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August 24th, 2012
10:56 AM ET

Will Navy Seal tell-all book 'No Easy Day' on Bin Laden raid put him at risk? Gen. Marks on the intricacies of classified information

The Navy Seal behind the much-anticipated firsthand account of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden has been unmasked this morning. Several news outlets are posting his name. Here at CNN we'll honor the request from the Pentagon to not name him.

Officials say the book, called "No Easy Day," could have some dangerous repercussions. The publisher says it provides a blow-by-blow on the bin Laden compound raid in 2011.

Gen. James "Spider" Marks explains to Soledad O'Brien on "Starting Point" this morning that the unnamed Seal is putting himself at risk for retribution.

"There may be elements that would want to try to exact some type of retribution, personal lip against him. He's a private citizen now and that puts him at greater risk. By association, you then have his buddies and those still in harm's way that may be put at risk as well," Marks says.

Marks also addresses why the Seal would decide to unveil so much sensitive information.

"It's contradictory to the military and the Seals are at the top wrung. All military personnel are entrusted information. They receive the security clearances and in the specific case of the Seals, they probably signed a nondisclosure agreement that said you will not only be after your service to the nation, you still have an obligation to hold on to that information. I as a former intelligence officer, I still have information that's embedded in my cranium that is never going to be released because its classified and I would have no reason to believe that it has been declassified. So it clearly is against the ethos and there is a legal ramification and that will be worked out through a number of investigations. There are really three stake holders. This was a CIA operation, with a Navy unit but under the fielding of SOCOM. So there are going to be a number of investigations."


Filed under: Navy Seal • Osama Bin Laden • Safety
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