Former State Dept official: ‘No Easy Day’ is ‘cowardly’ fiction DIGITAL JOURNAL: Elliott Freeman, Sept. 4, 2012 Former senior State Department official Steve Pieczenik has blasted ‘No Easy Day’, the new book about the Osama Bin Laden raid, calling the publisher and military brass “cowards” who created the story to cover up Bin Laden’s death years ago.
Pieczenik, who served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State and Senior Policy Planner under Presidents Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, made the explosive remarks in an uncensored interview with radio talk show host Alex Jones. As the State Department’s International Crisis Manager and Hostage Negotiator, Pieczenik was also responsible for the rescue of over 500 hostages in a variety of terrorism incidents, and his real-life exploits became the inspiration for the Jack Ryan character in Tom Clancy’s best-selling spy novels.
When asked about ‘No Easy Day’, Pieczenik did not hold back his contempt for the book and its publisher, Dutton, a subsidiary of Penguin Group. “It’s not only fiction. Fiction can be detrimental. This is cowardly and greedy on all parts,” he stated. “I maintain that this has been a serious lie that has been the crux of corruption of both the intelligence and military community.” Pieczenik asserted that high-ranking military and intelligence officials who want to blow the whistle on the deception are being suppressed by their superiors. “There are military generals and CIA officers who have complained that this lie cannot continue, and they’ve been reprimanded repeatedly by General [Martin] Dempsey, who I confronted over a month ago,” he revealed. In addition, Pieczenik pointed to the Pentagon’s admission earlier this year that it had no visual or forensic evidence to prove that Osama Bin Laden was killed in the Navy Seal raid in Abottabad, Pakistan or that his body was buried at sea. He also addressed the Department of Defense’s claim that it did not review and edit ‘No Easy Day’ for classified material, as reported by The Daily Beast, even though books of this type normally go through an extensive government vetting process. “The fact that this book is being published without the consent of the Defense Department is disingenuous at best and at worst a lie,” Pieczenik declared. “General Dempsey is lying… [Secretary of Defense] Panetta is lying… [National Security Advisor] Donilon is lying… and Dutton is lying.” According to Pieczenick, who is also the author and co-author of numerous books, Dutton’s explanation that a lawyer chosen by the author vetted the book doesn’t add up. “There is no publisher that is stupid enough to allow the lawyer of an author… to vet it out,” he said. So, if Bin Laden was not killed in the raid, then what happened to him? Pieczenik maintains that he died in late 2001 of natural causes, echoing statements made by former foreign intelligence officer Angelo Codevilla, former FBI counter-terrorism chief Dale Watson, former CIA agent Robert Baer and Lt. Col. Oliver North. While Pieczenik focused his condemnation on the Obama White House, he also lambasted the Bush and Clinton Administrations for setting the stage for the false Bin Laden story. “What you have are men without integrity, without professional expertise, utilizing a political expediency: a narrative to manipulate the fears and concerns of our country while we have bigger issues,” he said. Despite the controversial nature of Pieczenik’s comments, he stood firm, saying that “the intelligence community, the State Department and the President of the United States never refuted my statements.” The Department of Defense and Dutton have yet to issue formal responses to Pieczenik’s latest remarks. In the end, Pieczenik believes that the story of the Bin Laden raid has done more than bring corruption into the highest levels of the military. “It insults the intelligence of the American people,” he explained. “I find this reprehensible… not because it’s just a lie, but it degrades the service of honorable men and women who serve in the field… whose lives are at stake.”