Video: Did ex-SEAL sell out with bin Laden tell-all?

  1. Closed captioning of: Did ex-SEAL sell out with bin Laden tell-all?

    >> there's new fallout about the book about osama bin laden . the navy s.e.a.l. that helped pull off the raid. many, especially in the military community, are not happy about the book. jim miklaszewski is at the pentagon.

    >> reporter: navy s.e.a.l.s are committed to keeping their secrets secret. it's not surprising this morning many of them feel they have been betrayed. the raid that killed osama bin laden was loudly heralded as the single biggest success in decades. you didn't hear it from the navy s.e.a.l.s who carried out the mission until now. "no easy day." the firsthand bt of the mission that killed osama bin laden was written under a pseudonym, a former member of seal team six who now lives in alaska. according to the publisher, the author gives a blow by blow narrative of the saul. he was one of the first men through the door and watched bin laden take his last breath. u.s. officials tell nbc news many in this s.e.a.l. community are outraged one of their own would break the seal of silence. brandon webb is a navy s.e.a.l. and author.

    >> i have friend at the command of team s.e.a.l. six definitely feel this was a betrayal, that one of their own got out and immediately, you know, essentially is looked at selling out.

    >> reporter: it wouldn't be the first big leak of information about the bin laden raid.

    >> i think it was so famous a raid, so successful, that the temptation to leak on the part of everyone involved, including the political leadership, was infantrymenous.

    >> reporter: in fact, the white house was accused of collaborating with a famemaker who made a movie about bin laden to give president obama a political boost. the white house denied it. if the book contains any leaks, they could be criminal. books written about secret or classified information must first be reviewed and cleared by the military or appropriate agency. military, pentagon and cia officials tell nbc news, the author did not submit this book for review. but prosecuting such cases can prove difficult. and in this instance, unpopular.

    >> to drag this person into court, the one person who risked his life to make sure this operation succeeded, that seems to me to be a huge roadblock for the prosecution.

    >> reporter: in response to the book the top commander of all special operations bill mccraven sent out this open let tore all his forces saying when it comes to talking about special operations , whether the motive is personal, political, or even profit, the best policy is to keep your mouth shut. savannah.

By
NBC News
updated 8/24/2012 4:24:00 PM ET 2012-08-24T20:24:00

Users on several militant Islamic websites affiliated with al-Qaida have posted the name and photo of a former Navy SEAL identified as the author of an upcoming book on the commando raid that killed Osama bin Laden. The posts called for his "destruction" in revenge for the al-Qaida founder’s killing.

"We pray to Allah for his destruction sooner rather than later," said one of the posts.

"Oh Allah, make an example of him for the whole world and give him dark days ahead," read another.

Among the website publishing the death threats was the "Al-Fidaa" web forum, which al-Qaida uses to distribute its media and public communications, said Evan Kohlmann, an NBC News consultant and a terrorism analyst at Flashpoint Partners, a global security firm.

The source of the photo, which appears to show a special operations soldier in leveling an automatic rifle during a training exercise, was not immediately clear.

"Here is the first picture of the dog who murdered the martyr Shaykh Usama Bin Laden," wrote one of the posters, using an alternate spelling of bin Laden's name. "May Allah have mercy on him."

Fox News on Thursday identified the author of the book, which is titled "No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama bin Laden," as a 36-year-old former SEAL from Wrangell, Alaska. The Associated Press later said it had confirmed the author’s identity. (NBC News is not identifying the former SEAL.) 

Penguin Group (USA)'s Dutton imprint, the publisher, asked news organizations Thursday to withhold his identity.

"Sharing the true story of his personal experience in 'No Easy Day' is a courageous act in the face of obvious risks to his personal security," Dutton spokeswoman Christine Ball said in a statement to the AP. "That personal security is the sole reason the book is being published under a pseudonym."

In addition to death threats, the author faces legal jeopardy over his decision not to seek pre-publication review by Pentagon officials of his account of the May 2, 2011, raid on bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, as he was obligated to do under an agreement he signed as a condition of employment.

On Thursday, the ex-SEAL’s former commander, special operations chief Adm. Bill McRaven warned his troops, current and former, that he would take legal action against anyone found to have exposed sensitive information that could cause fellow forces harm.

"We will pursue every option available to hold members accountable, including criminal prosecution where appropriate," the four-star commander wrote, in an open, unclassified letter emailed to the active-duty special operations community Thursday, and obtained by The Associated Press.

The author of "No Easy Day" is slated to appear on the CBS News program "60 Minutes" on Sept. 9, though it is not clear whether he will identified by his real name. The book is already listed as one of the top 10 books on Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.com.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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