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. Roelof Kenth Gort

    All Islamic import likes to concentrate in our big cities. That's where all the news sites (papers) have a hell of a job.

    August 30, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Ethan

    This book is obviously a piece of propaganda to further convince people that the raid went down the way they say it did. Forget for a minute that Bin Laden's at sea burial was veiled in secrecy and not at all a part of Muslim tradition (they only bury people at sea when they die at sea) and that 20 members of the same team died mysteriously afterwards. Does anyone think that if this were legit that the navy and CIA would actually allow a book of this nature to be published? Face the facts, IT DIDN"T HAPPEN. Up is down, down is up, Al Qaeda works for the CIA, the patriot act and other security state measures are for YOU, not foreign NATO backed terrorists. Wake up.

    August 30, 2012 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • mddiva35

      "20 members of the same team mysteriously died' what are you talking about?

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

      While I do beleive there are things concealed from us – more than we'd like to admit.... I think that your level of paranoia requires medical help.... seriously.... if you are THAT paranoid it wil affect your life in a negative way...

      YES – there should be no secrecy in a free country – and there is – but as of yet, it is not in every word soken...

      August 30, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeremy

      @Ethan, The tradition wasn't a burial at sea. The tradition is a burial within 24 hours of the passing. They did not want to bury the body on land 1. Because they didn't want people tampering with his grave i.e. digging his body up, remember he was a very hated man. 2. No country wanted him buried on their soil. The U.S. wasn't the only country that had altercations with Osama, he just effected us the most. This is all coming from someone that believes that they didn't really kill him.

      August 30, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • allens

      ethan, do you ever worry about a tin foil shortage that may keep you from making new headgear?

      August 30, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • chad have way to much faith in our governments abilities......they did the raid, screwed up the media, the cat got out of the bag, and this is just what happens.

      Most folks with theories of your nature, tend to find comfort in thinking the government has the ability to pull off all of this, but really, they just ruin the end game as always. Most politicians who argue likewise, or make policy promises while campaigning, like Obama, get into office, and then have their first CIA briefing, where they recognize the people are real and really want to kill Americans, suddenly the most liberal of presidents is ordering drone strikes to save his own backside.

      August 30, 2012 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ethan

      I'm talking about the mysterious helicopter crash later that month, look it up

      August 30, 2012 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ethan

      I'm not paranoid I'm just taking the facts that are available and formulating a logical conclusion. The truth is extreme. If you don't think our government is capable of this sort of thing I suggest you read up on Operation Northwoods, which is a real thing. There is so much horrifying information out there about what our government has done to our own citizens and people around the world it would blow your mind.

      August 30, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mary1972

      I think you are either paranoid or lying. I don't think any member of the team died. Also, the Islamic tradition is to bury within 24 hrs of passing and that is the reason OBL was buried in the sea.
      Do you hear voices by any chance? LOL.

      August 30, 2012 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
  3. barfly

    ha ha , moohammad is sandusky

    August 30, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Wisdom

    Obama the supper man lead us

    August 30, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
  5. mddiva35

    This is the type of jerk who gets a top secret clearance. How is this not treason? He shouldn't be talking at all about the events. He was given a mission to do and his damn job was to do the mission not write a book about it. It doesn't matter that the funds are going to fallen SEALs family members he has betrayed the trust enlisted to him by the people of the US and the trust enlisted to him as a member of an elite military service operation. Now he wants to disclose information about a top secret raid that killed one man who killed thousands because his mad about how the President portrayed the mission to the American public? Cry me a river! Now blood is on his hands just like Osama Bin Laden.

