NCIS (Naval Criminal Investigative Service) is aggressively interviewing active and former Navy SEALs for their ongoing criminal investigation into Matt Bissonette, the author of No Easy Day, penned under the name Mark Owen.
The investigation has created a massive stir among the SEAL community. Rumors and accusations are flying on social media forums, lines in the sand have been drawn and friendships have ended. I’ve seen and experienced this personally as a result of the recent NCIS probe resulting from publication of No Easy Day.
One popular rumor floating around the SEAL community over the past few weeks—and the main reason we made the decision to publish this article—is that SOFREP is somehow connected to the current NCIS investigation. I can assure you this is false. The DOD, US SOCOM, and the Justice Department have been aggressively pursuing the author at all angles since No Easy Day was published.
“The department continues to assert forcefully that Mark Owen breached his legal obligations by publishing the book without pre-publication review and clearance,” a Pentagon spokesman said. “Settlement negotiations continue with an intent to pursue litigation if talks break down.” –Courtesy FP
Another issue that appears to have compounded the NCIS investigation is that several reporters have been aggressively looking into Owen, and his former unit since his book was published. This appears to be one of many unintended consequences since the book’s publication, and has obviously added to the current rift in the Naval Special Warfare community.
Some of our readers have asked why NCIS would investigate Owen even though he’s not presently on active duty. The answer lies with the charter of the organization itself. NCIS Special Agents are authorized by law to conduct arrests of military members and civilians alike, both on and off military installations. NCIS primarily investigates major criminal offenses punishable by more than one year’s confinement. The true nature of their investigation is unknown to us but judging from the aggressive nature it’s taking on, it’s clearly serious in nature.
The US government is now in the undesirable position of investigating one of America’s heroes, and that’s an unpopular position for the Obama administration to be in when they have been plagued by their own intelligence leaks and political missteps (e.g. the Bergdahl handover). Owen will have his day in court, but the question that is probably on most peoples mind is, “How could America punish their own hero in-good-standing when government negligence at the highest levels of leadership continue to get a free pass.”