Controversy erupts over a surprise book about the operation that killed Osama bin Laden. Is the ex-SEAL author in legal jeopardy?

By Stephan Lee
August 31, 2012 at 04:00 AM EDT

A former Navy SEAL’s firsthand account of the 2011 raid that killed Osama bin Laden is kicking up a storm even before its Sept. 11 release. The author of No Easy Day uses the pseudonym Mark Owen due to what a Penguin rep calls ”obvious risks to his personal security,” but could face criminal charges if his book divulges any classified information. The publisher, which upped the print run to 400,000 copies, hired a former special-ops attorney to vet Day for tactical, technical, and procedural details but did not submit it to the Defense Department for review. Already declassified: Owen’s real identity, which was leaked by some media outlets less than 24 hours after the book was announced.