Jesse Ventura is throwing his support behind the ex-Navy SEAL who wrote the tell-all book about the killing of Osama bin Laden ... telling TMZ, "We deserve to know."
Ventura -- a former Navy SEAL and Gov. of Minnesota -- was out in NYC yesterday when we asked him about U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta threatening to punish "Mark Owen" over his book "No Easy Day."
"I don't have a problem with it " Ventura says ... "It's over. We deserve to know ... our tax dollars pay for this ... we have every right to know what we pay taxes on."
He continued, "Once the operation is over, you're not compromising anything then."
"I'm glad he did it ... I'd like to hear from boots on the ground instead of politicians in Washington."