August 30th, 2012
11:48 AM ET

Buzz ramps up over SEAL's bin Laden book

It’s already No. 1 on Amazon’s bestseller list.

Like little kids with the latest Harry Potter sequel, Washington and the rest of the world will be eagerly thumbing through “No Easy Day” when it hits bookshelves Tuesday. The memoir of a Navy SEAL who helped kill Osama bin Laden in May 2011 purports to tell the full story of how the globe’s most-wanted terrorist met his end.

Mentions of the book's author spiked on Twitter on Thursday morning, as did the term "Navy SEAL book." About 4,500 mentions were made by mid-morning. The book was mentioned more than 8,000 times on August 22, when news broke of its release.

Carl Carver tweeted, "This sort of thing is NOT healing relations in Middle East, predicted as the starting point of WWIII !"

"It seems like once a year since I graduated college I get super excited for a book release, this year No Easy Day by Mark Owen is that book," Drake Stahr tweeted.

The RangerUp fan page on Facebook, a popular spot for military folks, had a range of comments.

One commenter said: "If the POTUS (President of the United States) hadn't spilled what he did I would say that the book should not have been written. Since he did blab and is having a movie made about it, I think it needs to be told, but in a way that does not compromise SEAL Team 6...Looking forward to the book."

"None of the details of that op should have ever been released, nor should any additional details be released," another poster wrote. "We DO NOT have a need to know. Period. Loose lips sink ships and get good men killed. And frankly, I'm tired of watching the body count rise."

Publisher Dutton had originally planned to release 300,000 copies, but after fevered hype in media and on social networks this week, it increased that to 575,000 copies, according to the latest from Publisher's Weekly.

Despite these numbers, Spielberg won't be doing a movie. But audiences wanting to see bin Laden get it on the big screen will get their wish around Christmas, when "Hurt Locker" director Kathryn Bigelow releases her take on the raid in “Zero Dark Thirty.”

Still, the drama is there. Spoiler alert: Reviews by the few who managed to obtain the book, including CNN’s terror analyst Peter Bergen, are that details jibe mostly with what was initially reported.

Bergen said "No Easy Day" is far more credible than other recent titles about raid.

Still, readers at Pentagon and the CIA at just now starting to comb through the book to make sure it doesn’t give away any sensitive sources or operational techniques. The publication of “No Easy Day” was apparently a surprise to top brass.

When Dutton announced that the book was coming out, it gave the SEAL's pen name as “Mark Owen.” CNN soon learned the SEAL’s real identity but agreed, at the Pentagon’s request for his safety, not to release the name. Shortly after, Fox identified the SEAL as Matt Bissonnette, a 36-year-old who had been raised in Alaska, learning how to hunt, shoot and fish at an early age. Wednesday night, CBS aired snippets of a "60 Minutes" interview with the author, set to air Sunday, that showed his face. Given those developments, CNN has decided to report Bissonnette’s name.

The pen name is popular on Twitter on Thursday, not "Bissonnette."

Earnings for the book, Dutton has said, will go to charities that help the families of fallen SEALs. That move may garner praise and help quell accusations that the book, released so close to the presidential election, is politically motivated even though the book is reportedly critical of Obama, the Atlantic reported Thursday.

The SEAL batted down those criticisms in the "60 Minutes" interview.

“This book is not political whatsoever,” he said. “It doesn't bad mouth either party, and we specifically chose September 11th to keep it out of the politics. You know, if these - crazies on either side of the aisle want to make it political, shame on them. This is a book about September 11th, and it needs to rest on September 11th. Not be brought into the political arena, because this - this has nothing to do with politics.”

At least one SEAL has been outspoken about the book. He said he would congratulate Bissonnette on killing bin Laden and then tell him to move with his family to protect his safety.

"He's made himself and his family a target of al-Qaeda extremists," Don Mann wrote in Time, alluding to his own book published last year. "Furthermore, he can expect some disapproval from the SEAL community."

Gen. James "Spider" Marks said that he SEAL could be putting himself in danger and that the book might have "repercussions." But ex-SEAL Chuck Pfarrer has voiced support for the publication of the book: "I’m sure that this author felt, as I did, that the truth wasn’t being told."

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Filed under: Afghanistan • Al Qaeda • Alaska • Navy SEALs • Osama bin Laden • Pakistan • September 11 • Taliban • Terrorism • U.S. • War • World
soundoff (551 Responses)
  1. Steve

    Who cares? Bin laden is dead and some want to squabble over how he died? Pettiness does not do well for a Seal.

    August 30, 2012 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • wade

      says you

      August 30, 2012 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • rkdres

      says many of us

      August 30, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • WDinDallas

      Hmmm....you mean Obama wasn't there to kill him and kick his tail into the sea after he beheaded Osame with his teeth?

      August 30, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Sarry Badler

    Fighting soldiers from the sky,
    "Quiet" professionals, they write books to say why;
    Unlike their fathers, whose hearts were true,
    Their aim is cash, colored red, white and blue.

    August 30, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • MIchele

      Agree! Sounds like round two of the Swiftboat Liars tour.

