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Navy SEAL Author’s Profits Can Be Seized
#1
Navy SEAL Author’s Profits Can Be Seized


Monday, 10 Sep 2012 04:35 PM

By Ronald Kessler                                                                      


Ronald Kessler reporting from Washington, D.C. — The government can seize all profits received by former Navy SEAL Matt Bissonnette for his book “No Easy Day,” according to John L. Martin, who headed the Justice Department section that prosecutes spies and leakers of classified information.

Even if the book, written under the pseudonym Mark Owen, contains no classified information, the author breached his contract with the government by not submitting it for pre-publication review.

See Why Pentagon Is Nervous: Get 'No Easy Day' for ONLY $4.95 With Special Offer — Go Here Now

Martin cites a 1980 Supreme Court decision upholding such a contract that was signed by Frank Snepp, a former CIA officer. In that case, no classified information was disclosed, but the proceeds from Snepp’s book were placed in trust for the government.

“In the Snepp case, he failed to submit his book for review, and the government seized the profits from the book,” Martin says. “Snepp took the case to the Supreme Court. So there is a Supreme Court decision on this very point that stands for the proposition that notwithstanding the fact that no classified information was published, the contract with the government prevails, and the former employee still has an obligation to put that book through pre-publication review and that the remedy for the government is the seizure of the profits.”

A lawyer and former FBI agent, Martin headed Justice Department espionage prosecutions for nearly 25 years and supervised the prosecution of 76 spies. They included John A. Walker Jr., a Navy warrant officer; Jonathan J. Pollard, a spy for Israel; Ronald Pelton, a former NSA employee; and Aldrich Ames, a CIA officer.

As it happens, the Pentagon has said the book does contain classified information. The book itself refers to the entire mission as being top secret. But Martin says, “You do not have to bring criminal charges against anyone, and you can punish him by seizing his profits, and you remove the incentive, which was the big point in the Snepp case — removing the incentive of making profits from breaching your contract with the government.”

In his book, Bissonnette says he is donating “most of the proceeds from its sale in honor of” the Navy SEALS who have lost their lives since 9/11. However, the Navy SEAL Foundation, one potential recipient, says on its website that it “will not be accepting any donations that are generated from the book or any related activities.” Martin says the proceeds would be seized by the government regardless of how they are spent.

See Why Pentagon Is Nervous: Get 'No Easy Day' for ONLY $4.95 With Special Offer — Go Here Now

Given the remedy of seizing the profits from the book, Martin sees no need for a prosecution.

“If you go after this guy with an indictment for allegedly disclosing classified information, you are going to give credibility to the book and increase its sales,” Martin says. “You are also going to make him more of a celebrity because every First Amendment advocate in this country — the American Civil Liberties Union, The New York Times, the faculty at Harvard Law School — will be coming after the government, accusing the government of suppressing the poor guy’s First Amendment rights.”





das, proud to be a member of pa2a.org since Sep 2012.
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#2
I can't blame the government on this one.  You give up certain rights when you become a soldier.  Apparently there is an agreement that you will not write about certain things you did while in the military without the governments approval.  Can't blame the government for enforcing the contract.
Everytime we look the other way when someone else loses rights we disagree with, we make it easier to lose the rights we support.

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#3
Lemme guess.  The a-holes are going to give the money to the Purple People Beater Union instead?

This is the same Justice dept. that gave the black panthers freedom.

Ridiculous.
[Image: incubi+INK.jpg]. ABC,CBS,NBC,CNN no diff
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#4
(09-10-2012, 07:48 PM)Spacemanvic Wrote: Lemme guess.  The a-holes are going to give the money to the Purple People Beater Union instead?

This is the same Justice dept. that gave the black panthers freedom.

Ridiculous.


The good point is profits Smile  His salary or the expenses for the gold leaf paper it will now be printed on, well, there will be no profits Smile
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#5
The lesson to be learned here is that, when you sign a contract, you actually have to do what you say you will do, and that there will be consequences if you don't.
ehidle, proud to be a member of pa2a.org since Sep 2012.
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#6
Not only that, but if you invent something or create something of value while employed by the government (including military) and it relates directly to the job you performed in the government, you can be forced to forfeit all rights and profits from that reation until a certain number of years have passed.

Many private companies do this as well, which is why McDonalds is rich from the Big Mac and not the guy who created it.
Vampire pig man since September 2012
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#7
That, & you can't have some lowly E-6, taking credit for OBAMA'S hard work. Rolleyes  Why do you think HE & THE WHITE HOUSE, are working with Hollyweird on the MOVIE? Dodgy



[Image: obama-geronimo.jpg]
The War Wagon, proud to be a member of pa2a.org since Sep 2012. Anim_banana

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#8
While I understand he has a contract, I still tend to think that the 1A should override the federal government's ability to regulate what someone publishes. Freedom of the press and all...
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#9
(09-11-2012, 07:33 AM)rmagill Wrote: While I understand he has a contract, I still tend to think that the 1A should override the federal government's ability to regulate what someone publishes.  Freedom of the press and all...


If that were the case, then you could have soldiers giving out top secret government information that could damage national security without any fear of punishment or reprisal.
Vampire pig man since September 2012
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#10
(09-11-2012, 07:37 AM)Camper Wrote:
(09-11-2012, 07:33 AM)rmagill Wrote: While I understand he has a contract, I still tend to think that the 1A should override the federal government's ability to regulate what someone publishes.  Freedom of the press and all...


If that were the case, then you could have soldiers giving out top secret government information that could damage national security without any fear of punishment or reprisal.


Obama's a danger to our national security.
cgbudde, proud to be a member of pa2a.org since Sep 2012.
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