little declined to provide specifics about what classified information is revealed, but said the book raised "serious concerns" and represented a "material breach of nondisclosure agreements that were signed by the author of this book."

"This is a solemn obligation," said Little. "And the author in this case elected not to abide by his legal obligations. And that's disheartening and, frankly, is something that we're taking a very close look at."

The Pentagon sent Owen a letter Thursday saying the government was considering legal action against him, and Little said Tuesday those options are still being reviewed.

Owen's attorney said in his own letter to the Pentagon Friday that agreements signed by Owen in 2007 did not require him to present any materials for pre-publication review and said the book did not reveal any sensitive information. The book's publisher, Dutton, has also said that it had been vetted by a former special operations attorney before publication, even if it was not vetted by officials at the Department of Defense, the White House or the CIA.

Meanwhile, in an internal message to his command entitled "The Cost of Disclosure," Rear Admiral Sean Pybus, who heads Naval Special Warfare Command (NSW), criticized SEALs whom he said had violated the command's ethos.

"We do NOT advertise the nature of our work, NOR do we seek recognition for our actions," Pybus wrote to his command in the letter, a copy of which was obtained by ABC News.

"I am disappointed, embarrassed and concerned," writes Prybus. "Today, we find former SEALs headlining positions in a Presidential campaign; hawking details about a mission against Enemy Number 1; and generally selling other aspects of NSW training and operations."

Aside from hurting NSW's reputation and security, Pybus said "the security of our Force and Families is also put at risk by the release of sensitive information" and said enemies can gather information and NSW details that "expose us to unnecessary danger."

No Easy Day, written with journalist co-author Kevin Maurer, takes readers inside bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan on the night of the May 2011 raid. At times, Owen's account differs from the "official" version given by the White House, especially when it comes to the moment of bin Laden's death.

White House spokesperson Jay Carney told reporters days after the operation that though bin Laden was unarmed, he had "resisted" before he was shot. By Owen's account, another SEAL shot the terror leader as his head was poking out a doorway, apparently before he could have made any moves to resist.

Little said blocking the book's release Tuesday was not really an option available to the Pentagon given how copies had already gotten out into the public domain. He also said no effort will be made to block its sale at military installations.

"It is not our typical practice to get into the business of deciding what and what does not go on bookshelves in military exchanges. But that doesn't mean in any way, shape or form that we don't have serious concerns about the fact that this process of pre-publication review was not followed," he said.

Maurer said that after spending months with Owen writing the book, he was convinced Owen did not write the book out of vanity, but to "share a story about the incredible men and women defending America all over the world."

Dutton, the book's publisher, said in the book's announcement that a majority of the proceeds will go to the families of fallen SEALs.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Sep042012

Co-Author: 'Bad Blood' Didn't Cause Ex-SEAL to Pen Bin Laden Book

AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- A group of former special operations servicemen claims that the ex-Navy SEAL who penned his firsthand account of the raid that killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden did so in part because he thought the Navy had mistreated him shortly before his departure from the teams -- an allegation the book's co-author denies.

The first-person account of the raid, called No Easy Day and written under the pseudonym Mark Owen, arrives on bookshelves on Tuesday -- a full week before its original intended release on the anniversary of Sept. 11.  The book's publisher, Dutton, claimed that the date was moved up both due to high demand in light of several high-profile news stories about the book and to quell controversy over whether the book revealed any classified information.  From the White House to the Pentagon and the CIA, no government officials had been given a chance to read the book for possible security breaches before its publication.

Owen was a decorated and long-serving SEAL who left the Navy in April, according to military records provided by the service.  A spokesperson for Dutton previously told ABC News that Owen left simply "because it was time."

But a new e-book written by former Navy SEAL Brandon Webb with co-authors who had been members of the special operations community in other branches claims that Owen left the Navy on bad terms after he felt he was mistreated by the service.  Webb, founder of the special operations website SOFREP.com, told ABC News that he and his co-authors spoke to several active members of the special operations community for the e-book.

