A commander of the elite US Navy SEALs Special Forces warned against members or former members from revealing information regarding operations they carried out.
Rear Admiral Brian Losey, the head of Naval Special Warfare Command, wrote a letter to Navy SEALs in an apparent response to the announcement by Fox News Channel that it will air an interview on 11 November with the Navy SEAL who shot and killed Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden in 2011.
“A critical tenet of our Ethos is ‘I do not advertise the nature of my work, nor seek recognition for my actions,’” Losey said in the letter.
“Our Ethos is a life-time commitment and obligation, both in and out of service. Violators of our Ethos are not teammates in good standing, nor teammates who represent Naval Special Warfare.”
“We do not abide wilful or selfish disregard for our core values in return for public notoriety and financial gain, which only diminishes otherwise honourable service, courage and sacrifice,” the commander added.
The SEAL member in question, Matthew Bissonnette, had released a book in 2012 about the events involving Bin Laden’s killing under the pen name Mark Owen, which was not well received by his commanders and peers.
Matthew Bissonnette in a 2012 interview with 60 Minutes
In an interview with The Daily Beast, Bissonnette said that he regretted publishing the book without having it first vetted for any classified information, blaming it on “bad legal advice”.
“Do I have regret? Yes, but I gotta look at this as a lesson,” he said. “In our community, you’ve got to learn from your mistakes.”
Despite Losey’s letter, Bissonnette’s interview with Fox News is set to go forward, with a spokesperson saying, “Fox News has not been contacted by the Department of Defence or any other government agency expressing concern about ‘The Man Who Killed Osama Bin Laden’ special and we have every intention of airing it as planned on November 11th and 12th.”