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. rosie

    Talk about pre-sale publicity. I think we know how it ends.

    August 30, 2012 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Challdmi

    Im sorry, yes you can see pictures of the tail fan, from the helicopter the US Navy Seal team and the Special Ops used. But really, Im guessing its a highly classified aircraft.. And calling it a RAH-66 Comanche, is dumb.. The RAH66 Comanche, is a helicopter that was a prototype in the early late 1990's / 2000's.. It was shelved due to the cost of the project. Since the AH-64 Apache is such an awesome war machine.

    August 30, 2012 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • mb2010a

      The tail section was the least classified section of the aircraft and that is why it was not destroyed by the Seals. The rest of the aircraft was totally destroyed...

      August 30, 2012 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
  3. RustyHinges8

    Who cares if someone popped him when he stuck his head out of the doorway? Dead is dead. Does this guy feel bad that bin Laden didn't grab a loaded weapon and shoot it out with them or something. What's he feeling guilty about?

    August 30, 2012 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
  4. dave

    well the killing of osama bin laden was highly welcomed by the world as it was minus one problem

    August 30, 2012 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Almost ready to go Amish...

    Who really cares? the dude is dead – do we really need to gory details of demise?

    August 30, 2012 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • :)

      Only the empty people.

      August 30, 2012 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Jmysterio

    I'm sorry, but the timing of this is very, very, suspect. It's also very convenient that the public cannot verify anything as the author is anonymous, so we don't really know who is feeding this to us.

    I question the part of the team's feelings about Obama. Their feelings are irrelevant...I'm sure they welcomed the chance to take out bin laden no matter who gave the order. And even this passage were true, they're supposed to do their jobs without political deference.

    I also question that any SEAL would divulge operation information even anonymously.

    August 30, 2012 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jesus Christ Superstar

      It's also suspect because a week or 2 ago there were Navy Seals crying that Obama "was taking too much credit for bin Laden" and now this "surprise" book is released, saying what Obama said wasn't entirely true? I kinda get the feeling this Navy Seal, like the others, are being paid off by the GOP to make Obama look bad for killing the worlds number 1 terror suspect. Obama kills terrorists, Romney kills American jobs

      August 30, 2012 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Reload

      This guy just wants to tell the real story before the Obma-sanctioned propaganda movie is released.

      August 30, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      How many SEALs on that mission have since retired?

      I bet we can count it on one hand.

      We just have to wait for the other SEALs that bashed Obama for releasing details of the raid for political gain, to now bash this guy (who they MUST know... like I said, how many have retired since then?) for releasing details for financial gain.

      It will come out... unless... there was some politicking behind their bashing of Obama...

      August 30, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Councilman Doug

    Will it be under the non-fiction section because i won't believe that Bin Laden was killed until i see a picture of it. I'm not really one to take the government's word on anything.

    August 30, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Truth will out

      Agreed. Pics of a dead Bin Laden or it didn't happen

      August 30, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • ImmaLetYouFinish

      Great theory! By the way, have you found the squatch in your backyard yet?

      August 30, 2012 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Newfie

    Lard tunderin', bye! Dese seals needs a clubbin'.

    August 30, 2012 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
  9. :)

    I second that rant.

    August 30, 2012 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Reload

    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. Our commander in king will not be scooped!

    August 30, 2012 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • mb2010a

      Tea bagger alert...

      August 30, 2012 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Jesus Christ Superstar

    A) Calm down
    B) Your aluminum foil hat must be getting itchy
    C) You don't need to yell, we are all right here
    D) It's amazing that you use the word "thugs" to describe people close to our 1st black president, but I'm sure you're not racist or anything...

    August 30, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Truth will out

    I agree. Pics of Osama Bin Laden's dead body or it didn't happen. We got pics of Ghadafi, Sadam.....but no Bin Laden?

    August 30, 2012 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
  13. TaggorTriggorJute

    Weird that the ultra sacred seal team would blab. Dude better relo his family quickly.

    August 30, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Nate

    Well I can sleep now that I know a bunch of random people's opinions. I guess I just don't get Twitter at all.

    August 30, 2012 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
  15. :)

    Hey, JC – I didn't notice anything in capitals, so he's not "screaming". Are you always this condescending?

    August 30, 2012 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
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