In the dark of night on May 2, 2011, two black stealth helicopters carried twenty-four U.S. Navy SEALs to a secluded compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, and just as they were about to land, one of the two choppers crashed into the wall of the compound. Undeterred, the SEALs continued with their mission.
Back in Washington, D.C. President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and other members of the administration huddled in the situation room monitoring the assault on Osama bin Laden’s fortress.
Then came the words, “For God and country, I pass Geronimo… Geronimo, E.K.I.A.” Geronimo, bin Laden’s code name, was dead. The president and his team just sat there in disbelief.
Forty-five minutes after the SEALs entered that compound, they were back in the air with the corpse of the man responsible for the most substantial terror attack in world history.
In the days and weeks after, the special operators on that mission watched the president and members of his administration, and the press, discuss their mission in detail, and nearly every report was inaccurate or just dead wrong.
Disgusted by the inaccurate reporting, one of the SEAL team leaders on that mission by the name of Matt Bissonette decided to write a book outlining his career as a SEAL, and detailing the bin Laden mission. Writing under the pseudonym Mark Owen, his book titled "No Easy Day," topped the New York Times Best Seller list.
Within weeks after hitting the book stands, the U.S. Department of Defense and Justice Department targeted Bissonette, claiming there was classified information in the book, and that he had not cleared the book for release by the government, as was required under DOD policy.
For five years, the Justice Department tortured Bissonette and his family and threatened him with criminal charges and imprisonment. In the end, they were forced to admit that there was no classified information in the book, and their investigation also revealed that Bissonette retained an attorney to have the book cleared by DOD, but the attorney failed to do his job, unbeknownst to Bissonette.
Bissonette’s punishment for having an incompetent attorney was the seizure of every single dime of the book’s profits, most of which was going to charities supporting the special operations community. Federal prosecutors seized close to $7 million dollars just because they could. They didn’t let the funds go to a charity, they just took it, in addition to leaving him with $1.3 million in legal expenses.
Besides being one of three SEALs that put bullets into the body of Osama bin Laden, and being involved in the iconic “Captain Phillips” mission that also resulted in another major motion picture, Bissonette's career involved thirteen combat tours and hundreds of covert missions during which he was awarded one Silver Star, one Purple Heart, 5 Bronze Stars with “V” (for valor), one Joint Commendation medal with “V,” one Navy Commendation medal with “V,” and a number of other awards. He suffered a substantial neck injury in the helicopter crash on the UBL raid, and has received little to no support in the aftermath by the Veteran’s Administration.
With all that, our government… the U.S. Department of Defense and U.S. Justice Department tortured this young man with the threat of taking his liberty and seized every dime of his book royalties that were rightfully his, and did everything they could to destroy his reputation in the court of public opinion, for absolutely nothing!
Then there’s highly decorated Lt. General Michael Flynn, the former National Security Advisor to the president who spent 33 years serving his country, only to be targeted by the U.S. Justice Department and charged for making a false statement, even after FBI Director James Comey has stated that he believed Flynn was never untruthful.
So, fast forward to James Comey’s new book.
Based on reports and/or his own public statements, he has made false statements under oath, he admitted to leaking a classified memo to The New York Times, and there are some passages in his book that clearly would never been allowed, had the Justice Department cleared the book for publication.
So, did the Justice Department Office of the Inspector General review the book for privileged or classified information? Is James Comey going to be charged with making false statements, or leaking classified information? Are his book profits going to charity? Is the government going to seize the profits from his book as they did Bissonette’s, even though Bissonette had no classified material in the book?
Shouldn’t James Comey receive the same treatment as Matt Bissonette, General Michael Flynn, and so many others that have dedicated their lives to the service of our country, only to be targeted by the very government they worked for, for selective and political reasons?
Congress, the U.S. Attorney General, and the FBI Director must do something to stop selective and political prosecutions, and stop allowing political, personal, and professional critics to use the Justice Department as a tool to destroy people’s lives, just because they can. It has impugned the integrity and credibility of the Justice Department and FBI, and destroyed good people that have put their lives on the line for this country, but were targeted by overzealous prosecutors seeking victory and trying to make a name for themselves.
It’s time for it to stop.
As New York City’s 40th Police Commissioner, Bernard Kerik was in command of the NYPD on September 11, 2001, and responsible for the city’s response, rescue, recovery, and the investigative efforts of the most substantial terror attack in world history. His 35-year career has been recognized in more than 100 awards for meritorious and heroic service, including a presidential commendation for heroism by President Ronald Reagan, two Distinguished Service Awards from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, The Ellis Island Medal of Honor, and an appointment as Honorary Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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