- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The former Navy SEAL who wrote about the mission to kill Osama bin Laden is in trouble with the Pentagon for writing about the night vision goggles the elite teams use, but they’re available to buy online — for $35,000.

“I set the helmet on my head and pulled down my night vision goggles, or NVGs. Unlike some of the conventional units, we had NVGs with four tubes instead of the usual two. This allowed us a field of view of 120 degrees instead of just 40 degrees. The standard goggles were like looking through toilet paper tubes,” Matt Bissonette wrote in “No Easy Day,” his firsthand account of the mission to kill the terrorist mastermind.

An investigation was launched into the passage that could result in criminal charges, but the national security website Defense One reported that anyone can legally buy the goggles if they have a big enough bank account.

“New York-based L-3 Communications has listed the system, also called GPNVG or GPNVG-18, on its night-vision goggle product webpage since at least Dec. 8, 2012, according to the Internet history website Archive.org,” the website reported Monday.

Defense One reported that the technology can be purchased on Amazon or eBay for $35,000. It also humorously notes that Chinese knockoffs can be found for $41.



Officials who spoke on condition of anonymity also told the website that the device is not classified.

Federal contracting data lists the Pentagon as having spent $12.5 million on the Ground Panoramic Night Vision Goggles since 2010, Defense One reported. Mr. Bissonette says in his book that the devices were $65,000 per unit at the time of the bin Laden raid.

The night vision goggles were also used during filming for “Zero Dark Thirty,” the 2012 movie about the hunt for bin Laden. The film, directed by Kathryn Bigelow, grossed over $95 million in the U.S. during its theatrical run.

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