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. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    Maybe he published the book to compensate for inflation and high cost of living since lying face Paul Ryan and the GOT voted against a pay raise for military veterans.

    September 4, 2012 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
  2. MA


    September 4, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      Really? What about all the previous wars and books about them and movies about them. Osama dead laden is old news.

      September 4, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  3. kenredbar

    My only question is why did he not submit the manuscript through proper channels for review and approval. Did the attorney who reviewed the book have proper authority to approve information in the book for release? What credentials did the attorney possess to review and approve release??

    September 4, 2012 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Jim Gilchriese

    What is the big deal? For me, after 44 yrs, my files in the Government based files, are still listed as SENSITIVE MATERIAL, ACCESS DENIED!!, That applies to anyone within the VA Base Computers, even my Doctors. You talk about a PARANOID GOVERNMENT. After all this time, who really cares? Someone does. JHG

    September 4, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  5. NYKnows

    Publication of this book is completely selfish, a ploy to make money. We don't believe in it at all, and we don't believe it's real. Further, we won't be buying any more books published by Penguin.

    September 4, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
  6. fairandbalancedfredo

    Romney is an Israel-firster. If Netanyahoo tells him to go to war for Israel, he'll be anxious to do it.

    September 4, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Dennis

    This Navy Seal should be ashamed, what would make him think he should have written this book? Is it a Republican smear campaign?

    September 4, 2012 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Sam

    I hope i am wrong but I dont believe any of this. This book is just out there to help sell the whole " we got bin laden" image and i am sure it is approved by the pentagon to help sell that lie. How long did it take the White House to prepare the final account of what happened. Even once the official story hit the media so many things in the story changed. At first OBL was armed, then he took a wife or somebody hostage, now he was unarmed etc..Too many things dont add up with 9/11 and anybody who wants to challenge me on that you can start by explaining WTC 7 collapse...

    September 4, 2012 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
  9. The Movie tale

    This headline and it's contents are misleading in many ways,,,They accuse our president of Hollywood coming in an making a movie which they did contact the pentagon and cia,,,,however,,,our president gave them NOTHING,,,

    tTthe Obama administration engineered this and revealed intelligence sources and sensitive methods is TOTALLY FALSE,,,Tired of people getting wrong information on these sites,,do the research first,,,,

    September 10, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
  10. MAF

    Thats what we need servicemen and woman writing books about recent missions. What spineless traitors people become.

    September 11, 2012 at 8:27 am | Report abuse |
  11. kk rousseau

    800 words about–not an actual book–but the gossip surrounding it? BORING. Gossip *about* gossip: what could be less relevant? I don't blame the the blogger; any writer might take the lowly job to insure her supply of Acme Organic Espresso doesn't dry up. Now, that would be buzz-worthy.

    September 29, 2012 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
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