WASHINGTON (CBS WASHINGTON) – A second charity is now refusing to accept donations from former Navy SEAL Matt Bissonnette, the author of bestselling book No Easy Day – firsthand account of the mission that killed Osama bin Laden.
The two charities –which assist Navy SEAL causes – confirmed the decision to The Atlantic Wire in response to the Pentagon’s threats to carry legal action against Bissonnette.
On Friday, the Navy SEAL Foundation refused to accept proceeds from the sale of the book No Easy Day citing Pentagon accusations that the author leaked classified information about the mission to kill Osama bin Laden. Today, Patt Dossett, director of the Tip of the Spear Foundation, tells The Atlantic Wire his charity is following suit.
The former Navy SEAL who wrote “No Easy Day,” Matt Bissonnette, had promised to donate a majority of his profits to charities, but the non-profit groups he touted are avoiding the situation.
Bissonnette’s book has shot to the top of best-seller lists amid an avalanche of publicity, but his decision to publish his first-hand account has angered many fellow SEALs, including the commander of the elite units, who say he has betrayed the ethos of the special operators to be “quiet professionals.”
The reason the charities’ decisions matter is because from day one Bissonnette has said the “majority” of the book’s proceeds would go to charities that support Navy SEALs. It was a move that was both admirable and savvy given the Pentagon’s threat of seizing the book’s proceeds.
The Pentagon has accused the author of revealing classified information and violating non-disclosure agreements he signed while in uniform, which it says require him to submit any manuscript to the defense officials before publication.
At the end of his book, the author appeals to readers to donate to charities that help veterans and their families, listing three that focus on the elite SEAL units, including the Navy SEAL Foundation based in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
Dutton publishing spokeswoman Christine Ball said Bissonnette had no need for a backup plan for charity donations. She uses Bissonnette’s penname, ‘Mark Owen,’ to reference him.
“Mark is giving the majority of the proceeds from his book to charity but he has never said where,” she told The Atlantic Wire. “The three charities in the back of the book are just places he suggests readers donate if they want to help.”