Controversy surrounds a CIA analyst that was crucial to the mission that killed Osama bin Laden. CNN's Barbara Starr reports on how some are calling her head strong and combative.
By Larry Shaughnessy
Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta spelled out the future battle against al Qaeda, praising what has been done so far but warning much more work remains.
Speaking about the September 11 attacks in a speech at the Center for a New American Security, a Washington-based think tank, Panetta said, "We will do everything possible to ensure that such an attack never happens again. That means counterterrorism will continue as a key mission for our military and intelligence professionals as long as violent extremists pose a direct threat to the United States."
He said efforts against the core al Qaeda group have been largely successful. "Al Qaeda's leadership ranks have been decimated. This includes the loss of four of al Qaeda's five top leaders in the last 2½ years alone - Osama bin Laden, Shaikh Saeed al-Masri, Atiyah Abd al-Rahman and Abu Yahya al-Libi."
By Carol Cratty
A federal appeals court Tuesday tossed out the conviction of a driver for Osama bin Laden, dealing a blow to the U.S. military commissions system.
Salim Hamdan was convicted in 2008 of providing material support for terrorism. In a unanimous decision, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit overturned the conviction.
The court noted that Hamdan was found guilty based on conduct that took place from 1996 to 2001, but the charge of material support for terrorism only came into effect with the passage of the Military Commissions Act of 2006.
"Because we read the Military Commissions Act not to retroactively punish new crimes, and because material support for terrorism was not a pre-existing war crime," the court wrote, "Hamdan's conviction for material support for terrorism cannot stand." FULL POST
By Barbara Starr
(CNN) - Deep inside the military's special operations forces there is a crisis of conscience unfolding. The publication of "No Easy Day," a former Navy SEAL's account of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, is forcing many to rethink a fundamental point of military honor. How much should America's commandos talk about what they do?
It's a debate that goes beyond disclosure of classified information, which is a crime. The discussion now centers on honor, ethics and cultural values inside the ranks.
"This is a battle for the conscience of the SEALs," a recently retired senior SEAL told me.
He served for decades in operational positions in the force, and has never told me any of the details of his missions. For years he did what every SEAL has done: Go on raids, find targets and, if necessary, kill them. It's what the nation asks of them.
The question now: Is the SEAL community taking that Tom Clancy superman image and turning it into celebrity? "Was No Easy Day" indeed that last straw?
By Barbara Starr
A Pentagon official said Tuesday that a former Navy SEAL who helped kill Osama bin Laden included classified material in his new book and did not follow protocol for pre-publication review.
On the same day the much-anticipated memoir hit book shelves, CNN obtained a copy of message written by the SEALs' commander to members of his unit.
In it, Rear Adm. Sean Pybus, head of the Naval Special Warfare Command, said he was "disappointed, embarrassed and concerned" that troops are now openly speaking and writing about their secret work.
Pre-orders put the book at No. 1 on Amazon's bestseller list for two weeks.
But the Pentagon was not as as eager to see the release of "No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama Bin Laden."
The new book by former Navy SEAL Matt Bissonnette, published under the pseudonym Mark Owen, has some eye-opening, sometimes amusing details about the mission that killed Osama bin Laden.
"No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama Bin Laden" goes step by step through the SEAL team's training and practicing for the attack, the assault itself and the aftermath.
One might find it odd that in the midst of one of the most important Special Operations missions ever, most of these elite warriors weren't exactly pumped up on the flight to bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
"I think most of the guys on the helicopter actually caught some much-needed sleep on the ride in. ... All the hype was gone and it was just another night at work for us."
By Pam Benson, CNN Senior National Security Producer
Newly released e-mails show the Obama administration was eager to help the makers of an upcoming documentary on the dramatic raid that led to the death of Osama bin Laden - and the e-mails are likely to once again raise questions about whether the filmmakers had special access.
The records from the CIA and Defense Department were made public Tuesday by the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch in response to a Freedom of Information Act request.
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said the e-mails indicate the Obama administration "played fast and loose with national security information to help Hollywood filmmakers," and that there was no doubt the "White House was intensely interested in this film that was set to portray President Obama as 'gutsy'" - a reference to one of the e-mails that said the raid "was a gutsy decision" by the president.
The e-mails indicate filmmaker Kathryn Bigelow, screenwriter Mark Boal and other members of their team were given special access to senior administration officials just weeks after the May 1, 2011, raid as they researched their movie entitled "Zero Dark Thirty," originally scheduled to come out in October but now delayed until after the presidential election.
By Mike Mount
The author of the controversial but yet-to-be-published book, "No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama Bin Laden," wrote it under the pseudonym Mark Owen.
The book's publisher said the special operations forces team member did not want to reveal his name to protect himself and his family.
But only a day after a New York Times first reported the book was coming out, Fox News reported the author's real name on its website and posted photos of him in combat gear.
A book company said Wednesday that it will release on September 11 a firsthand account of the raid that killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
Christine Ball, director of marketing and publicity for Dutton, a subsidiary of Penguin Group USA, said the book was written by a Navy SEAL under a pen name.
The book is entitled "No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama bin Laden."
About two dozen U.S. Special Operations forces and two helicopters were involved in the raid early May 2, 2011, in Abbottabad, Pakistan, that killed bin Laden.
By Dugald McConnell and Brian Todd
A web video featuring former special forces officers accuses President Barack Obama of taking too much credit for the killing of Osama bin Laden and allowing classified information about the raid to become public.
The ad also includes former Navy SEALs.FULL STORY