    August 30, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
  6. c

    Zero proof of when and where Bin Laden died. Zero proof Bin Laden even had anything to do with 9/11, except some bogus video of some fat nosed, fat version of Bin Laden, which looks nothing like him, "admitting" he was the mastermind, that Bush rolled out. Obama is using the "killing of Bin Laden" at a politically expedient time. Osama had marfran disease, kidney failure. He had to be hooked up to dialisis.....this takes multiple blood transfusions per week. DO you really think he was holed up in some cave, in some house w/ out the necessary equipment. The "war on terror" is a sham, a lie to justify limitless, perpetual war in the pursuit of "terrorists" in Africa, the middle east and the entire southern hemisphere. The "war on terror" isn't about terrorists, its about maintaining military superiority against China and Russia, and containing China and Russia's sphere of influence...containing their power. The "war on terror" is also being used to justify taking away your rights as a US citizen, the TSA, NDAA, ACTA, Patriot Act, these are some example of laws that would have never passed w/out 9/11....and as for 9/11....look at how WTC 7 destroyed itself at 5:20 on 9/11, no plane hit it, few floors on fire, and just self destructs at free fall speed....look at what hit Pentagon, zero video, zero evidence, and impossible for anyone to fly a boeing jet airliner that low to the ground and hit the Pentagon w/out first hitting the ground....the area is surrounded by highways, overpasses and buildings...I lived around the D.C. area, I promise you, they are lying about what hit the Pentagon. The death of Bin Laden has no proof way too many questions, as do the events of 9/11.....research it yourself, and accept, the entire notion of our empire being the "shining light on the hill" is a complete lie. The U.S. is an abusive empire, overthrowing sovereign nations, and expanding its power and wealth. U.S. foreign policy is extremely dangerous for the world....

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

      You seem like you would be such an asset to the team, it is surprising the Navy Seals did not take you along for the mission.

      August 30, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Darkness_549

      Oh wow, ha ha. what is wrong with you? Thanks for the laugh.. 🙂

      August 30, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
  7. untouchable luxury

    President obama did the right thing if bin laden was a american or any established countrys citizen the details of his death would be extreme moral boost for america period . For years weve been in a state of emotional turmoil we havent been just fighting a war in afghanistan weve been trying to cut the head leaders of al-quieda out of the picture leaving no leadership. All the while trying to turn those with the taliban toward the new afghanistan.

    August 30, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Darkness_549

      Cause Obama planned and executed the attack right? All his military experience really helped in his decision. So thanks Obama for saying “ahh well ok perhaps that would be a good plan”. I Was in Tora Bora hunting for Bin Laden under Bush. Ever been there? It wasn’t for a lack of trying. Again thanks for the laugh..

      August 30, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jonathan

    OK, but you're all going to bored stuff. From what we can tell. IT WAS A PRETTY EASY DAY.

    August 30, 2012 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mary1972

      Exactly. Why buy the book from this guy?

      August 30, 2012 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
  9. bobster26

    I think all of our opt's should be out in the open when posible, srcew everyone else! last time I checked, we were a world power. american paid taxes for these missions. let al-qaeda come-out of the wood work. let's see who we're realy fighting and in what countries are supporting them....and take them out to f-fear!

    August 30, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Doug

    I had no idea a military man could write a book and do it legally... I think he should be tried for treason..

    August 30, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mary1972

      I thought the same. May be, it is OK to buy anyone these days and the GOP who were jumping and yelling about Obama leaking is all mum now.

      August 30, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
  11. imvotingforobama

    Great job Navy Seals and President Obama! Too bad Bush wasted 8 years doing nothing except getting good men and women killed.

    August 30, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
  12. soican

    How selfish and unpatriotic. Bin Laden is dead (i hope all agree on that) and public does not need 30 versions of that night to forever fight about. I appreciate what you did and sacrificed your life for but why give a billion people more reason to hate us? PS Woof you are hot!!!

    August 30, 2012 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Alicia

    Would be more entertaining if this was a non fiction book.... NO pictures of post mortem = contrived BS.... Period.

    August 30, 2012 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
  14. yup!

    not sure than bin laden is dead unless you have faith that the government is telling you the truth!

    Matt Bissonnette ... you might want to go into protective custody

    August 30, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
  15. gdouglaso

    So...will the seals who attacked Obama for releasing details please stand up and in the same pointed manner demand that one of your team members be tried for treason. Yeah, thought not.

    August 30, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mary1972

      Those seals were paid by Romney clan to say what they said. Now, it is one of their own and they will be tight lipped. Patriotism and Hypocrisy for you.

      August 30, 2012 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • sick of obama

      Freedom of speech

      August 30, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
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