No reason to publish SEAL's real identity
I am writing in regard to the Sept. 9 editorial, "SEAL's book risks endangering lives just to cash in on bin Laden raid." The News criticizes the anonymous SEAL who wrote a participant's account of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden for putting the lives of his team at risk while at the same time it reveals the SEAL's real name, thus increasing greatly his and his family's risk of death as well as that of the whole team and their families. With one identity revealed, the others become much easier to learn.
The author wove a tight web of anonymity around himself and his team. It is stated repeatedly in the book that all feared their identities would become known and personal security lost - a huge factor since they had just killed the No. 1 terrorist on earth. Does The News believe it is less unethical to publish his identity because Fox News did it first, with a few others following? It isn't.
Second, the editorial claims the book was written for the money. Yet the author clearly states he is giving most of the proceeds from the book's publishing to charitable organizations he lists that provide help to families of soldiers killed in action. He invites the public to likewise donate to these and other veterans organizations. Following this are five or six pages of the names of Navy SEALs killed in action over the past few years.
Lastly, The News claims national security concerns are put at risk by the book. By what exactly? This is a straightforward account, told from the inside, of a very common operation: an assault on enemy headquarters, this one with the enemy commander in chief likely present. Assaults on enemy headquarters have been going on for centuries. They have been written about by participants. Nor does the book contain descriptions of any secret technology. The book is harmless - much more so than The News publishing the identity of one of the team leaders.