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. saywhat

    So killing Osama in self defense by the Seals was a big lie. So what?
    We wanted him dead didn't we? Capturing him alive carried a lot of risks. 9/11, our policy etc.

    BTW folks it has come out also that the Pakistani ISI gave 'tacit' approval of the raid and a Colonel there was responsible for leading us to the hide out.
    What else is lurking under wraps, only time would tell.

    August 30, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill Hayden

      Pakistan army cooperated and provided tips and we still blame Pakistan for being unfriendly with us. We are siding with India who stood by USSR in Afghan war 30 years ago. We should open up eyes and face the reality. We can not win In Afghanistan witout the help of Pakistan

      August 30, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Darrell

      @Bill hayden. There is no 'we can't win'. We alreay won when we ousted the Taliban regime and then concluded by dealing with Bin Laden. There is a reason we are pulling out. We accomplish what we sought and it is time for those nationals of Afghanistan to look to their own. So this whole premise that we can not win is flawed as there are no more objectives left to accomplish. In the long run would we prefer those we helped get to power remain as so in that territory? Of course. Is it essential and part of the reasoning why we deployed there in the first place? Not at all.

      August 30, 2012 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Doctor

      I'm glad we took out Osama Bin Laden. I would have shot everyone there for what was done on 9/11. The only thing I haven't seen mentioned, though, with the new account of how the Seals found Osama slumped over and two women around him crying (in which the women were moved out of the way and he was finished off)... was how the original story of one of the wives running at the seals was shot. How did she really get shot then? Did they shoot Bin Laden and then shoot his wife for fun? Just curious.

      August 30, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • tc

      The role regarding the Pakistani army cooperation has been shown to be BS. Read Bergen's CNN piece from yesterday. Those allegations were put forth by an author with a complete lack of credibility. The history of how Bin Ladens compound was found is now well known, and corroborated by many different sources. It has nothing to do with Pakistan's help.

      August 30, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • misinformed

      Just because Pakistan initially allied with the US means nothing.
      At present Pakistan is nothing more than a basket case where maggots like the Taliban and others are allowed to fester.
      india on the other hand is a civilized, industrialized, educated and a sophisticated country.
      Pakistan just happens to be in the way of Afghanistan. Not more.

      August 30, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
  2. matt

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

    ok, but 9/11 didn't help middle east relations either.
    if you remember CNN, and all the others showed videos of the muslims in the middle east cheering as people lept to their deaths in the towers.

    let the syrians kill themselves. nobody cares. and obama knows it. thats why there are no boots on the ground (thats my opinion). let syria and all the others reap what they sew!

    August 30, 2012 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Inglourious

      Many Muslim nations, Iran included, held vigils for the victims of 9/11.

      August 30, 2012 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Meh


      August 30, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • spuds

      @inglorious...are you seriously making the argument that muslim countries morned for us on 9/11? You are blind my friend the vast majority of them find it a blessing...wake up and smell the coffee. It is gullible people like you that put our country in danger.

      August 30, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • spuds

      @Whitewrong....No I'm a red, white, and blue flag waver.

      The people who made this country great.

      August 30, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Eicking

      Let them kill themselves

      August 30, 2012 at 10:38 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Troy Longie

    Whatever happened to humility and integrity?

    August 30, 2012 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • matt

      simple, people died in a horrible attack.
      i suppose you think we should turn the other cheek.
      what if it was your brother, or sister, or son, or daughter or best friend that died that day...
      it might be easy to forget if your only stake is that your american but for many that attack took something very personal.

      August 30, 2012 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • maria

      Well said: today is not more of that ! seems to me today is money money and power ,this guy make all tthe Navy Seals look bad ....right what happened to Honor and Integrity something they should learn when they became Navy seals .

      August 30, 2012 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • MikeB

      Matt, I think you are missing Troy's point. He's not questioning the response to 9/11, but rather the book author's integrity in revealing secret info.

      August 30, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • WhatNow

      Sad that we seem to be losing the backbone of our nation...integrity and humility. I guess fame and money have replaced that concept.

      August 30, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
  4. saywhat

    @ matt
    Oh! And you missed that the media admitted later that the footage of merry making in the M.East was from another occasion, not for 9/11. People there were as stunned as we were if you care to go back to the news of the time.
    And dancing in jubilation were Israeli agents right on the roof top of a NYC bldg filming the horror. Arrested by the FBI then. They were quietly whisked away.And it was put under wraps.

    August 30, 2012 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • matt

      the videos i saw were from syria, iran, saudi arabia, iraq, etc. not NYC!

      August 30, 2012 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
  5. saywhat

    And you seem to be as misinformed about Syria.
    We are helping them kill each other for our own agenda. German military is aiding the 'rebels' directly and CIA has been arming them including with Stinger missiles thru Turkey. Now we are providing them training on how to administer the 'liberated' towns.

    August 30, 2012 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • matt

      so a war by proxy, the end result is they are still killing themselves.
      who gives them weapons do to it with is none of my concern.
      no american should help in syria

      August 30, 2012 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Davehuckle

    No one should be allowed to profit from the killing of Bin Laden unless all proceeds go to the victims familes of 9/11. The SEAL was employed by the US government and what he did on the day they executed Bin Laden should forever remain a secret to the public.

