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."

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

    It's OK – you can take off the tinfoil hat now....

    August 30, 2012 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
  2. KarinCP

    Who Cares ? IF this is important – join the Army ! We (still) need a few good people !

    August 30, 2012 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
  3. wade moran

    Yeah, I read CNN analyst Peter Bergen's review and was sorely disappointed. It was one paragraph about the new book, and about twelve paragraphs defending Obama and Clinton's handling of the UBL situation over the years, and trashing anyone who has questioned them

    August 30, 2012 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Bill

    Well, klod, there is this idea I like to call "hierarchy". A "hierarchy" is a system where the people in charge, to avoid having to micro-manage every single detail of their "organization" (I'll explain that one later), give their ideas and assign tasks to people that directly report to them. Those people then have the job of getting people under them that can do the job. The larger the organization, the larger the "hierarchy".

    Or did you really think that every fatty at the DMV was personally hired by Barack Obama himself?

    Now, its story time! Today I'll be reading from my new Encyclopedia Brown novel: The Case of the Disappearing Caps-Lock! Its riveting. Tune in!

    August 30, 2012 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
  5. generalTURDS

    yet another ploy to get Obama re-elected, this book will be released now!

    August 30, 2012 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
  6. biglio

    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
    sorry to break it to you, but the rest of the world really couldn't care less about it, it's only the US that is still obsessed with bin Laden and stuff that happened more than 10 years ago......move on America....

    August 30, 2012 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
  7. TNCrow

    Osoma probably holed up in Memphis with Elvis...

    August 30, 2012 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
  8. samikep

    How come everything negative about Romney is true and everything negative about Obama is a lie... You guys are out of control....

    August 30, 2012 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
  9. JustASec

    Alive? Well tell him he owes some back rent.

    August 30, 2012 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Bintoast

    Answers;
    – nothing
    – no we don't
    – because he was a bad person
    – Yes
    – they are suing because there were also Saudi connections in addition to Bin Laden....

    August 30, 2012 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Gregory Faith

    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."

    TREASON!
    Indite Berry FOR THIS before NOV 6th !! SEND BERRY TO PRISON

    August 30, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
  12. lmpc

    I think it's bad form to reveal the details of any military operation, no less one where someone is targeted. Maybe in 30 years he can spill it, but now is not the time. No one needs to know or even speculate on what our military strategies or weaknesses might be – as readers do form opinions from what they read, including our enemies. Think this is like revealing military secrets, and of all those who should know better, it should be a SEAL. Shame on you – and kudos to your silent fellows who in my book are the bravest of the brave.

    August 30, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
  13. max

    S Sampson – yeh that 'tinfoil hat' reply is gettting a bit old

    beat it troll

    August 30, 2012 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
  14. ironfray

    Max, the SEAL's that died in that helicopter crash were apart of the same team, but were not the members that did the Bin Laden raid. Go find the article and re-read it. RIP to them.

    August 30, 2012 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Ahmad Anwar

    the operation was all a cover up.. there was no bin laden killed there!!! its just another cover up to the lie that started with a lie...."the terrorists have crashed planes into the world trade centre".... all a part of real life fiction movie.

    August 30, 2012 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20