Last Updated:November 28 @ 05:03 pm

Panetta wants bin Laden author punished

By AP Staff

WASHINGTON (AP) - Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is suggesting that a retired Navy SEAL be punished for writing a book giving an insider's account of the U.S. raid that killed terrorist leader Osama bin Laden.

Asked in a network interview if he thinks the writer should be prosecuted, Panetta replied, "I think we have to take steps to make clear to him and to the American people that we're not going to accept this kind of behavior."

Panetta was referring to the newly published account of the U.S. SEAL raid that led to bin Laden's killing in May 2011 in Pakistan. The book was written by a retired SEAL under the pseudonym of Mark 0wen. He was subsequently identified in media accounts as Matt Bissonnette.

In the interview, broadcast Tuesday on "CBS This Morning," Panetta told co-host Norah O'Donnell that if the Defense Department failed to take any action in response to the book, "then everybody else who pledges to ensure that that doesn't happen is gonna get the long signal, that somehow they can do it without any penalty to be paid."

Asked if the revelations could put future such operations at risk, Panetta said, "I think when someone who signs an obligation that he will not reveal the secrets of this kind of operation, and then does that and doesn't abide by the rules, that when he reveals that kind of information, it does indeed jeopardize operations and the lives of others that are involved in those operations."

The secretary stopped short of accusing the author of revealing classified information, but said Pentagon officials "are currently reviewing that book to determine exactly, you know, what is classified and what isn't, and where those lines are."

Panetta said the book, which went on sale this week, raises troubling national security questions.

"Well, I think when somebody talks about the particulars of how those operations are conducted, it tells our enemies, essentially, how we operate and what we do to go after them," he said.

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  1. agent007Comment by agent007
    September 11, 2012 @ 1:12 pm

    I surely hope that Panetta will go after those that ‘leak’ directly from the White House with the same enthusiasm!

    Ask Israel about the damage those leaks have caused already. Unfortunately Israel is too dependant on its now unreliable ally (us) to open and honestly blame this White House. So for them to publicly come out and blame Obama is dangerous for them too.

    I’m not aware of any damage caused by this book as of yet.

    The hypocrisy from the WH and its supporters regarding this issue is once again very obvious!

    Does Panetta really believe our enemies do not know about our under cover CIA and seal team operations yet, and that it will be this book that will reveal all? Get a life!

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  2. BillzillaComment by Billzilla
    September 11, 2012 @ 1:27 pm

    Panetta is angry because the book puts the lie to the White House’s fairy tale verison of what happened when the Navy Seals got Bin Laden!

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  3. Richard FirthComment by Richard Firth
    September 11, 2012 @ 2:13 pm

    It’s time to find out who leaked what out of the White House. We could start with Biden, then move on to obama himself, who both “outed” the unit responsible for the “take down.” Or will it be hypocrisy as usual for this regime?

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    • mrsgunnut10Comment by mrsgunnut10
      September 11, 2012 @ 3:17 pm

      Richard I think you are right about the first person to start with. I remember Biden talking to someone and looking at the Camera saying “Boy that Seal Team Six is something else”. Then he said “Oops I wasn’t supposed to say that was I” and then grinned at the Camera.This was while they were still in the Breifing Room after the raid. TSgt., USAF Retired

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  4. PATRIOTComment by PATRIOT
    September 11, 2012 @ 2:33 pm

    Secretary Panetta — if you must punish someone for leaking secret information, start at the White House.

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  5. rustypatComment by rustypat
    September 11, 2012 @ 2:53 pm

    Two Words … “Blanket Party”

    When you are out there putting your life on the line, you don’t want someone telling others what you are doing. I get the position @ free speech, etc … but this is a case of where you are playing with fire so that you can be “Dead Right” and make a buck along the way.

    You have to have implicit trust in your fellow service members to have “your back”. While some will try to put an “expose the truth” spin on it … reneging on your oath to safeguard the methods, your fellow service members and the country’s future missions is tantamount to TREASON … even if not against the legal sense of the word … against the loyalty to the SEAL’s.

    Only the very naive would believe what comes out of politicians accurately represents covert military operations … so there is no real benefit to divulging such information just so you can say that politicians lied about such things … DOH ! There have been thousands upon thousands who have safeguard information from the rest of the world as part of their duty and commitment to our country. Each and every one of us could have “written a book” that exposed political mis-information. So, either this guy is the world’s first person to have the balls to do so, or he is a sellout to his word to not divulge such information.

    All props due to a retired SEAL team member … but, put him back in the field with his accounting plastered all over the world. Oh, so you you say that he didn’t divulge anything classified. BS … we are taught to safeguard all information, because intel is a collection of bits & pieces, that get put together by the timelines, locations, events, etc. Divulging the little “missing piece” is just as dangerous as divulging the “whole enchilada”.

    Sworn to secrecy for the welfare of your fellow service members, future missions and the security of the country … then write a book … sorry, but I hold fellow service members of covert ops to a much higher standard than any rhetoric spinning, charismeister, self-serving politician … so don’t even compare this to Obama or Biden (wrong as they are).

    Gut check … do you think he’ll be letting anyone know when he’s going for a nighttime (no moon) walk on Seal Beach anytime in the future … TOTAL FREAKIN’ BS SELLOUT TRAITOR.

