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. us_1776

    Is this book LEAKING sensitive classified material ????


    August 30, 2012 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Julian

      seems like in fact it is. I don't know how Bin Laden actually died. So I don't know who is telling the truth. But I do know Mark Owens version hurts the US and so is sensitive. And the big point is . . . . he doesn't have a right to discuss the matter publicly . . . . that is part of his obligations.

      Side complaints about what POTUS said are silly. POTUS has the ultimate call on everything and has the right to decide what remains confidential or not.

      August 30, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • baman

      @julian "Side complaints about what POTUS said are silly. POTUS has the ultimate call on everything and has the right to decide what remains confidential or not."

      An absolutely ridiculous statement. The president's highest obligation is to protect the interests of the USA. To reveal sensitive information that could ultimately harm those in the service of our country is, at the very least, highly irresponsible. The book written by the Navy Seal was intented to expose the polical maneuverings of a corrupt administration.

      August 30, 2012 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Fools

    Anyone who speaks of this man's real name in order to sell a newspaper or make a name for themselves is a traitor to the country.

    August 30, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • blackhawkmom

      The author is the traitor.

      August 30, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Eman

      The author sold out.

      August 30, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • OMG

      Well said, greed and traitor, you don't have to hide if you do not thing wrong, burn the book

      August 30, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dant

      Fox news = traitors

      August 30, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • MikeyZ

      If Matt Bissonnette had any expectation of privacy, he should have set a better example to begin with.

      August 30, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • jmt73

      He just did a nationally televised interview with no disguise! I saw his face on television advertising the interview not ten minutes ago. Back off the traitor accusations, bud. Matt Bissonnette wants the attention and adulation.

      August 30, 2012 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • baman

      If the author is a traitor then so is Obama! Should a Navy Seal be expected to protect the lies of the president when they concern their own operation and were presented to the American public as a political move?

      August 30, 2012 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
  3. glorydays

    So Manning's a traitor and "Owens" isn't? I guess the definition of traitor is party dependent. It's nothing more than a sell out to make money and a name.

    August 30, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dant

      Make a name?? He was anonymous until Fox sold him out!

      August 30, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  4. chrissy

    Good afternoon @ saywhat, still keeping the good fight? As for the 9/ll monstrosity, i lost both my sister and brother in law and gained 3 parentless children, and the one most important thing i learned? You have to forgive to heal!

    August 30, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • maria

      Of course! is part of the book ,he should be kick out of this big proud organization Navy Seals use to be a "secret 'now the secret is out everyone including the terrorists are going to learn and get information .TRAITOR !

      August 30, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  5. maria

    I don't agree with this called"Navy Seal " is like other person say : this is not from a real Navy Seal this is about greed and power ,if he is ready to became famous because this book he should give the money to the victms of 9/11 but we al now he will not ......What a shame he is making the heroes Navy Seals look bad not a good idea!he should be shame of himself!

    August 30, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • OMG

      hahah, give the money to 9/11? you are out of your mind. This is America, that's how people work

      August 30, 2012 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
  6. nope

    anyone who reads this book is treasonous! please remember to pay with credit so you make the list.

    August 30, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Gradschooldude

    America is obsessed with bin Laden. Perhaps if they spend half their energy on their own issues, things might be going better for the USA.

    August 30, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  8. yeah yeah

    you robots with your bleeding heart mentality....hahahahahaha

    Hey your commander in Chief or POTUS has just given you direct orders to go jumb off a cliff

    now be a good little puppet and obey HAHAHAHAHA.

    August 30, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bizarro25

      That would be the financial cliff that the tea party will undoubtedly push us over.

      August 30, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
  9. BlackDynamite

    Thanks for the shilling press release. Appreciate it.....

    August 30, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
  10. bfdgdfgdfbdf

    "This is a book about September 11th, and it needs to rest on September 11th."

    WRONG, the book is about what the author believes and thats it. It has nothing to do with 9/11. Wish people would stop trying to link everything to 9/11 just cause....

    August 30, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  11. OMG

    I will have my own book too, I was there with him, My other dude was also there, and he just told me he got the book deal as well. What are you going to do about it? This is America, don't you know????

    August 30, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Julian

    I remark this is not about party affiliation.... this is about a break down in military discipline.

    August 30, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • ObamasCommentsCausedDeaths

      Remember the comments that Navy Seal Team 6 performed the raid? By the President and Vice President? Then remember a Navy Seal of team 6 shot down?

      And you have the guts to call THIS man a traitor? You quite obviously are the f00l here.

      August 30, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • MikeyZ

      It's a breakdown in military discipline justified by the illusion that one party is more loyal to the military than the other.

      So it's also about party affiliation.

      August 30, 2012 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Heidi

    The hyper-negative emotions from conservatives over Pres Obama being African American is opening new opportunities for book publishers. From blogs Obama is blamed for anything that could be put in writing, with no such thing as lying. New fairy tales are created form former servicemen aimed at satisfying hunger of Obama haters to hear anything bad, no matter how bizarre or impossible the story is.
    Obama haters are not exactly rational nor are they among the sharpest tool in the shed so they will believe any story with a loose tether to real events. We can expect lots more books of this type as long as publishers can profit from such fools.

    August 30, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • CaliBlue

      100% agree Heidi. And the scary thing is these tin-foil conspirators don't care diddly when the lies are proven to be facts. As long as it involves hating on the POTUS...they charge full steam ahead. So pathetic.

      August 30, 2012 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Bob

    I like hearing GOPers criticise the current administration for releasing details about the raid, however, I heard nothing but praise when we got a full narrative regarding the Jessica Lang rescue, something that involved an ongoing conflict as opposed to a one-off target hit. Its so hypocritical that its laughable.

    August 30, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dant

      Agreed. Not to mention Conservatives didn't care when Cheney leaked classified info which put lives in danger.

      August 30, 2012 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jersey George

      Let's not forget the tragic Pat Tillman lie cover up by the military brass and exploited by the Bush White House.

      August 30, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • josh

      Jessica Lang from the movie Tootsie was captured in Iraq? Where was I? Do you mean Jessica Lynch, or do you think you are smarter than you really are? There was no mention of the unit that executed that mission, or the Hussein capture. The details weren't sold to Hollywood while the bodies were still warm, and thinking that those two operations were even close to the same level of importance is just ignorant. One was in a country we controlled, resuing our soldier from a minor league group of insurgents. The other is crossing into a hostile country that has no idea we are there, commiting what could easily be interpreted as an act of war, capturing/killing the most destructive and followed terrorist since Hitler.

      Nice try though. You almost made a valid point until you started your second sentence. Jessica Lang!

      August 30, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
  15. JOH


    If these Americans think killing Osama has accomplished anything, they are sadly mistaken. Their excuse is "well Osama can't plan another 9/11.." EVEN IF HE WANTED TO HE CAN'T!!! No matter how vile an enemy one is, to wish death upon another human being is the true evil of humanity.

    August 30, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • JOH

      My buddy has been in Afghanistan for two tours and one of my closest friends served in both Afghanistan and Iraq. In Afghanistan my close friend went into Korengal Valley as well as many others. THESE guys who endured misery and constant fire-fights on a daily basis deserves more respect. These Navy SEALs went on one mission and all of a sudden they are war heroes for killing a man in a turban that was unarmed. Heroic and brave indeed.

      August 30, 2012 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
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