WASHINGTON, Aug. 20 (UPI) — The United States settled its case with former Navy SEAL Matthew Bissonnette, who published a book about his role in the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden.
Bissonnette, who wrote the book “No Easy Day” in 2012 under the pen name Mark Owen, signed a consent decree acknowledging he “breached his fiduciary duties” when he failed to submit the book for a security review by the Pentagon and failed to get government permission before it was published, according to ABC News.
He agreed to pay nearly $6.7 million worth of proceeds from the book and $1.3 million worth of legal fees to the United States as part of the settlement.
“Mr. Bissonnette has agreed to pay the United States all of his past and future proceeds from the publication of ‘No Easy Day,” Department of Justice spokeswoman Nicole Navas told CNN.
Bissonnette, who served in the military for 14 years including his stint with SEAL Team 6, also issued a formal apology.
“I acted on the advice of my former attorney, but I now fully recognize that his advice was wrong,” he said, according to NPR. “It was a serious error that I urge others not to repeat.”
The government sought civil action against Bissonnette for the breach of contract, but did not present any criminal charges nor accuse him of revealing classified information.
“This enforcement action does not discredit Mr. Bissonnette’s military service, but reinforces that it is important for our service members and individuals who have been assigned positions of trust and granted access to classified information to comply with the obligations set forth in their non-disclosure agreements to protect classified information after leaving the U.S. military and government in an effort to protect our nation’s national security,” Navas said.