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. Ioniadawg

    Congratulations to President Obama and Team Seal Six for taking out this mass murderer. Semper Fi!

    August 30, 2012 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Lynn

    Obviously, the government is not telling the entire truth. I find it strange that many SEALS that were members of that same SEAL unit were later killed in a "helicopter crash" less than a year after the raid. Brings back memories of Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown's untimely demise back in in the 90's during the Clinton administration and the speculation that he was "silenced" before he could testify before Congress and in any subsequent federal investigation/litigation. Seems like a lot of people who have potentially damaging information against the government or rogue elements within its midst mysteriously perish in helicopter/plane crashes overseas.

    August 30, 2012 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • vatoloke

      Maybe it was their bad karma.

      August 30, 2012 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
  3. JustASec

    This is clearly just this election cycle's version of swift-boating.
    The poor idiot public (I'm one, too) will necessarily have to think about this.....
    NAW! It's all BS by some disgruntled military emplyee! And funded by your good'ole Republican Lie Machine.
    But, according to them, we're FREAKING IDIOTS! That's what they think of you, too! Idiot! 🙂

    August 30, 2012 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Deborah Grayson-Smith

    As a US Navy Seal, or any member of the military for that matter, where is this man's sense of loyality and honor to his fellow SEALS, the Navy, the country and our President? I think his book will put those young men and women bravely serving in the Middle East in harms way. I am not happy about his decision to write a tell-all. It serves no purpose.

    August 30, 2012 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bintoast

      Yes it outs our lying president......

      August 30, 2012 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Duggerdog

    So much for the "Liberal Media" blowing the Seal's name. It was Fox, the GOP news station that outed the author. Simmer down conservatives.

    August 30, 2012 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Deborah Grayson-Smith

    Love you Jesus Christ Superstar!

    August 30, 2012 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
  7. mb2010a

    Bush and the Saudi Royal Family are real close and have been for years. When the order to land all the planes came down, the Royals were in the US and guess who got to fly out instead. Perhaps you should be asking George Bush, Jr.

    August 30, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Norm

    Cash in on the death of another human being.
    Just as bad as Bin laden.

    August 30, 2012 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tr1Xen

      Not quite. Not even close. Hats off to this individual and every member of his team. They can cash in all they like and I'd be glad to contribute!

      August 30, 2012 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ahmad Anwar

      well, 'they' had to make him right the book so that the raid that never took place and never killed bin laden would be given atleast some authenticity! its all a sham. neither did the raid take place nor was there any laden killed..... one question to the most powerful man in the world..... where is bin laden's body? how convenient was it to 'dump it to sea'!!! .... three cheers to photoshop if they do ever decide to post his body's pics!!

      August 30, 2012 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
  9. mb2010a

    Osama Bin Laden was a member of the Saudi royal family...did you not know that?

    August 30, 2012 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
  10. chris hogan

    Classic GOP strategy:
    concoct a "swiftboat style" piece of propaganda against Obama, then release ANOTHER one that is so extreme and flawed, that it makes the first one seem reasonable. Folks, this is nothing but a few neoconservative members of the military who were mad that Obama succeeded and wanted to minimize it. Pure and simple. We'll probably never know exactly what happened, and that's just the way the GOP wants it.

    August 30, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • wade moran

      Let me guess, the author is a racist

      August 30, 2012 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Bob

    I got an early opportunity to read the book. Here is some of it:

    ".....from the stealth helicopter emerged our glorious leader President Obama. There he was with a machine gun in his right hand while biting down on his commando knife in all his glory. Upon confronting Osama Bin Ladin he said 'this bullet is for you sucker.'.

    August 30, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • TNCrow

      lol.... i feel the same way.... no proof, no spoof.....

      August 30, 2012 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Adam

    Not all of them Max.

    August 30, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
  13. :)

    Here, Here!

    August 30, 2012 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
  14. TNCrow

    i believe seals about as much as i believe Obama.... show me proof then we wont need a book....

    August 30, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
  15. mb2010a

    "We don't believe that any of the special operators who were killed were involved in the bin Laden operation," a senior U.S. military official told Fox News.

    August 30, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
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