INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Nov. 11, 2014)-- "No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission that Killed Osama Bin Laden" is a bestseller by a former Navy Seal who broke the story of the mission that killed the USA's most wanted terrorist.
It also landed the author in hot water with the Pentagon and now he's suing his former Indiana lawyer for bad advice about not getting Defense Department approval for his manuscript.
Author Mark Owen, who is actually retired Navy Seal Matt Bissonnette, is suing Kevin Podlaski and the Fort Wayne law firm of Carson Boxberger LLP.
"Defendants told Plaintiff...Plaintiff had no obligation to submit the Book to the Department of Defense or any other agency for a pre-publication review," reads the lawsuit filed in Southern District of New York. "Defendants claimed to have special expertise in dealing with military law and special operations issues.
"Defendants apparently did not know what non-disclosure agreements someone in Plaintiff's position would have signed and failed to undertake any efforts to independently verify which secrecy, non-disclosure agreements Plaintiff had executed with the U.S. Government."
The lawsuit alleges the legal strategy, "was absolutely contrary to law and doomed to failure from the start," and put the author into, "a conflict with the U.S. Government that he could not win."
Retired U.S. Army Col. Jim White said he has no sympathy for Owen/Bissonnette.
"When you get that security clearance it clearly states, 'You cannot share this information.' We are vetted, we're investigated, the United States has said, 'We're going to give you information. We're going to trust you with that information and it's understood that you don't share that information.'"
White, a lecturer at IUPUI, said after 30 years in the military he knows that, "you fully understand that you can't share that information. To this day, like those who have served on active duty and those who have been in the military for a long time, I know classified information, but, you just don't share that and that is fully understood and that is just information you take to your grave.
"I'm sure he had operational knowledge. I can tell you that in my time in Iraq I had operational knowledge that I certainly couldn't share with you and can't come back and share with the public."
Robert Shannon, an attorney representing Podlaski and his former law firm, told Fox 59 News, "There are certainly some factual misrepresentations (and) we denied some of those assertions in the lawsuit and my client will prevail."
Owen/Bissonnette claims in his lawsuit that he wrote "No Easy Day" to set the record straight and to benefit the committment of his fellow Seals and honor the memory of fallen comrades.
Bin Laden was killed during the May, 2011, Seal raid in Pakiston.
The book hit store shelves in September of 2012, and the defendants claim the author's rush to publish is to blame for any alleged legal shortcomings.
"No Easy Day was going through the pre-publication review," said Shannon, "and (the author) was given that advice and that's the part that I deny on behalf of my client that he was given bad advice and the advice was given regarding (the author's) intent to get the book out."
Owen/Bissonnette claims the criminal investigation by the Department of Defense will cost him more than $8 million in lost revenue and future earnings.