      August 30, 2012 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
  3. NativeTexan

    "He'd better be careful, now al Qaeda's gonna get him!" What, you think al Qaeda needs excuses to kill Americans? What war have you been watching for the past decade?

    August 30, 2012 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
  4. mb2010a

    I believe that the article, which you apparently didn't read, says that all monies from the book sales will go to charity...

    August 30, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
  5. RustyHinges8

    I'm still waiting for the real reason he wrote this book, and why it's coming out now....

    August 30, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • MIchele

      You can't figure that out?

      August 30, 2012 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
  6. DB

    Note how Obama said HE is the one who got Osama. This project was started long before Obama was President and without the help of hundreds of dedicated people it would never have been possible to find and distroy the enemy. Obama only allowed the final chapter to be written but he looked like a little child in a room of professionals doing their jobs the right way and not politically alligned. Just Obama's politicalizing the event is enough to show the public how shallow he really is.

    August 30, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob Loblaw

      Do you really think that if a Republican were president right now, that he wouldn't be "taking credit" as well?

      August 30, 2012 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • momo-chan

      you're half right, the plan to kill Bin Laden was started in 1971 after he stole some Snickers bars from a gas station

      August 30, 2012 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • NYKnows

      No, our legitmately elected president looked concerned for others' safety, and the historical nature of the event.
      It is understandable that you forget what a real president looks like. You are probably about 13 years old, and so only Bush2 is in your memory. Forget about Bush, he was never really a president, or anything worthwhile. But kid, pay attention to Pres. Obama, he's the real deal. Thankfully, we adults are going to vote him back into office in a landslide election on November 6, so by the time you are voting age, you will have had 8 years of a truly great American President. You will be able to judge future presidents by the achievements of Pres. Obama.

      August 30, 2012 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • JOH

      Please. All Americans ever do is take credit for other people's accomplishments. Why is it so wrong for a president to do so among a billion of you all doing the same thing and thinking it is OK?

      August 30, 2012 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • JustASec

      If YOU gave the order, you'd say you got him, too. And you'd be right.

      August 30, 2012 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
  7. pbernasc

    right ... months before election, book published without verification by the Pentagon, as it is required for all former military personnel with security clearance.
    It is political .. truth can be twisted for political purposes and detailed omitted that would change perspective.

    The really funny this is the public falls for it every time, ... so yes stupid people will get the gov they begged for ..

    August 30, 2012 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob Loblaw

      Guess that means that Rommel will our next prez, then.

      August 30, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Reload

      Yea, and that's why Obama gave unprecedented access to information to the movie crew. Obamajama is just torqued because the book is beating his self-aggrandizing movie to market. The book will be shut down by Obama's "justice" department, I guarantee it.

      August 30, 2012 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
  8. forrealz

    they should have had it on live tv for the whole world to see. then there would be no need to write a book about it.

    August 30, 2012 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
  9. mb2010a

    I'll bet you think we didn't land men on the moon either...

    August 30, 2012 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Fezzik

    When the guy is openly saying his team were against the President, and when he is writing a book to sell copies, do you really think he is objectively telling the story? He is slanting it his way, and that is fine, as long as he is honest about it. President Obama never said "he got Osama bin Laden" himself. He authorized the operation, and if it went well or it went poorly, it is the fault/credit of the SEAL team. So clearly this author has an axe to grind and is out to make a few bucks while he's at it. I won't buy his book, and if he wrote it himself (doubtful), it probably isn't worth lining my hamster cage with.

    August 30, 2012 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dwayne

      Just another racist trying to defame the President Obama's accomplishments. I notice that Bush couldn't find Osama bin Ladin. We are truely fortunate to have the best and smartest President ever steering us through these difficult times and winning the war in Iraq and turning the economy around with JOB GROWTH.

      August 30, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • SGTROD

      Dwayne, you are just another typical idiot. Every time someone says something contrary to president Obama you automatically pull out the race card. You are pathetic. But, I will give you this, Obama is turning the economy around. and around and around and around....i.e. the death spiral we are in because of his ramant and uncontrolled spending. I guess that makes me a racist huh Dwayne?

      August 30, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
  11. mb2010a

    I doubt that it will have any effect one way or the other...

    August 30, 2012 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
  12. mrhapiguy

    Simple question, does anyone think Mitt Romney would have had the courage to sign that order when his SecDef and VP were against it? I think not.

    President Obama has the cajones that all the GOP chicken hawks wish they had. We are safer with him in charge.

    August 30, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob Loblaw

      Obama does what he is told. As did his pedecessor. As will Rommel, if he's elected.

      August 30, 2012 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
  13. momo-chan

    I would hate for Hollywood to make movies based on things that didn't happen... Can't wait for Expendables 3!!!

    August 30, 2012 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
  14. NYKnows

    If this guy really is an ex-SEAL, he would NEVER have put other SEALS in danger. And he would not have needed a heavy disguise on 60 minutes. Nothing connected to this book sounds real, so who paid for this garbage to come out before the election?

    August 30, 2012 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Ray

    this animal got exactly what he deserved...let's move on....NEXT!!!

    August 30, 2012 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
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