— Business Insider (@businessinsider) August 22, 2016
Business Insider — A former US Navy SEAL who wrote a book about the daring operation on Osama Bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan has agreed to forfeit $6.8 million in book royalties and speaking fees, the New York Times reported on Friday, citing federal court documents.
Matt Bissonnette, who wrote the book under the pseudonym “Mark Owen,” also apologized in a statement for not getting the book vetted by the Pentagon before it was published in 2012, the New York Times said.
“I accept responsibility for failing to submit the book for review and apologize sincerely for my oversight,” the newspaper reported the statement as saying.
Let me start by clarifying that I am not a Navy SEAL. Never been through BUDS. Never been through Hell Week. Never been in the military, near the military, or remotely confused for a military person. Never even really been outside my apartment on a weekday. BUT, I have read 3 Navy SEAL books and I know a guy who knows a SEAL so here we are.
(Chaps probably best qualified to cover this but I’m pretty sure he strongly prefers to write about poop.)
The SEALs obviously have a code: do your job and don’t talk about it. Ever. Especially not publicly. So writing a book on the most famous SEAL op of all time is a clear violation of that code. We understand that. But on some level you have to look at what these guys actually do, how intensely and wholesomely they do it, how modestly they get compensated for it, and understand why one would be inclined to a) tell the story and b) cash in.
The Navy SEAL average salary is about $54,000. These savages train, study, travel, execute ops, risk their lives and stay on-call 24/7. They’re absolute machines and simply reaching their level is an unbelievably rare feat. They beat out the best of the best of the best just to get in, then work their dicks off once they’re there. They do ALL this to defend freedom and kill bad guys. And they do it in secrecy.
Many of us idiots sitting in front of a laptop in air conditioning, hitting a keyboard and taking 2-hour lunches make more than SEALs. Who are 1 billion x better than we are. So this guy writes a book telling the story and making some cash? Fine by me. The story was going to get told one way or another — it’s legit one of the biggest, most fascinating and intense real-life stories of all time. It’s going to get out, so midas whale come out via a SEAL who was there and risked his life.
Again, fine by me. Again, I’m not a Navy SEAL. I did cut one of my fingernails too short last week and blogged right through it tho so don’t sleep on Riggs.