    August 30, 2012 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • maria

      Great you are 100% right the money frm the book should go to the victims of 9/11,somethig that will not going to happen ,is all about money and power I call this bloody money !

      August 30, 2012 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • WhiteeIsWrong

      Why? Do u support a government that allows no-bid contracts to companies in which the VP is a board member. Do u know how st00p!d you sound? If not – why don't you protest the wrongs with ur government?

      August 30, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Portland tony

    Eventually, someone was going to write a book, make a movie etc...about one of the biggest news events of the 21st century. We live in a transparent society. Where the film is concerned, it was better to vet the facts with the agencies involved, than to make up a story that was based on rumors and newsclips. " Zero Dark Thirty " is about the hunt. The new book is about the raid that led to the killing. Get over it folks. It's history. Let's hope both stories are close to the truth!

    August 30, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  8. saywhat

    @ matt
    You saw what you wanted to see and what the media wanted you to see. In that moments of rage, fear and shock we Americans missed a lot and that was intended. Go and read the summary of US 9/11 Commission report.
    No American should help in Syria? My dear that precisely has been our agenda. If you look at the dynamics in that region Syria has traditionally been aligned with Russia and Iran and that has been Israel's and our beef with Syria. What you are seeing now is by design.
    Assad regime has to be taken out before an attack on Iran.

    August 30, 2012 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
  9. bluedogboy

    If people think Obama deserves no credit for this mission, does that mean if the mission was a complete failure they
    wouldn't blame Obama? I don't think so. If the mission was a failure, it would be the #1 topic of discussion at the RNC convention.

    August 30, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Julian

    Frankly the book writer is being treasonous.

    POTUS has a right to disclose whatever details he wants, in whatever way he feels. That comes with being POTUS. For a subordinate, to release conflicting materials in breach of Pentagon rules and in breach of his commander in chief and how he wants to position things, making statements (regardless of truth or not) that will make the US look bad based on his and is teammates alleged personal conduct, definitely gives aid and comfort to the enemy.

    Whatever personal gripe he has about POTUS taking credit (and I'll remark no one is confused that the SEALS did the work or think POTUS said anything other than "go ahead"), at the end this is about violating the chain of command. Just because he is retired doesn't end his obligations in regard to his service activities.

    August 30, 2012 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Beverly

      I agree. I haven't read the book, I don't intend to.
      Having said that I hold the Military in high esteem, I have family currently serving. Military is for life. Your Commander in Chief is just that isn't he? I've been taught the UCMJ leaves no room for argument unless the order is illegal.
      Did it change with this President because some people don't like him?
      Whether the book agrees or disagrees with what is known already, it should not have been written by a SEAL. IMO.

      August 30, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  11. crappygovernment

    Where are we Uganda? Romania? Where are the pictures of the dead OBL. We Americans don't believe stuff without factual evidence.

    August 30, 2012 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jackson

      Who are you speaking for? I am American, and you are not speaking for me.

      If this was a fabrication, don't you think the conservative media would have been all over it, proving it didn't happen, so they could discredit the President they hate so much?

      August 30, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      Millions or Americans are going to vote in a couple of months without actually looking for actual facts or evidence. It's what we do most ofter as a so called democracy.

      August 30, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
  12. sierrafoxtrot66

    OBVIOUSLY any information pertaining to the raid leading to the end of Bin Laden should never have been disclosed but POTUS leaked it for political gain. Once that was done it cannot be UN-leaked so the door was wide open for the truth about what happened. The only risk then was the identiity of the author which was also leaked by the media so he and his family are now exposed.

    August 30, 2012 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • CaliBlue

      What exactly was "leaked?" Hysterical conspiracy theories from the Right are just a part of our every day life now I guess. Anyway, this guy should have honored his oath to the military and kept his trap shut. The major admission he makes in this book... they killed OBL without trying to subdue him first. Big whoop. The man is dead and it was our POTUS that told them to pull the trigger if necessary!

      August 30, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Spock500

    Wow, I didn't know that POTUS is having a movie made about the raid, according to that poster on RangerUp fan page on Facebook, provided that the poster and site are credible, of course.

    August 30, 2012 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Villian

      I don't believe POTUS is "having a movie made" about the raid. A Hollywood director is tackling that. And it will likely be good since she has "The Hurt Locker" under her belt. I'm pretty sure President Obama isn't going Spielberg on us even though a facebook page paints anothe picture.

      August 30, 2012 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
  14. OldeWhyteMann

    "What is the first rule of "Fight Club"..............................."?
    "What is the second rule of "Fight Club"........................."?

    August 30, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
  15. nik green

    This guy is an opportunist hack making a fast buck from a pack of single sourced LIES disseminated by a complicit corporate media. FILE UNDER FICTION. Or better, DON'T BUY this trash.

    August 30, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jackson

      So, have you read the book? What lies is it telling? Are you in the military? Do you have inside information proving these alleged lies?


      Yeah, didn't think so.

      August 30, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
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