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. JoJO

    Im sure he is on somebodies death fatwa list now.....dumb move on his part.

    August 30, 2012 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • bencoates57

      And we're all on that death list too because of this fame-mongering infant. He writes about the SEALS sitting on the body during transit. You think our families are safer? If you live and work in DC or NY, you shouldn't sleep as well at night.

      August 30, 2012 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Ghostman

    this guy is a GOP..OS

    August 30, 2012 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cil

      You are correct he is a republican and was told to do this by someone in the party. He can say all day its not political but for us common sense people we know its a big fat lie.

      August 30, 2012 at 7:04 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Marie

    US cannot keep any military ops secret, it is a disgrace. The book is also disrespectful, a money maker for service to country, putting family and Seals in harms way. Yet the US govt cant object, as they f the US encouraged and allowed a NCAA BASKETBALL game to be played on the same deck of the carrier which buried BinLaden at sea. If those we fight against do the same, we are outraged.

    August 30, 2012 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Paul

    What makes everyone think this guy is telling the whole truth? How do we know what he's writing is what happened? Because he's an ex-Seal? The guy is in this for MONEY, he'll make millions off the book and what I'm sure will be an upcoming movie. There is no one to dispute what he's written, the other guys on the team have far more integrity than this moak, so they'll be nobody to either corroborate his story or deny it.

    Sorry folks, but there are some things my government does in the "black ops" world that frankly, I don't want to know about.

    The active phrase in this whole story is "Bin Laden is DEAD". Who cares whether he took one in the head or five in the chest, he's STILL dead.

    August 30, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Eric

      Whether he is telling the whole truth, I do not know. Unlike everyone else who has written, spoken or based campaign advertising on the death of Osama bin Laden, a SEAL who was on the raid would actually know the whole truth.

      Everyone who issued statements from stages was someone who had no direct knowledge, and many of them had so little experience with military operations that they couldn't identify BS they were being fed.

      Original statements indicated a 40-minute firefight, between 23 of the best trained special operators in the world and two guys with AK-47s. Press secretaries and reporters were both clueless enough the report that as fact, when anyone who has met infantry or read about combat operations knows that such an story is highly improbable at the very least.

      I got a huge kick out of Peter Bergen passing judgement on several "Kill bin Laden" books, when he hasn't a clue what the truth is that these books are largely mangling.

      August 30, 2012 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Melissa

    anyone checking grammar before these blogs go live?

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

    I will not this book.

    August 30, 2012 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
  7. American

    I will not buy this book.

    August 30, 2012 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cil

      I will not buy or read anything from this idiot book.

      August 30, 2012 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
  8. us_1776

    This guy will be killed by the SEALS before al-Qaeda ever gets a chance.

    al-Qaeda would capture this guy and extract information from him.

    Navy and SEALS cannot allow that to happen.


    August 30, 2012 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cil

      Hope they don't decide to come for him now since he wrote that book and everyone knows who he is. I hope we don't have to use any federal money trying to protect this person.

      August 30, 2012 at 6:57 pm | Report abuse |
  9. danthefisherman

    Obama leaks critical military information that endangers Americans and the libs speak not a word. Shame on you and Obama, too.

    August 30, 2012 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • jack

      tell us what Obama leaked.

      August 30, 2012 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • us_1776

      dan, iit was already shown that it was the Pakistani's who leaked the information.


      August 30, 2012 at 6:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cil

      Jack he can't give you that information because he's reading from the republicans teleprompter.

      August 30, 2012 at 6:58 pm | Report abuse |
  10. forrealz

    this guy will die from old age, or herpes, not by SEALS or taliban.

    August 30, 2012 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Fred Phred

    Strange. In WWII there was a top secret mission on D-Day run by the Army Special Forces – the Rangers. They were to climb a 200 foot cliff under fire and take a gun mounted on a cliff at Point-Du-Hoc. This mission was made public, we know who was there, who was killed and the exact details of the mission. These men are considered to be heros to this day.

    I don't recall any Army Rangers being angry when the mission details were released. The Seals should be proud of the mission. In this case, they should have their names hidden but other than that let the details out.

    Nobody cares which administration this happened under, just that the bad guy got what was coming.

    August 30, 2012 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • GetOffYourHighHorse

      Fred, in WWII we were fighting against a country in a standard war. There is no specific country on the war on terror. Terrorists could be anywhere, sleeper cells in your neighborhood etc. One the names of the SEALs get out, they and their families could be put in harms way. I'm sure over time, their names will be released.

      August 30, 2012 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • FayKname

      GetOffYourHighHorse: I agree with you mate, unfortunately the fear they've shown or rather that the media has naively revealed has made them appear weak and that's an even bigger problem, overall.

      August 30, 2012 at 6:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cil

      Fred there is no problem with this idiot writing this book. It is all Political he was told by his counterpart the republicans or tea party its hard to tell them apart these days to release this book on the week of the DNC. The man is dead lets move on had it been Bush who ordered the kill he would have been praised as a hero. Stop being hypercritical and be blessed.

      August 30, 2012 at 6:54 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Terri

    Nobody ever said that Navy Seals aren't brave. Just having his name and picture out there for everyone to see is an act of bravery. I would think that most American muslims are as happy as anyone else that Bin Laden has been wiped off the face of the earth. He caused them probably more trouble than anyone else because he gave their whole religion a bad name. Everyone tends to run in fear every time they see a muslim because uninformed people think that they are all terrorists. As long as he stays on our soil, he'll probably be o.k., but I do worry about troops that are still there. As an American citizen, I would be more ticked off if this book were censored and forbidden. That's what they do in middle eastern countries where terrorism takes hold. I would hope that Americans are smarter than that.

    August 30, 2012 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • kmac

      Does it promote the point Osama is dead–has he been dead for a long time–does it cover up the aciton of others–does it supply confusion around the events. As more stories get told no one can tell what happen and who did it.

      August 30, 2012 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
  13. pres4sale

    Show me THE MONEY! To hell with silly oaths and loyalty.

    August 30, 2012 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
  14. rob

    Just more violence glorification... Kill, Kill, Kill... It's the only thing that matters to some people now a days.

    August 30, 2012 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |
  15. kmac

    Is the the true account–who knows–would any government source ever confirm or deny such a thing. Was this guy really there? Does John McCain know? Think we will not know for years if ever? Lot different than Ranger attack on D-Day–tactics pretty stright forward, no secret intell sources to be hidden. Truth is going to be hard to find here.

    August 30, 2012 at 6:23 pm | Report abuse |
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