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. Pat

    Who cares. All he reall cares about is the money.

    August 30, 2012 at 8:40 pm | Report abuse |
  2. ašš

    The fake killing of OBL and "sea burial" 9/11 inside job

    August 30, 2012 at 8:44 pm | Report abuse |
  3. dakotawind

    Is that not just ducky. The Dept of justice will go after a Seal who actually put his life one the line for our country but they will not do anything about the moron who runs the DOJ who got another man killed because of his botched Fast and Furious. I do not care if the Seal makes money on his book....he PUT HIS LIFE ON THE LINE...he deserves more that any politician in Washington. This country is messed up.

    August 30, 2012 at 8:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe P.

      Where have you heard that the DOJ is going after him?

      August 30, 2012 at 11:25 pm | Report abuse |
  4. thebeast

    Why Chuck do you have the right above anyone else?

    August 30, 2012 at 8:56 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Pete

    If anyone is interested the cable tv has the DISCOVERY CHANNEL,it has had interviews with previous Navy Seals of all teams.But for this one rogue Seal to come out in public putting the spotlight not only on him,his family,but the rest of his team is assenine at best.Being covert is their best defense,now FOX ,that republican extremist propaganda station goes one step further,tells his true name publicly.The Pentagon should have the FCC take their licence away ,they've definitly deserved it and this seal should be publicly debunked for him and alls safety!!

    August 30, 2012 at 9:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • NYKnows

      Only if the author is believable, and this guy is not. Like the Swift Boat guys, we will probably soon find out that he was never a SEAL, never in the service, and that he's in the employ of Republicans.

      August 30, 2012 at 9:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pete/Ark

      his "15 minutes of fame" WILL run out...even "famous" people suffer consequences...

      August 30, 2012 at 9:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe P.

      NYKnows: The books you're talking about were written by different authors, one by Richard Miniter, and one by Chuck Pfarrer, and they've already been debunked as a load of horse bleep. Pure right wing BS. This book, on the other hand, may be a more accurate, non-political, look at the raid.

      August 30, 2012 at 11:33 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Jason

    This is the reason why this country has lost it's strength. This idiot took a job, as a navy seal, which is a highly respected position in the United States Army, no one asked him to join, no one forced him to join, and no one said there would be any awards given for a job well done. Everyone is looking to be on tv, in movies, etc. What happened to courage, self restraint, and honor???? when you take this job, recognition is not something you sign up for, i think this guy is a disgrace to the United States Army, and a regardless of what his role was, he violated an oath of secrecy which is in itself punishable by the moral code of these special seal teams.

    August 30, 2012 at 9:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • uhhhhh..

      United States Navy...jesus

      August 30, 2012 at 10:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe P.

      It's also a free country, and he has every right to tell the story, as long as he doesn't disclose any classified information.

      August 30, 2012 at 11:27 pm | Report abuse |
  7. us_1776


    Pentagon threatens ex-SEAL over bin Laden book

    The Pentagon is now going after this guy.


    August 30, 2012 at 9:48 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Pete/Ark general, sucks..but somw of us survive by not endangering others with profit-making BS. MY old 1st Sgt would say "die squid".

    August 30, 2012 at 9:51 pm | Report abuse |
  9. betty

    I cant wait til this book comes out; why should he waited to publish this book its our history we learned about WW1/WW2/HITLER they made books / movies about them when we gonna make a movie of this I want to go see it. I know it hurts alot of people just think about how many hurt from our wars they made it through it God is with us all he said we would have hard times life is hard we all have hard times unfortunately some people lives were affected with a big tradegy that is part of our nations history my prayers go out to the ones that had lost in that time but our nation has grown to mature through all our wars and our other nations have too dont let this attack that came to us be the stopping point of our values God Bless America the land of the free

    August 30, 2012 at 10:01 pm | Report abuse |
  10. arg

    The goverment does have the right to screen the book to assure that no classified information is released. From what I understand the author has had at least one lawyer vett his book to prevent inadvetent release of classified information. Ihpe the lawyer was able to delete anything too sensetive, and I look forward to reading it on Tuesday

    August 30, 2012 at 10:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Eicking

      Who the hell is the lawyer.

      August 30, 2012 at 10:34 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Kalki Venkateshwara

    Antichrist holds cross symbol that is swastika and he will have website, he will creates problems in the world,

    August 30, 2012 at 10:20 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Marilyn

    No, if anything happens to his family, it is his own fault. there are some things that should not be written, especially this soon. This guy just want to cash out, shame on him. He puts all of us in danger when he gives secrets about a mission out so our enemies to learn.

    August 30, 2012 at 10:38 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Pip squeek

    It is amazing that people really believe that obl was killed by seal team 6 ironic that they use that number sorry folks obl was dead long time ago

    August 30, 2012 at 10:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe P.

      Oh, thank you so much for revealing the truth, oh most brilliant one! I am totally certain that your sources are absolutely accurate, and, of course, completely unbiased. But, just for the heck of it, could you please tell us who or what they are?

      August 30, 2012 at 11:35 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jim

    I think there are about 300 million people in the US and about 5 times that number around the world who want to hear about how that Bast**rd died. And I dont think there is more than about 1 per cent of them who really give a flying you know what if his "rights" were trampled on, or if he was "guilty without a trial".If we are ever going to make headway against these terrorists, who, I believe are the most evil presence ever to disgrace this world with thier presence, we must fight them on thier own terms. NO HOLDS BARRED. If you drive two jets of screaming innocent people, including children, into buildings of other innocent people, I think you should consider yourself very very lucky that it was a quick shot to the head.

    August 30, 2012 at 11:11 pm | Report abuse |
  15. 1TimeTooMany

    Have you ever noticed that EVERYTHING is now classified and cannot be released or else we put our soldiers in danger? WHAT A CROC!
    They use this excuse on everything now in order to cover up incompetence and illegal actions.
    The best thing that ever happened for the Feds is this war on terror. If they can keep the war going, they will never have to tell the people anything!!!

    August 30, 2012 at 11:31 pm | Report abuse |
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