Matt Bissonnette was one of the Navy SEALs who took part in a raid on a compound in Pakistan that resulted in the death of 9/11 mastermind and terrorist leader Osama bin Laden at the hands of American forces. Now, he has to pay $6.6 million to the federal government.
It all started when Bissonnette wrote a best selling book entitled “No Easy Day” under the pen name Mark Owen. The book, primarily about the bin Laden raid, went on to become quite a hit and to date has made over $6.6 million.
However, Bissonnette failed to have his book properly vetted by the Department of Defense before publication for classifieid information, and in a court settlement reached this week Bissonnette agreed that he “breached his fiduciary duties.”
He has been ordered to pay all revenues generated by the book, talks using information from the book, and movie rights to the federal government. To date, Bissonnette has made almost $6.7 million off the book’s content.
To add insult to injury, Bissonnette has also been ordered to pay the federal government’s legal fees, which as of right now stand at around $1.3 million.
This means even if Bissonnette hasn’t spent one cent of his earnings he will still end being over $1 million in debt when it is all said and done.
Obviously, Bissonnette isn’t too happy with the whole arrangement.
According to the Daily Beast:
“I’d rather go back overseas and fight this country’s worst enemies rather than go into another room full of bullshit lawyers,” he said with some feeling.
“Any vet has earned the right to tell his story. I don’t care who you are or what you’ve done,” Bissonnette counters.
“When I left the military, I got a plaque with my name misspelled, shitty medical care, and now I’m a million dollars in debt,” he said with frustration. “Thank you for your service.”
Bissonnette has four years to pay the money to the federal government and $100,000 of the payment is due immediately.
“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,” Nicole Navas, a spokesperson at the U.S. Department of Justice, said in a statement to ABC News.
The publisher of the book, Bissonnette’s agent, editors, and co-authors will get to keep their earnings from the sale of the book.