"Sources... say that [Owen] was treated very poorly upon his departure..." says the e-book, called No Easy Op and released Monday on Amazon.com.  The e-book claims Owen was asked to leave his SEAL Team Six group after he "openly shared with his teammates that he was considering getting out of the Navy to pursue other interests."

"How was he repaid for his honesty and fourteen years of service?  He was ostracized from his unit with no notice and handed a plane ticket back to Virginia from a training operation," the e-book says.  After his departure, the book says there was some "bad blood' between Owen and his former team that may have helped him decide to pen the book.

Dutton declined to comment on the claims, except to point to remarks made by the book's co-author, journalist Kevin Maurer, to the New York Times.

"After spending several very intense months working with Mark Owen on this book, I know that he wrote this book solely to share a story about the incredible men and women defending America all over the world," Maurer said.  "Any suggestion otherwise is as ill-informed as it is inaccurate."

The Navy directed questions concerning the "bad blood" allegations to the Department of Defense.  There, a spokesperson said the way in which Owen left the service is "irrelevant" to them.

"The Department is not interested in characterizing his departure," Lt. Col. Todd Brasseale said.  "We remain greatly appreciative of [Owen's] efforts while he was a SEAL, but he has been and remains in breach of his non-disclosure agreement... His demeanor when he left the service is irrelevant."

Over the weekend, Pentagon officials sent a letter to Owen in which they warned they were considering legal action against him for unauthorized disclosures in the book.  An attorney for Owen, Robert Luskin, responded to the letter, saying his client had not violated any non-disclosure agreement.

Owen's book No Easy Day provides a detailed first-person account of the bin Laden raid and at times contradicts the "official" version.

Owen said he was just behind the team's "point man" who unknowingly was the first to shoot the terror leader.

"We were less than five steps from getting to the top when I heard suppressed shots.  BOP.  BOP," Owen writes.  "I couldn't tell from my position if the rounds hit the target or not.  The man disappeared into the room."

It wasn't until several SEAL Team Six members entered the room that Owen learned some of the first shots hit their mark and that bin Laden was the man bleeding and twitching on the ground with an apparent shot to the head.  Still, Owen and another SEAL pointed their laser sights at his chest and "fired several rounds."

"The bullets tore into him, slamming his body into the floor until he was motionless," Owen writes.

Unlike the White House characterization that bin Laden had "resisted" before he was killed, Owen's account describes a scene in which the terror leader never appeared to have the chance.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Aug302012

Pentagon Threatens Ex-SEAL over Osama bin Laden Raid Book

Digital Vision/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The Pentagon has determined the former Navy SEAL who has authored a book about his role in the Osama bin Laden raid is in "material breach" of non-disclosure agreements and warned him it is considering legal action against him as a result.

It added that it is considering legal action against all those "acting in concert" with the SEAL on his book, No Easy Day, which is scheduled to be released Tuesday.

A letter by Pentagon general counsel Jeh Johnson informed the former SEAL that he had violated non-disclosure agreements against releasing classified information.

"In the judgment of the Department of Defense, you are in material breach and violation of the non-disclosure agreements you signed," wrote Johnson. "Further public dissemination of your book will aggravate your breach and violation of your agreements."

Johnson said the department is considering pursuing "all remedies legally available to us."

The letter was addressed to the author's pseudonym, "Mark Owen," because the Pentagon will not publicly reveal the SEAL's real name.

The letter noted that, in January 2007, "Owen" signed two non-disclosure agreements with the Navy, and though he is no longer in the military, "you have a continuing obligation to 'never divulge' classified information."

Furthermore, the letter added, "this commitment remains in force even after you left the active duty Navy."

Johnson noted that in signing the agreements the SEAL "acknowledged your awareness that disclosure of classified information constitutes a violation of federal criminal law. It also meant he would submit any manuscript to the Pentagon for a security review, as well as obtain permission."

Interest in the unreleased book has led to a surge in pre-orders and the book's publisher, Dutton, has boosted the number of books to be published.

