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. just_a_moderate

    So a guy living on a pension off of our dollar is making up absurdly untrue statements that harms our foreign policy interests?

    I don't see how that can go wrong.

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

      You mean the guy living in the White House. The Obama admin released Top Secret info to pat themselves on the back, this is the retort.

      August 30, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  2. muffer

    inappropriate and violates 'the code'. i guess everyone is worshipping the almighty dollar; even a navy seal. notice how he used a pen name. what a piece of crap.

    August 30, 2012 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
  3. asdf

    Ever considered that state secrets are only kept secret if necessary, and when released are usually to useless, that the only advantage they have in releasing them is create a distraction. This information may not have much importance and all this acting is a ruse in a bigger scheme of things.

    State secrets have little importance after their usage, and this mission has little to show, if anything foreign agency will not even look at it as it is quite worthless. They will be looking for other things. Now maybe it could be used if edited to send messages, but that is far fetch idea.

    August 30, 2012 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  4. ddozier

    What else is there to tell, President Obama said he was going after Bin Ladin and we got him. Doesn't matter how, He know those crazies are going to read it, but they don't care they just trying to find some way to make the President look bad, even if it puts the USA in harms way.

    August 30, 2012 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  5. BillZ

    It's quite entertaining watching all the lefty's squirm when the lies of there messiah are exposed. I have read "its all about the money" but it says in the article that the profits will go to fallen seal team families. "Writing this is un american and exposes our techniques" but our supposed president had no problem releasing it. Is there no end to progressive hypocrisy?

    August 30, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Areacode612

      Hey Bozo, 51% is going to charity. 49% is going into Bissonnette's pocket.

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

      Sure then there George Bush . .

      How did that whole "Mission Accomplished" thing work out for you?

      August 30, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Floyd Caveman

      You need a grammer lesson...

      August 30, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • BillZ

      Careful you don't run into each other and bump your heads as you all squirm around like a cup of night crawlers. Hillarious!

      August 30, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • BillZ

      No not the old "you need a grammar lesson" retort. This is too much fun. Quick someone go to the Obama for Pres. site and grab a copy and paste retort.

      August 30, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • maximus

      This is obviously an attempt by the wackos on the Right to score political points with uninformed citizens.
      The Right's days are numbered as a political fource in American politics. The U.S. is moving toward a Latin-American majority that is not inclined to vote for white fat cats....
      This is the Right's last gasp....

      August 30, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Larry L

      As a an actual long-term career Soldier I can tell you the author is a right-wing POS. He has long lost any concept of honor and has been busted for lies throughout the book. You right-wing morons simply to believe anything published if it discredits the President.

      I served through seven Commanders-In-Chief and was most impressed by President Obama – with George H.W. Bush coming in second. President Obama uses intelligence as a critical tool, strongly respects the opinion of the Joint Chiefs, leverages technology rather than sacrificing troops, and make careful, mature, and responsible decisions. He is the terrorist's worst nightmare and has been more successful in killing the b@$+@rds than any leader in our history. You can choose to be an unpartiotic moron if your country means nothing to you, but there's no honor in believing your own lies.

      August 30, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Observer91


      Learn to spell please.

      August 30, 2012 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Areacode612

    Sell out

    August 30, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Derpwood

    This guy is a disgrace . . He shames all SEALS and should be dropped mid-ocean like Bin Laden was . .

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

    Hey CNN Bob, The Whitehouse took the information about the operation that was given to them about the raid. Nothing more, nothing less and there was no need to specialized the events when all was needed to make the whole country was to say Osama is dead. This book is a betrayal of seal oath.

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

    Now Barack Hussein is going to have to put a seal on the SEALS like all the other records he doesn't want out there for people to connect the dots on him...

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

    I thought we were afraid of Taliban retailiation? Isn't this why no one was allowed to see any pictures of this dead Osama Bin Laden yet there is a book bragging about how we killed him? Is Mark Owens not afraid for his life? No wonder their are so many conspiracy theorists.

    August 30, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Gigantua mouth

    You sign a contract when you get in ("Briefing"), "SHUT UP!". You sign a contract when you get out ("Debriefing"), "SHUT UP!!". 'THOU SPEAKETH NOT'!!!

    August 30, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  12. luvlar

    This guys an idiot. Terrorist's have very long memories and a need for revenge. He's putting himself and his family in harms way. Maybe not tomorrow or a year from now or even a decade from now.... He's asking for trouble.

    August 30, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • chip

      30 years ago Salman Rushdie was sentenced to die for writing a book critical of Islam by the Ayatollah Kohmeini.

      He's 65 years old now and has been living in New York City since 2000 and is a common fixture in the Union Square area restaurants and cafes near where he lives if that's any solace for this author...

      August 30, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Max Escoria

    Twenty Years Ago in Columbia, Special Forces Stood Over the Body Of Pablo, Never Betraying Glory or Honor for the Republican Dollar, The next sound you will hear are the body of soldiers falling because a spineless wimp couldnt keep the secrets intrusted to him y the government he served. The Koran Burning will be nothing compared to this Betrayal.
    Good Job Seal Team Zero

    August 30, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
  14. AcclaimedMan

    I will immediately switch to the last part of the book which describes how sharks were aggressively eating out his useless body !!!

    August 30, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
  15. ViK100

    All for the sake of money and power – Welcome to America!!

    August 30, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
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