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. untouchable luxury

    He didnt lie the head of the operation said themselves that the those people were collateral damage the teams cover was already blown so. infiltration of the compound. Should have been exceptionally harder plus the team had to defend. themselves.

    August 30, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Blaine

    Tell that to the children of the victims of all the attacks on the US orchestrated by Bin Laden...

    August 30, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jacob R. Davis


      August 31, 2012 at 1:19 am | Report abuse |
  3. Clark Nova

    He broke the code. His fellow SEALs will probably arrange a training accident for him.

    August 30, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • toni

      The Navy Seals have always been an elite group of courageos men, that are a cut above the rest. Shame on you for bringing 15 minutes of fame for a couple bucks. There are somethings in this world, that we don't need details about.

      August 30, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • toni

      I hope you're right

      August 30, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Damn Yankee

    Does it seem ironic that it is being released just as the election is heating up?

    August 30, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • :)

      No, it doesn't.

      August 30, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • mb2010a

      Not really...especially if the book is impartial like they say it is. I think the September 11 date was more important in the timing of it's release.

      August 30, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
  5. ImIrish

    Blaine – You are right on! I have no sympathy for most of the bin laden family – with the exception of small children. The rest of them harbored that murderer for years.

    August 30, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
  6. HycoWhit

    Poor Bin Laden getting shot in front of his kid... What about the ki of the 4,000 Americans killed on 9/11?

    Who cares that the administration sanitized the debriefing? The important thing–Al Qeda has been effectively dismantled in the last three years.

    August 30, 2012 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • dutchdude

      9/11 is a lie wake up and smell false flag operation thats in progress

      August 31, 2012 at 2:22 am | Report abuse |
  7. Johnny Utah

    Why does a woman director keep making war movies?

    August 30, 2012 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • mb2010a

      You haven't worked with many women have you?

      August 30, 2012 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Colorado Vet

    If you haven't been in the military and served then you have no right to complain, implicate or even comment. If you were then you know that in this type of situation you don't wait to see if the other guy or gal has a weapon. Not if you want to go back home. It's not some video game you reset and start again. You make a mistake or hesitate and someone on your team, maybe you, get's a military funeral and their family gets a flag. It's permanent and not reversable. Bin Laden was given a better change than the 2819 people that died on 9-11-2001. Good riddance.

    August 30, 2012 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Canada

      2819 casualties versus an unknown much larger number of losses in a illegal war with Iraq. yep... seems pretty equal to me.

      August 30, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • mb2010a

      :): Apparently you have never served in the military...

      August 30, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
  9. 2/8

    Who cares if it's credible or not, it'll make for entertaining reading.

    August 30, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
  10. TexDoc

    The fact that the doctor that helped confirm his location is in jail in Pakistan is a failure by Obama, almost takes away the victory.

    August 30, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • CB

      So true!!!

      August 30, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Truth be told

      So true, this is a complete failure of the Obama administration. I will still vote for thim though but I wish they would help that poor SOB.

      August 30, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • mb2010a

      I'm sure that ever effort is being made to get the doctor released by our government...just what would you have Obama do?

      August 30, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
  11. 934934902300e

    Need to take out this guy. He broke the code and is a traitor.

    August 30, 2012 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Brian

    Why is America politicizing any of this? The SEALs performed admirably, and bravely. They got the job done. Obama made a very tough call, against the advice of his VP and his SecDef. He has been widely credited, in military and civilian circles, for making this tough call. At the same time, Obama has repeatedly piled acclaim upon the SEALs for the job they did, and for being the heroes of the nation. There is not a shred of evidence that Obama authorized or causes leaks. Not a single shred. Just political speculation. So, grow up America. The SEALs AND the president did a great job on this. Move on, demand that your Congress smarten up and do its job, and deal with your economy so you quit dragging the rest of us down with you.

    August 30, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
  13. tootbarn

    OK! Then let the buzz build! .. but in the meantime please post more relevant, important data. and no hollywood.

    August 30, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
  14. kingofchatalot

    Now at least we'll all know the real truth as opposed to what Obama has told the world.................

    August 30, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hillcreter

      Read the article. People who have seen the book say it corresponds quite closely with what the administration has already said.

      August 30, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • RainCityLady

      Do we? Because, of course, this guy doesn't have a hidden agenda. You wing nuts crack me up. A while back you were trying to give all the credit for the raid to George Freakin Bush.

      August 30, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • JustASec

      The real truth is that you don't know what you're talking about, but talk anyway.

      August 30, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
  15. untouchable luxury

    I guess so much info has already been publicized and t the search through the compound was relatively fasthow much info could this book have. This was a us. military operation what do you expect them to tell you where they store their stealth planes

    August 30, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
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