    Rag on Panetta if you like, complain about Obama & Biden (as if we ever trusted them) … but, I think the SEAL’s (Rangers, etc.) of past, present & future deserve to see this money-grubbin’, honor violating, endangering sellout punished … and likely, they don’t need no stinkin’ legal system, politician or other entity to do it for them.

    Self-serving MORONS … the author & the publisher.

    They both should be punished and they’ll be lucky if it comes from Panetta and not from those who they’ve most endangered.

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    • bna42Comment by bna42
      September 11, 2012 @ 8:22 pm


      Have you read the book? Can you tell us just exactly what “classified information” was leaked in the book? The author didn’t even use his real name but the media outed him.

      If you are so concerned about the details of the raid, why don’t you channel your outrage toward Joe Biden since he identified the SEAL team members two days after the raid? Or why don’t you raise hell with Obama for releasing details to Hollywood so they could make a campaign movie praising him?

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  6. mrsgunnut10Comment by mrsgunnut10
    September 11, 2012 @ 3:07 pm

    How many Retired or Ex-Military Personel who signed many new “Elistment” Contracts over their Military Career, ever got to “break” their Contract’s ??? I never did try, but I know of a few people that deliberately got in trouble so they could get out of the Military. Yet, The Federal Government can and has broken their Contract/Oath anytime they wanted to save a few Dollars and the Troops had no say over whether they liked it or not. Why does Panetta want to destroy this young man’s life over a book that doesn’t really tell anything that isn’t already known outside the Military Community?? Has Panetta forgotten about all of the Top Secret Materiel that was ” LEAKED ” from the White House’s own Intelligence Briefings about the same subject as this Book ??? Has he found out who , amoung the few that was in those breifings, leaked the previous information to the Outside World??? I doubt if he is even trying to fined the “LEAKEE”. My guess is that it would be “Leaky Laheay” or the Vice President himself. Thank you for your time. TSgt., USAF Retired.

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  7. rustypatComment by rustypat
    September 11, 2012 @ 3:27 pm

    They should just send him on an all expenses paid trip to Coronado, CA and leave it at that. (Save a bundle in taxpayer money, too.)

    Then he can deliver the keynote address at the next SEAL graduation ceremony.

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  8. tncdelComment by tncdel
    September 11, 2012 @ 4:11 pm

    Panetta should be punished.

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  9. Amfer FergComment by Amfer Ferg
    September 11, 2012 @ 4:19 pm

    This entire administration should be punished for deliberate leaks, endangering, unnecessarily, our troops in Afghanistan, endangering the U.S. homeland with their loose lips, purposely. As a citizen, I don’t blame or hold the Seals for any leaks; this book does not reveal any ‘secret nor confidential’ information – it just stole obama’s thunder.

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  10. dwilliams429Comment by dwilliams429
    September 11, 2012 @ 4:29 pm

    While I do not necessarily approve of the SEAL members disclosures, once the White House leaked all the truly secret information, it was no longer secret. I Penetta wants to go after those that breached our security, he better start in the White House.

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  11. jdb121Comment by jdb121
    September 11, 2012 @ 5:10 pm

    The operation was so classified that no one knew about it except those who were doing it. If there is ever a next time, the same secrecy will shroud that operation and no one will be the wiser.
    The question that some would ask is whether this kind of book is a domain reserved for the superiors of those who actually execute such operations. Incongruous decisions are made by people in the intelligence community. No one thinks twice about them until someone says something that questions the propriety or legitimacy of them. While serving in intelligence in the Aleutian Islands in 1967, a directive was received concerning the publication of the book, “The Codebreakers.” If asked about the book, intelligence personnel were to reply, “no comment.” Few enlisted personnel could have afforded the book or wasted their money on it. But, if nothing had ever been said about it, no one would have thought a thing about it. Then too, how would anyone know that a person in uniform was serving in intelligence? Sometimes, the attention that is paid to something is really odd. Who needs to know and do we really care? Or is there a principle of discipline that is being upheld in the face of the inconsistencies of recent politically-correct policy changes that probably bear more heavily on good discipline in the military than a book about a costly, but successful, operation?

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  12. bettssssComment by bettssss
    September 11, 2012 @ 6:42 pm

    Guess Panetta and the White House don’t like Americans knowing how dirty and crooked they really are………..Make sure you vote to clean up Washington in November. Romney/Ryan 2012

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  13. willyrhoComment by willyrho
    September 11, 2012 @ 9:34 pm

    Leon Panetta should be hung for starting the war with Libya without the President’s or Congress’s approval. And in General he deserves it like now other leader that I have ever seen.

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    • bna42Comment by bna42
      September 12, 2012 @ 9:22 am


      Obama is the commander-in-chief and NO ONE starts a war or uses military force without his approval. Panetta didn’t “start a war with Libya”. It was Obama who lied to Congress about not needing their approval and hid behind NATO while promising it would only last a few weeks. But as we know, it lasted six months.

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  14. billwhit1357Comment by billwhit1357
    September 12, 2012 @ 2:37 am

    What about the leaks within the White House? You don’t care about them, since they most likely came from Obama himself, but a real SEAL who did the job, you want to crucify him for telling We, the People the Truth! Every member of this UnGodly, UnAmerican Obama Administration should be lined against a wall, by our military, and end this insanity with one volley of fire!

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