AAFES won't sell former SEAL's memoir about bin Laden raid
WASHINGTON – A former Navy SEAL’s memoir recounting the Osama bin Laden raid that the Pentagon says reveals classified information won’t be sold in exchanges on Army or Air Force bases.
“Due to its unique mission and customer base, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service is not stocking ‘No Easy Day,’” Judd Anstey, public relations manager for AAFES, wrote in an email to Stars and Stripes.
Anstey said the organization had made the decision because of the statements earlier this week by Pentagon press secretary George Little, who told the press “sensitive and classified information is contained in the book.”
The book, released Tuesday, provides an account of the raid in Pakistan that differs in some ways from the official administration account. But the Pentagon has declined to say what it reveals, and some have disputed that it gives away secrets useful to America’s enemies.
“I didn’t see anything in there that disclosed any sensitive tactics, techniques, procedures or sensitive sources and methods. I saw nothing there,” a retired special operator, speaking anonymously, told the Washington Times. “The main objection to the book is, it exists.”
In a letter last week to author Matt Bissonnette, the SEAL who co-authored the book under a pen name, the Pentagon’s top lawyer said he was in violation of non-disclosure agreements he had signed, and that he had failed to submit the book for required vetting before publication.
Little said Friday that the Pentagon was not barring on-base sales of the book and that the decision was up to the services. But Anstey said AAFES can’t distribute a book that might endanger national security.
“(W)e consider the determinations and statements made thus far by DOD to be authoritative,” he said in the email. “The Exchange cannot risk taking part in a future dissemination of potentially classified information.”
Representatives for the Navy and Marine Corps on Friday said the services’ respective exchanges had not determined whether to allow sales of the book.