Though the former SEAL said he will donate a majority of the book's profits to charities that help the families of fallen SEALs, the letter suggested that all of the book's royalties belong to the U.S. government.

In signing his non-disclosure agreements, the former SEAL acknowledged he "assigned to the U.S. government ... 'all royalties, remunerations, and emoluments that have resulted, will result or may result from a disclosure, publication or revelation of classified information not consistent with the terms of this agreement,'" the letter added.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Aug282012

Navy SEAL’s Bin Laden Book Now Coming Next Week

AAMIR QURESHI/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The book that details a former Navy SEAL’s first-person account of the mission to kill Osama bin Laden will be released ahead of schedule, the book’s publisher said Tuesday, following widespread controversy over possible national security breaches.

The book, titled No Easy Day, was set to appear on bookshelves next month on the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks, but will now make its public debut a week early on Sept. 4 so the book can go ahead and “speak for itself,” according to a statement from publisher Dutton, a division of the Penguin Group.

After news of the book’s existence was reported by The New York Times last week, Dutton and the book’s author, who goes by the pseudonym Mark Owen, found themselves at the center of a raging controversy over whether the book leaked information about the top-secret mission. Officials from the White House to the Department of Defense to the CIA said they were unaware of the book and had not reviewed it for possible leaks at the time of the first media reports.

A Department of Defense spokesperson said Monday the department had received a copy of the manuscript and had begun reviewing it for potential security issues.

On Tuesday the former SEAL Team Six member who wrote the book said through Dutton that he’s “proud” to have written his account for the public.

“My hope is that it gives my fellow Americans a glimpse into how much of an honor it is to serve our country,” Owen said. “It is written with respect for my fellow service members while adhering to my strict desire not to disclose confidential or sensitive information that would compromise national security in any way.”

A Dutton spokesperson said last week that the book had been vetted by a former special operations attorney for “tactical, technical, and procedural information as well as information that could be considered classified by compilation and [the attorney] found it to be without risk to national security.”

The book’s publication comes as the special operations community, especially the SEALs, have risen to the forefront of a discussion over the controversial leaking of classified information. Following the May 2011 raid that killed bin Laden, the Obama administration came under harsh criticism from Republican lawmakers for allegedly leaking too much about the mission for political gain.

Most recently, a small group of former special operations and intelligence officials -- many with Republican ties -- published an online video called “Dishonorable Disclosures” in which they say the president was trying to take credit for bin Laden’s death from the SEALs on the ground. That video was later reportedly criticized by others in the military as “unprofessional” and “shameful.”

Brandon Webb, a former Navy SEAL and writer, told ABC News last week that Owen may be compromising one of America’s most elite and secretive commando groups, even if he used a pseudonym and changed the names of the other team members.

“Operational security is at play here regardless of whether or not any classified information has been disclosed in this memoir,” he said, noting that even innocuous details could be enough to put other team members at risk. “This is not a good day for SEAL Team Six. An individual has compromised their ethos and mantra that the deed is more important than the glory.”

Webb said his own memoir, The Red Circle, was also not vetted by the Department of Defense but said it did not disclose any classified information, and that any potentially sensitive details about events described in the book, which occurred approximately 10 years ago, were changed.

Another former SEAL, who is still active in the intelligence community, said everyone needs to wait and see what’s actually in the new book before passing judgment.

“It seems pretty quick, but at the same time, I don’ t know what he says in the book,” said the ex-SEAL, who requested not to be named for his own security. “This guy dedicated a majority of his life to the service of his country and he was on a historic mission. It’s his story to tell… It really comes down to what type of information he’s disclosing.”

Dutton said Owen plans to donate a majority of the proceeds from his book to charities that help the families of fallen Navy SEALs.

A White House-sanctioned Hollywood movie about the bin Laden raid is scheduled to be released in December.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Aug232012

SEAL’s Bin Laden Raid Book Stirs Controversy

John Moore/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The former Navy SEAL who penned a firsthand account of the mission to kill Osama bin Laden did so without the permission of the U.S. government, officials said, and is now at the center of an ongoing controversy within the secretive special operations community over unauthorized disclosures.

