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. Mike

    Does it have pictures ??

    August 30, 2012 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • zac pujic

      Why? Can't you read?

      August 30, 2012 at 8:16 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Apul M'Deek-Aoud

    It's time to shut up about history & start moving towards the futre. bin Laen masterminded the 9-11 attack, maybe, who cares.

    Because of our then current administration going into multiple military actions he broke US. Once an administration sets something in motionthat makes dumpsters full of money for some folks it's very hard to stop it, takes on a life of it's own.

    So I'll shut up about how Bush wrecked the world & you shut up about 9-11 & gub;mint conspiracies & then we can discuss how to 'fix' our really messed up situation.

    Like the question of late "HOW do we keep guns out of the hands of crazy people (crazy people are sick by definiation) but not infringe on the peoples Right to keep & bear arms?

    Where can we save ba-zillions of dollars in Federal spending that will get US the most cash savings & harm the fewest people? What industry(s) take a hit. Can you think of any that we don't need?

    Real problems need to be discussed not propaganda aimed at Joe the Plumber (he's not a PhD he's a plumber, he believes hate radio) need to be first & foremost on the peoples minds not who blew who where or who used the system to stiff the IRS.

    The Health Care Insurance issue...what is/are the problems & what actions would solve those problems (sorry but some industries that are draining US dry of cash are going to be adversely affected).

    Companies are just paper not people They go under they stiff other companies. Yeah yeah yeah the 'domino affect don't give me that; some related companies will adapt & overcome or die.

    There are real issues not soap opera topics that need to be discussed by common everyday people.

    August 30, 2012 at 6:38 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jaybird

    wow this comment section is chock full of close-minded conspiracy theorists who always have to believe that they're "right"... idiots

    August 30, 2012 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |
  4. eric

    what truth wasn't told? the order was made and the Seals carried it out and performed their duty like every person in uniform in the middle east. Conservatives criticized Zero Dark Thirty as politically motivated to help President Obama and the release date was moved to not interfere with the election..and guess what, this book like the movie Obama 2016 gets released before the election and you don't hear a peep from the right – because the book, like Obama 2016, is an attack on President Obama which helps the right.
    The Seal should have let the Pentagon vet the book like everyone else before him. For him to think that he is above the Pentagon and doesn't need their permission, he is shaming the uniform that he wore.

    August 30, 2012 at 6:47 pm | Report abuse |
  5. canowhoopass

    "You know, if these – crazies on either side of the aisle want to make it political, shame on them"

    Shame on you for profiting solely and breaking your creed. You sir are not a SEAL anymore. Traitor to the cause!

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

    The chances this book is written by some 'rogue' seal are pretty slim, unless he had a very big falling out with his people. He was more likely sanctioned by the C.I.A. to write a disinformation piece in which case 99.9% of it will be legitimate fact but an important 0.1% will be concocted. That is of course just a theory but it's no 'conspiracy theory'. History shows this is more than possible and the situation points to it's being more than probable. I really cannot see any Navy SEAL doing this on his own, he's got to have government backing or else a very, very fat deposit in some foreign bank account written by the backers of one of the two parties to either make Obama look like a hero or make him look bad before the upcoming election. Although, the election is a little too far out for me to believe this to be the case but there could be some sleeper info in their that can have new light shed on it months after its release and days before the vote. Or I'm totally wrong and this guy threw caution to the wind and doesn't care what his brothers in arms think of him anymore. Doubtful, but weirder things have happened. The bigger point is, since their creation the C.I.A. has done so much BS for their own self interest and the interests of the 1% that these kinds of possibilities are all too easy to imagine and that's a sad fact of life we live with.

    August 30, 2012 at 7:17 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Hans

    Thank god we still have a country like U.S of America in this world. Who else would be fighting for freedom of speech, individual freedom and democracy. There is not one day that goes by that i think of those young men and women from USA and there alied who died for all of us in the free world. Written by a pretty pink european.

    August 30, 2012 at 7:20 pm | Report abuse |
  8. JOH


    Even after Osama's death, you Americans give him a breath of life each time you guys talk about Osama. Move on.

    August 30, 2012 at 7:27 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Rätsel

    Seems to me, he wasn't the brightest or best but at least he could do what needed and did so, so good for him and best of luck. Just another well wisher and hope he finds what he needs or is looking for.

    August 30, 2012 at 7:33 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Rätsel

    BTW is this to coverup doubt that events ever took place and draw away issues that might otherwise arise for the Presidential election?

    August 30, 2012 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Chris May

    Clearly the book will satisfy, to some degree, the "incident hungry" Americans who just need to get as close to the blood splatter as possible. If they could put a tiny piece of brain matter in a plastic bag and staple it inside the book someplace, well, wouldn't that be the bee's knees???? The guy is dead, thanks guys. Job well done. What we need is more Taliban guys on the same side of the dirt, not stories about how it was done. It should be enough to know that justice was served, and America should move on to the next thing, not look for that extra "pop" that comes from the gory details.

    August 30, 2012 at 7:39 pm | Report abuse |
  12. G.O.

    All SEAL members present should resign and go write books about Bin Laden. They'll all make money that way.

    August 30, 2012 at 8:00 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Stav

    This SEAL turncoat is trying to make $$$ from the Osama affair. He don't care about interest of the country. Don't buy the book people.

    August 30, 2012 at 8:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • BldrRepublican

      Wrong. Just because you don't feel YOU need to know doesn't mean I feel the same way about myself.

      The more we ALL know about the enemy, the better we'll ALL be. Sticking your head in the sand doesn't make the problem go away.

      August 30, 2012 at 8:38 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Carrie

    The author lost all credibility when he mentioned his dislike for President Obama.

    August 30, 2012 at 8:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • BldrRepublican

      Funny – I thought just the opposite. He GAINED credibility by not being afraid to voice his political preference.

      Lemme ask you, Carrie, would he gain credibility in your eyes if he had said he disapproved of Bush? Of course he would, because you are a flaming hypocrite.

      August 30, 2012 at 8:41 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Peter Anastopulos

    That's the last book I would consider reading.Those men in my my mind are traitorous ,treasonous and not honorable Navy Seals or even men.Just cheap glory hounds.

    August 30, 2012 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
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