Concerns over new bin Laden book hurting safety of SEALs

Posted at 8:00 PM, Aug 24, 2012
and last updated 2012-08-24 20:00:02-04

The outrage over "No Easy Day" is just the latest in a long line of controversies involving SEALs in the public spotlight.

How much information is too much? What are the rights of SEALs in talking about their experiences or opinions?

Now the head of the U.S. Special Operations Command is inserting himself right into the middle of the debate.

Thursday, Admiral Bill McRaven emailed the entire active-duty special operations community, warning he will take legal action against anybody found guilty of exposing sensitive information that could cause fellow troops harm.

The command spokesman, Col. Tim Nye, also talked about the potential effects of the author's name being released, saying the SEAL could be endangered by being identified.

Not just him, but the other SEALs that entered bin Laden's Abottabod compound could also be at risk, if people attempt to make a connection between them and the book's author.

Reports are already surfacing of al-Qaeda supporters posting photos of the book's author on Jihadist websites, calling for his death.

It’s a big concern being discussed on special operations blogs because all these men have families, many of them living right here in Hampton Roads.

"Release their identities, and their wives and kids are put in harm’s way. The men signed up for this, not their loved ones," said one poster.

A former Delta force commando commented on the leaks in general. "We are quiet professionals. We accept the fact that we are unsung heroes. We abhor the spotlight. We are clandestine and covert. We do what we do because we love this country. We do it for the honor of serving with the best warriors this nation has to offer. Those of us who accept this sacrifice, honor our non-disclosure agreements, and respect our fellow operators who remain in harm’s way do not write books or agree to nationally televised interviews."

Others who have crossed lines in these elite units in the past ended up being banned from the community altogether.

The same thing seems to be in store for the author of "No Easy Day."

This SEAL family member writes, "We hear how much others in Special Forces feel betrayed by him. At the end of the day, no matter what percentage, he is cashing in on the mission while his brothers remain silent."

Another says, "You can believe the Navy, and Navy SEALs in particular, are very unhappy about this book. They may never utter his name again."