The author of the book, who writes under the pseudonym Mark Owen, was a SEAL Team Six team leader during the mission that took out the al Qaeda leader and was “one of the first men through the door on the third floor of the terrorist leader’s hideout,” according to a statement from the book’s publisher, Dutton. The book, No Easy Day, is set to be released next month on the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks.

But no U.S. officials – from the White House to the Department of Defense to the CIA – have reviewed the book’s account of the top secret mission for any possible breaches of national security, officials from the departments said.

The book’s announcement comes as the special operations community, especially the SEALs, have risen to the forefront of a discussion over the controversial leaking of classified information. Following the May 2011 raid that killed bin Laden, the Obama administration came under harsh criticism from Republican lawmakers for allegedly leaking too much about the mission for political gain.

Most recently, a small group of former special operations and intelligence officials — many with Republican ties — published an online video called “Dishonorable Disclosures” in which they say the president was trying to take credit for bin Laden’s death from the SEALs on the ground. That video was later reportedly criticized by others in the military as “unprofessional” and “shameful.”

Brandon Webb, a former Navy SEAL and writer, told ABC News that Owen may be compromising one of America’s most elite and secretive commando groups, even if he used a pseudonym and changed the names of the other team members.

“Operational security is at play here regardless of whether or not any classified information has been disclosed in this memoir,” he said, noting that even innocuous details could be enough to put other team members at risk. “This is not a good day for SEAL Team Six. An individual has compromised their ethos and mantra that the deed is more important than the glory.”

Webb said his own memoir, The Red Circle, was also not vetted by the Department of Defense but said it did not disclose any classified information, and that any potentially sensitive details about events described in the book, which occurred approximately 10 years ago, were changed.

Another former SEAL, who is still active in the intelligence community, said everyone needs to wait and see what’s actually in the new book before passing judgment.

“It seems pretty quick, but at the same time, I don’t know what he says in the book,” said the ex-SEAL, who requested not to be named for his own security. “This guy dedicated a majority of his life to the service of his country and he was on a historic mission. It’s his story to tell… It really comes down to what type of information he’s disclosing.”

Dutton said Owen plans to donate a majority of the proceeds from his book to charities that help the families of fallen Navy SEALs.

A White House-sanctioned Hollywood movie about the bin Laden raid is scheduled to be released in December.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Aug152012

Special Ops Group Attacks Obama for Bin Laden Boasts, Leaks

opsecteam.org(WASHINGTON) -- A group of former special operations soldiers has launched a media campaign aimed at accusing President Obama of wrongly taking credit for the mission that killed al-Qaeda mastermind Osama bin Laden.

"Mr. President, you did not kill Osama bin Laden, America did," Navy SEAL Ben Smith says in a short film released today on the group's website, opsecteam.org. "The work that the American military has done killed Osama bin Laden. You did not."

The group, Special Operations OPSEC Education Fund, is a non-partisan group composed of veteran soldiers, Marines and intelligence officers unaffiliated with any party or campaign that is calling for an independent investigation into a series of high-level leaks of confidential information that they say compromise overall national security, founder Scott Taylor told ABC News.

But the group's decision to target Obama about his military record during an election season has drawn comparisons to the 2004 Swift Boat ads, which attempted to cast doubt on Democrat John Kerry's service in Vietnam.

Taylor, a veteran and onetime Republican candidate for Congress, said the campaign is intended to hold the president responsible for security leaks that originated in the White House.

"This is nothing short of gross negligence," Taylor said. "We want people to be held accountable. The president wants credit for the burden of a tough decision to kill bin Laden, then he must also shoulder the burden of responsibility for leaks."

Taylor said his group has already raised more than $1 million. Much of that money is set to be used for television ads that will run in battleground states.

The Obama campaign did not respond to requests for comment, but the president addressed the leak accusations at a news conference in June. "The notion that the White House would purposely release classified national security information is offensive, it's wrong, and people, I think, need to have a better sense of how I approach this office and how the people around me approach this office," he said at the time.

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