SEAL charity refuses donations generated by book


The former Navy SEAL who co-authored a controversial first-person book about the raid to kill Osama bin Laden promised to donate most of his earnings to charity. But at least one nonprofit wants nothing to do with it.

The Navy SEAL Foundation says it will not accept any donations generated by the memoir, "No Easy Day," which the Pentagon says likely contains classified information that could put military personnel at risk.

The book quickly climbed to the top of best-seller lists after it hit shelves Tuesday.

In a statement posted on its website Wednesday afternoon, the Navy SEAL Foundation said it "is committed to providing immediate and ongoing support and assistance to the Naval Special Warfare community and their families. With this principled mission in mind, the Foundation will not be accepting any donations that are generated from the book or any related activities."

The Virginia Beach-based charity took in more than $6.5 million in 2010, according to tax filings, and reported a surge of donations in 2011 after the bin Laden mission. Jim Smith, the foundation's executive director, did not respond to phone calls seeking comment Wednesday evening.

The Department of Defense has threatened legal action against ex-SEAL Matt Bissonnette, who, with the help of a journalist co-author, penned the book under the pseudonym Mark Owen. A Pentagon spokesman said Tuesday that the book included sensitive information and that its release was "a material breach of nondisclosure agreements."

The book offers a blow-by-blow account of the raid in Abbottabad, Pakistan, and the events leading up to it. Bissonnette, 36, was among the commandos in the room when bin Laden was killed and describes the scene in gritty detail.

After a point man shot the al-Qaida leader in the head, Bissonnette and another SEAL trained assault rifles on him and fired a few rounds into his chest. "The bullets tore into him, slamming his body into the floor until he was motionless," he wrote.

The book's release has generated mixed reactions within the close-knit and highly secretive SEAL community, which was thrust into the spotlight after the bin Laden mission.

The Navy SEAL Foundation is among a few groups identified in the book as charities that Bissonnette supports. No other group has stated plans to reject donations.

Christina Valentine, director of the Beach-based All in All the Time Foundation, another SEAL charity listed in the book, said her board hasn't yet decided how to proceed.

Valentine started the fund after her SEAL husband, Senior Chief Petty Officer Thomas Valentine, died in a parachuting accident in 2008. Valentine has been out of the country and hasn't had a chance to read the book, she said.

"I need to sit here and really mull it over," she said. "I don't want to judge anybody or make an uninformed comment. I wonder how many people out there haven't read the book and are making a statement?"

Mike Hixenbaugh, 757-446-2949, mike.hixenbaugh@pilotonline.com 

Posted to: Military Virginia Beach

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that seems odd

They were sure keen on advertising the fact that the guys who did that mission were going to be present at their fundraiser last fall. I wonder what the difference is in advertising for $?

If they DID...

Can you imagine the outrage if they did accept......the donations....


Anonymous donations

Here's a situation that calls for anonymous donations... happens all the time...

Comment deleted

Comment removed for rules violation. Reason: Post continued, repeated

now the whispering campaign

The Pentagon did not seek an injunction against the publisher/author to delay/stop the publication from distribution. Now they have jumped the gun and can't figure how to get out the mess they created.

If there really was classified information that has not been declassified in the book, the Pentagon would have done a lot more than send a letter.

Every rational person knows that even as a seal with probable top secret or higher security clearance, he was enlisted and what enlisted other than a radio or crypto gear operator would have access to HOW BIN LADEN WAS FOUND? What kind of national security information that is not already declassified would the author know?

At least the charity could have said they read the book BEFORE deciding.


You do know that enlisted SEALs go on missions, right? That the whole team that was on the raid was made up of officers and enlisted? While I despise the actions of Matt Bissonnette, it is absolutely believable that he was on the raid and in the position of the advancing team that he says he was. And also, don't think for a second that the Pentagon is formulating it's plan on how to deal with the book. Believe it or not, the strategy of "Hey, you can't say that, you're in trouble!" doesn't really go far in court.

of course, but that was NOT the question

Do you seriously believe that an enlisted seal, even with top secret or higher security classifaction is given national security information that has not already been declassified? Unless the "MISSION" is classified, what information would an enlisted have?
Do you seriously believe that an enlisted seal, even with top secret or higher security classification would know HOW BIN LADEN WAS FOUND?

I have faith and honor of the military. I doubt their civilian authority frequently, but not the military.
I believe the MILITARY attorneys would have been going over the book with author's commanderSSSS checking to see if anything was still classified BEFORE the book was published.
Did the CIVILIAN Pentagon attorneys do that? No.

It makes no sense

How would he have access to classified information? BECAUSE HE WAS THERE! This isn't research that the author did, it's actual events that he lived through personally. I can write about driving to work because I was behind the wheel, not because I did a Google search. Being "enlisted" or "commissioned" has absolutely NOTHING to do with access to information, making it obvious you never served. He knows how Bin Laden was found BECAUSE HE WAS THERE. Military attorneys had no way of going over the book because the author did not provide the book to the military. Once the book was published, the Pentagon could finally vet it, and if there is some information in the book that is classified, the author will be held accountable.

Port-What you're saying

Port-What you're saying makes absolutely no sense.

You've gone on multiple

You've gone on multiple times now indicating the only possible classified information is how Bin Laden was found. How do you come to this conclusion? US forces covertly go into foreign territory without permission of that country's government. They must evade military and intelligence forces to access the site and conduct their operation. I have no expertise but it would seem that there are many operational aspects of the endeavour - both stategic and technological - that would be of a classified nature. Nothing I have read yet in the media has gone into the detail that would set off my amateur alarm bells, but I feel fairly certain there is a line in the sand that should not be crossed. I don't know what that line is.

i haven't read the book

I seriously do not doubt that the author has some classified information that includes "we were never there" type covert missions.

There are lots of secrets of OTHER MISSIONS, but the CONTEXT is about the subject of the book - "not an easy day".
The world knows about the special helecopter. The world knows where Bin Laden was. The world knows that Bin Laden is dead.
In the CONTEXT of the book, do you seriously believe that an enlisted seal, even with a top secret or higher security classification would know HOW BIN LADEN WAS FOUND?

I didn't know that we were talking about other missions beside the Bin Laden mission. I will endevour to make the CONTEXT clearer.

In this SPECIFIC context, I

In this SPECIFIC context, I believe there to be more of a strategic and technical nature that is at least sensitive than "how was he found." A lot took place from the time the decision was made to cross the Pakistani border going in until the time they left. Again, e.g., how did they evade Pakistani intel and military (I don't want to know). I'm not qualified to know what is classified or not. But it does seem sensitive and has thankfully not yet come to light in the media. I have not yet read the book. You are trying to make this out to be very simplistic.

perhaps they just don't want the money

from a self-identified team member who has now made it easier for the terrorists to identify other team members and their families.


How does this book make it easier "for the terrorists to identify other team members and their families."
Please cite the page paragraph and line in the book that reveals this specific, detailed information.

I really have no respect for whoever went after this guy...

Whoever it was that went after this guy missed the boat for compromising the safety and security of the nation, just take a look at all the information leaked on all the media channels, TV, Radio and so forth during live real time operations throughout this whole debacle of a war effort. I support wars that are fought to win, this one is a big mess and too many restrictions, this guy has every right to tell a story...someone is just jealous they didn't have anything to do with it down the pike somewhere. Our national media network has done far more damage than this guy could have ever done with his book.....really! Now go out and buy the book and support one of the actual mover's and shakers that take out the trash and git'r done!

hero or zero?

We need to make an example of this guy and put him away for a long time.

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