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“If I were advising some of these media organizations, I would have urged them to be very cautious about leaking the true name of someone who participated in a raid to kill bin Laden,” he said.

Bob Steele, a media ethics expert and professor at DePauw University, said the media have to set the bar high before granting anonymity to a book author. In this case, it’s even more important for people to know the author, because the book makes an assertion that the raid did not go down quite like the Obama administration had reported.

“If you leave a name out of a story, you diminish its factual accuracy and its authenticity,” Steele said. “A major piece of the jigsaw puzzle is missing.”

ABC News and NBC News have not used Bissonnette’s name in any stories about the case.

CNN had not been using the author’s real name because Pentagon officials had asked that it not be revealed, spokeswoman Bridget Leininger said. But on the air Thursday, CNN showed clips from the CBS story and used Bissonnette’s name, saying it was being revealed “under the Pentagon’s guidance.”

“By this week, it was clear his real identity was not going to remain private, and we reported it,” Leininger said.