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. Numyorangay

    IT'S NOT POLITICAL? Is that a SEAL maneuver? I tell you, you tell a group of guys a
    few tricks and they become self-anointed gods. He's probably one of Paul Ryan's P90X
    clones that likes to catch fish with his bare hands and play Deliverance (squeal) with this
    "buddies." People make money on death. . .let's face it!

    August 30, 2012 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  2. givemeglenn

    Can you say "Swift Boat"?

    August 30, 2012 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Fred

    Who cares???

    August 30, 2012 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Joe

    Sad that everything, everything, everything in America is about making a buck.

    August 30, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
  5. JW

    So you are trying to tell me that this SEAL grunt wrote a 336 page book. lol That is absolutely laughable...

    August 30, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
  6. USER-301

    You have to ask yourself, Do we really care? The book is nothing more than entertainment for reads and a big paycheck for the writers. If the book was that damaging to our National Security I don't think you would be able to buy it off the shelf.
    I really think most Americans don't really care about Bin Laden and though the Seals are a great unit, what possibly could a person write that we don't already know about and make the killing of a so called top terrorist a glorified moment. Unfortunately for the writers, this book will only cater to a small group of people and I would be shocked if more than 100 women- nation wide put this book on their must have readers list.

    August 30, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Mylky

    It's sad that this book was written.
    It's sad that people are actually interested in reading it.
    We are truly doomed.

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


    August 30, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Adam

    As an Iraq combat veteran, not some pogue who never saw combat, I can assure all of you that the enemy already knows how we do business. They know how operations like this are conducted. The only thing that matters is our element of surprise. Nothing this author or Obama has said will compromise this element, and no matter how prepared a terrorist is, there won't be much they can do when a team of Navy Seals kicks down their door. Quit whining about things you have no knowledge of.

    August 30, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • cat with a machine gun

      Best comment I've seen thus far. Thank you, sir.

      August 30, 2012 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shawn

      Best comment I have read as well. I am currently serving in Germany for the USAF and no I haven't seen combat but I do know what sacrifices that men and women are making each day. Sacrifices that allow ignorant people to comment the way they do and have the freedom of speech. This author is not a traitor. Everyone has a right to know but should they know secret information, absolutely not but people act like the author doesn't know this. Nothing in that book increases terrorist knowledge or any of the other bull crap I have been reading. Until some of these people know what the military is about and how it all works, and I mean about all of how it works not just what you read in the media their opinions are not credible. Not one bit. I am excited to read this book and quite frankly I am not a reader. But I know one thing for sure, I am proud of every damn man or woman that serves in the military. Guess it is true that the military is the 1%. Means there is about 75% of ignorant people out there who think they know more than they really do and about 24% of people that educate themselves. Some of these comments just make me sick to read. Really people, could you be so ignorant?

      August 30, 2012 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • CaliBlue

      While I agree with your statement I don't think that justifies some of the other statements made in the book... specifically about the additional bullets put into OBL, how his body was treated on the helicopter, or why he makes a point of showing his disdain for Pres. Obama. I think this man is an opportunist who felt that writing a book that seemingly contradicts Pres. Obama two months before the election would make him a hero. It doesn't.

      August 30, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |

    Already a movie is going to exploit this?

    August 30, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  11. MAF

    This guy is garbage. Another republican capitalist that will sell his mother and country for a profit!

    August 30, 2012 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Hillcreter

    If he wants to claim that one or more SEALS killed OBL when he could have been captured instead (as I hear will be stated in the book), let him make that self-incriminating statement. At least it should put to rest the anti-Obama lies that OBL wasn't actually dead.

    August 30, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
  13. lindaluttrell

    These sSEALS are truly heroes. However, two things bother me: The "nom de plume." How do we know for sure this guy/author is even the real deal? If he IS on the other hand, wouldn't over-sharing here possibly damage future missions of this sort? Thoughts...

    August 30, 2012 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Adam

      No, it wouldn't compromise future missions. As an Iraq combat veteran, I can assure you that the enemy already knows how our operations are conducted. They're constantly watching troops, video taping them, and studying them to look for week spots. Don't you think Osama Bin Laden (or any other terrorist who has been in this situation, or any who might be in this situation in the future) knew what was happening when he heard two helicopters landing outside of his house? He knew he was about to get blasted, but he had no escape. There is no way he could have fought off the Navy Seals, and no information given by Obama or this book will ever hinder future operations. They already know this stuff.

      August 30, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  14. WhatNow

    Whatever happened to country first?

    August 30, 2012 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Hillcreter

    "Join the SEALS. Undergo rigorous training. Become an author."

    August 30, 2012 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
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