Matt Bissonnette is an ex-Navy SEAL who wrote the best selling book about the Osama Bin Laden raid, No Easy Day.
After the book came out, he became the focus of a Defense Department probe about whether he illegal shared classified material.
Recently, that probed widened to investigate if Bissonnette used his stature as a special operator for commercial gain. From The Intercept:
A former Navy SEAL who shot Osama bin Laden and wrote a bestselling book about the raid is now the subject of a widening federal criminal investigation into whether he used his position as an elite commando for personal profit while on active duty, according to two people familiar with the case.
The investigation stems from when Bissonnette, under federal inquiry for leaking classified information, willingly turned his hard drive over to investigators.
During their search of his hard drive, investigators subsequently found emails and records dealing with Bissonnette’s work as a consultant while he was on active duty at SEAL Team 6. Those records, which were not part of the non-prosecution agreement, led to the widening probe. Federal investigators then became interested in whether Bissonnette’s business ventures with companies that supply military equipment — including companies whose products were used by SEAL Team 6 — were helped by his role in the elite unit’s procurement process, according to one of the people familiar with the case.
Included in that handed over hard drive was a photo of Osama Bin Laden’s corpse, which Bissonnette, you know, wasn’t allowed to have.
The two people familiar with the probe said the current investigation, led by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, expanded after Bissonnette agreed to hand over a hard drive containing an unauthorized photo of the al Qaeda leader’s corpse. The government has fought to keep pictures of bin Laden’s body from being made public for what it claims are national security reasons.
Man. Imagine if that got out.
Bissonnette has been an outcast in the SEAL community ever since he broke rank by publishing his memoir without allowing the Pentagon to vet it.
According to two retired SEAL Team 6 operators, Bissonnette’s name has been added to a rock kept at the Virginia Beach SEAL Team 6 base. The rock is used to mark former members who are no longer welcome at the command, including former SEALS who have violated a series of unwritten codes of conduct among the unit.
Bissonnette’s lawyer declined to comment to The Intercept.