Special operations chief warns troops about exposing secrets

McRaven’s letter came the day after news broke that a Navy SEAL Team Six member who was part of the bin Laden raid was writing a firsthand account of the raid in a book titled “No Easy Day” that will be released on Sept. 11.

The book has not been reviewed by the Pentagon or CIA, and defense officials also warned the author, who has since left the military, could face criminal charges if he reveals national security secrets.

The Pentagon has requested a copy of the book, a defense official said.

While the author is writing under the pseudonym Mark Owen, his identity was revealed Thursday in a report by Fox News, prompting the publisher Dutton to ask that his name not be disclosed for security reasons.

The Associated Press reported that al Qaeda sympathizers had posted photos of the author on jihadist Web forums calling for his killing in retaliation for bin Laden’s death.

McRaven wrote in his letter that former troops had the right to write about their adventures, but he said it was “disappointing” when they tried to either represent the broader community or “expose sensitive information that could threaten the lives of their fellow warriors,” according to the Daily Beast.

The bin Laden raid has sparked intense public interest in the details, and the Obama administration has been criticized for providing information to filmmakers who will release a movie on the raid in December.

A group of former special operations and intelligence officers released a video this month that attacked Obama for taking too much credit for the bin Laden killing.

The bin Laden killing has raised the profile of the SEAL team, as well as McRaven in his role as special operations commander. The movie “Act of Valor” that was released earlier this year had active-duty SEALs in starring roles, and it was given a green light by the Pentagon.

McRaven wrote there was a difference between “Act of Valor” and some of the other publications because the movie was used as a recruiting tool and not something that “exposes sensitive activities just to garner greater readership and personal profit,” the AP reported.