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. transplantedhoosier

    His behavior is disgraceful.

    August 30, 2012 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      Assuming he didn't leak anything that is classified, then why would it be "disgraceful"?


      August 30, 2012 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • MM

      I completely agree, the President is a disgrace to the United States. Fortunately, he is on the final months of his reign of terror.

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

      I agree. Do your job and keep your mouth shut.

      August 30, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • David H

      The man and his book are yet another act in a long line of really cheap dramas. The kind we all love to watch on "Reality TV" Take a seat and enjoy the show.

      August 30, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
  2. POD

    Where is ex- Navy Seal Jesse Ventura's book that blows cover off of the Navy Seals.......Right.......I didn't think so......Jesse wouldn't trade loyalty for a fast buck! But I guess this is the new morality in the 'New World Order'

    August 30, 2012 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • BOMBO ©

      No, but he'll do an episode of his show claiming bin Laden's not really dead, that it's all a lie, all a conspiracy.

      He's making plenty of fast bucks lying about other things, don't worry.

      August 30, 2012 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  3. JE White

    I truly believe that this man should be stripped of all benefits given to him by the federal government such as healthcare and pensions. His JOB....was one that dealt with secrets and those secrets are meant to be untold.

    August 30, 2012 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      Assuming he didn't leak anything that is classified, then why?


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

      Then strip Obama of his position. He already blabbed about the operation. He should have kept his mouth shut.

      August 30, 2012 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • CaliBlue

      @MM – Take off the tin foil hat. What SECRETS did Pres. Obama "blab." He provided information about the raid... after consulting with military advisers. So this ex-Seal is above the generals and commanders that oversaw this operation as well? Wow, just sad what hatred had done to so called Americans!

      August 30, 2012 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
  4. OtherSF.

    A strong message to terrorists around the globe.

    August 30, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • David H

      This is such a good movie. Hope they give us more popcorn. Wake up! It's all a line of Bull@#$#

      August 30, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Roger

    OBL is dead.

    Who cares if he was shot in the head while on his bed, or if he was peeking out the door? He was shot dead and one less monster is alive in this world.

    The SEALS wouldn't have taken part in this mission without the go ahead from the president (no matter WHO was president, they wouldn't have acted without his approval). Perhaps the info that Obama gave that night was the information he had at the time.

    Again, in bed or in the hall.....who cares? Just glad the filth is dead.

    August 30, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Obama2012

    I cannot believe the illiterates on this board! Did you not read "Earnings for the book, Dutton has said, will go to charities that help the families of fallen SEALs."

    August 30, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thomas

      Earnings from the book sales, yes, but not his upfront advance. That's cash money.

      August 30, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • CaliBlue

      Exactly! Someone (Kock Brothers or some other right wingnut) fronted this guy some money to write the book. He DID not just do it out of the generosity of his heart!

      August 30, 2012 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Thomas

    Hard to imagine Navy Seals don't have to sign some sort of non disclosure agreement. NDL are usually blanketed to anything and everything. Making it treason to spill what kind of gum you chewed on the mission. No one is going to go after this guy this year but come January whether it's Obama or Romney this guy is toast. Enjoy the book money this year!!!!

    August 30, 2012 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      Us squids (sailors) call those "Loyalty Oaths" and they tend to be more for the bubble heads, submarine sailors.


      August 30, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
  8. The Lord of Excess

    Quite frankly ... who cares ... the hero mentality is old. It took trillions of dollars and actually nearly a million lives (counting all the death in Iraq) to pull this off. The dumb gun bunnies at the end plugging a guy in the head ... they are well trained cops ... bravo they whacked a guy. That is what they get paid to do. Now this guy is getting paid fat cash for the book deal. I could care less how they killed Bin Laden ... really who cares. It is a testament to how ignorant our society has become that people even care about this. Just more of the morbid slowing down to look at the traffic accident stupid American garbage.

    August 30, 2012 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • David H

      Well put. Nice to see that someone questions the media hype.

      August 30, 2012 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Sooner

    America has the right to know what happened. Sure we don't need all the intricate details of the mission, but our govt has such a reputation for lying, that we readily seek the truth. Bin Laden and every other muslim extremist would love to wipe us off the map, but you bleeding heart, politically correct liberals think we should be nice to everyone To you I say, put a rifle in your hand, and go get shot at!!! Our nation is on the verge of bankruptcy and socialism with what seems like an immiment re-election of Obamanation and his cronies. There are more important things to worry about. So should we really care about the book and the secrets that we all want to know about.

    August 30, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • David H

      Yeah. Go team! Hope blue teams wins! Be a player and takes sides. Win the game! tired of the stupid political party rhetoric in this country. Both sides are totally dysfunctional. Nothing changes. Socialism? Wonder if you even know what the hell it really is? Do you?

      August 30, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Meki60

    so Obama the charlatan again is shown to be a fraud.

    August 30, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  11. wAGrey50

    Since the book was not properly vetted before the scheduled release date, I worry about the possibility of sensitive information getting out that could possibly compromise future operations of this nature, but more importantly the safety of special operations personnel, their family members, friends, neighbors – you get the picture, don't you!!!. In retrospect, if this mission had failed, how would it have been viewed by power brokers and people in general?

    August 30, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  12. BOMBO ©

    He's still dead.

    August 30, 2012 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  13. David H

    Ha, ha, ha. It's all a scam. How do we really even know the truth on any of this stuff with bin Landen? The CIA trained him and taught him and made him into a larger than life event. We only know what we hear and read, what we are allowed understand through the filters of government and the news media they control. This guy is just another prop on the stage of the on-going Middle Eastern drama of which is mostly fictional or one sided. How else can we go to war convince the public that our best interests are at stake. We live in a powerful dystopia. . .only we are rarely aware that we actual do. Actual physical experience of the truth outside our own US walls is the only thing that will can awaken us. I love my country but sadly since the last three wars in the MIddle East do I rarely trust it anymore.

    August 30, 2012 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Cooper

    If Obama can tell Kathryn Bigelow his version for a movie, and leak details to the media to enhance his image, then Mr. Owen can tell what happened, too.

    August 30, 2012 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      However the apologists for the plastic muslim messiah see it differently 😉


      August 30, 2012 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Hollywood

    Being so self serving is not a part of any code of ethics i know of. The author has also put others in possble danger, all for the sake of blood money.

    August 30, 2012 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cooper

      And Obama didn't put others in possible danger with his leaks to the Media and Hollywood. I expect much more from the President of USA . speaking of ethics.

      August 30, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
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