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. jbird68

    I will not buy the book of this renegade traitor, who never bothered to clear it with higher ups!

    August 30, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      By "renegade traitor" I assume you mean a member of the small group of brave men that the killed the leader of al-queda

      August 30, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • jbird68

      Dont act stupid. You know what I mean! I doubt he'll be considered one of them much longer. Its a betrayal.

      August 30, 2012 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Donna

    I remember the raid – watching President Obama, Hillary Clinton, and the other VIPs sitting at a table and watching the whole event. I remember when this account was broadcast. I believe it was at this point, that the event became a public rather than a private matter invovling the Seals. It appears that the President violated the privacy of the Seals by disclosing the nature of their operation for the purpose of his political success. I thought this was way out of line for the President to do this as he showed no respect for the Seals.

    August 30, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Greenspam

      Did you type that while wearing your white hoodie?

      August 30, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Really?

      Donna, you are a bonafide idiot. Please do us all a favor, and refrain from casting your ballot this November. K? Thanks.

      August 30, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • elle

      There is no logic in that. George bush's administration actively distorted the detail of Phil Tillman and other operations. And they did it to glorify the war. Releasing a few photos of the government watching the raid occur is hardly some crime. You clearly had your mind made up already about the administration and are twisting your argument in order to justify your beliefs

      August 30, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • c

      During the address to tne Nation the President of the United States of America told the American people that the man most responsible for killing 3,000 Americans on 9/11 had been killed. He went on to PRAISE the Navy Seal Team (who had carried out the raid. THIS IS A PUBLIC MATTER- The President NEVER NAMED ANY OF THEM. Nobody would have known this guy's name until he wrote HIS book. I think writing this book is is rotten, low down & probably racist thing to do. I also think George Bush was too stupid to do what Obama did.- Gave the order as Commander in Chief of the Armed Services to kill Osama Bin Laden, as he had every right to do and like that stupid a#s George Bush should have done. period

      August 30, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Broadcasting

      I like the SEAL who whined that the President disclosed how they got to the compound. Like the Pakis would see the helicopter lying there and say "hmmm, they must of snuck in by boat". It's all so disgustingly about money and politics.

      August 30, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • jbird68

      You have a great fantasy life. The situation room was not broadcast. You saw a single group pic! The Prez is CIC and can choose to release it!

      August 30, 2012 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Greenspam

    Today Republicans continue to attack President Obama for releasing "sensitive" information about the operation that will endanger the lives of all patriotic seals in the future.

    August 30, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Jake

    FACT– Obama ordered the raid that killed Bin Laden..

    FACT–Bush failed and spent billions of dollars trying to find him...

    Need we even discuss the book? I don't really care about the details. It happend and we know who was successful and who wasn't.

    August 30, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ranger Stuart

      So you don't think that the work by the intelligence community, military and our NATO allies prior to 2008 led in any way to President Obama being able to say "go"? That's a pretty myopic view to remove the decade of tracking and intell gathering that led us to this point. Bush contributed as much as President Obama did.

      I thi

      August 30, 2012 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Larry L

      "Ranger" Stuart – you are delusional. Presidnt "Mission Accomplished" misused intellengence throughout his tenure as CINC – purposefully at times. He started a war with no exit strategy. He took his eye off the real war and moved to "show Daddy how it's done". He never understood the nature of the true conflict and continued to repeat mistakes costing lives. President Obama made the entire system work and made a bold move at the right moment. It could have turned out badly – it didn't. Let it go. Don't be a part of yet another "swift boat" attack. Real Soldiers are above that behavior. You don't have to like his politics but deluding yourself is showing dishonor to those who put together the operation. Don't sacrifice integriy to be a political pawn for the Koch brothers and Karl Rove.

      August 30, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
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    August 30, 2012 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Really?

    I'm just a little confused. Weren't some ex navy seals bashing Obama just the other day for providing too much info on the mission? Has the hypocrisy and hate become so strong? I just don't get it.

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

      Thank you!

      August 30, 2012 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Donald

    Why are you hyping this book? Do you think that by reporting the "buzz" you're not creating the buzz yourself? Seriously, are there any editors left over there at CNN or are the kids in charge now, pandering to whatever PR gets poured over your heads?

    August 30, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
  8. 123elle

    Why is it I am shocked and uncomfortable that Americans would summarily execute even a monster like Bin Laden? It's easy for me to say form the safety of my home that I would have preferred to see him captured, put on trial and only then executed or imprisoned. And I can only guess at the nightmare and complexity of capturing a hot potato like him with its potential for terrible consequences.

    I also understand that our government has probably ordered clandestine operations in the national interest that involved taking out people who put our security at risk both in wartime and peacetime. But Bin Laden's execution still troubles me. It's this: Do we have a moral responsibility to capture rather than execute on the spot a criminal - not enemy military - who posed no immediate physical threat, since our forces were in control there? Are there no moral rules constraining us to guarantee his safety as our prisoner? I know these are repellent considerations when it comes to him. I also know that if it were Hitler or his staff that we had captured, I would have so such qualms. So I don't entirely understand my feelings. Of course I respect deeply the awesome courage and skill of the SEALs in what they did and our President for his leadership. It's just that it would have been more consistent with my understanding of the American ideal if we had not used our military avdantage to shoot him dead on the spot.

    August 30, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
  9. KP

    No you should be buying this book if they call their self-American. This person is only in for the money and not for the safety of those who put their life on the line to do what needed to be done for this country.

    August 30, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Mark O. David

    Too bad the C.I.A. put all that money into the world trade bombing and then killed their best asset

    August 30, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Broadcasting

      No....that was the Mossad.

      August 30, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Sonny

    The book should be burned and the man who writes the book should be hung because he is the traitor. He is very greedy for money. He gives away the secret to our enemies.

    August 30, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
  12. 4mTx

    He couldn't have written this book if the President didn't give the order....

    August 30, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Jouko

    My opinion on the matter: That has got to be the ugliest cover design of the decade.

    August 30, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
  14. human 1st

    who cares he is dead .. f him

    August 30, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Luis

    Part of "our" oath says;

    "I do not advertise the nature of my work, nor seek recognition for my actions. I voluntarily accept the inherent hazards of my profession, plaacing the welfare and security of others before my own."

    For those with the discerment, let them dicern.
    Be entertained by the book if you want to. We fought for that right.
    But paper holds all you put in. And for those who share that oath and do not live by it...shame on you.

    August 30, 2012 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
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