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. tepeters

    This guy lost his credibility and character by writing the book.

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

      He did indeed! Release his real name and whereabouts and let's have a go at him!

      August 30, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • cole

      ya go ahead, ill be the last guy in line when it comes to standing up to a SEAL

      August 30, 2012 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • MaryM

      Peter, Fox news already released his real name. Shame on them for putting his family in danger. Terrorist web sites already have him targeted. I dont think fox news should have released his real name

      August 30, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • sick of obama

      Actually he is just telling it like it is

      August 30, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Blaine

      I hope he made a fortune, because my credibility and character aren't for sale at any price!

      August 30, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Derp

      Seems more like he gained it and showed it. It's easy to fall in rank and file and just ignore everything going on around you. It takes real courage to break ranks and push for truth and justice. It has always been like that, and always will continue to be like that. That is why people like Hitler can so easily rise to power, people enjoy following, and any leader no matter what their goals and methods can gain the unwavering support of a large majority of the population.

      August 30, 2012 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • mm

      EXCEPT with the I hate the "black Muslim, illegal alien running our country who is better known as Hitler, that is going to take our guns away and haul us off to FEMA camp" types. As you can see. The "true" patriots. Otherwise known as mental midgets. Now that's the truth!

      August 30, 2012 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Virginia Yank

    Special Forces and especially the SEALS are unfortunately beginning to believe the hype. They are over glamorized and overrated. They rightfully have the very best of everything (training, personnel, intel, comms, equipment, stealth insertion (read stealth helos), etc. etc. to support their missions. The odds are stacked in their favor from the beginning so It's hard to see how they could not succeed. Now compare that to some Syrian rebel armed with a knock-off AK-47 fighting in the streets with none of these advantages and with his family nearby to boot. Now that takes courage.

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

      @Virginia Yank well said

      August 30, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • ImIrish

      I guess if the SEALS thought that Obama was much of a President, you'd be whistling a different tune.

      You think the SEALS have an easy job? Sure they do. That's why so many who want to become SEALS cannot – they are the best.

      August 30, 2012 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mary1972

      Well said. They don't remember who gave them the opportunity.

      August 30, 2012 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe P.

      Interesting that the first two things that you mention that "they have the best of" are training, and personnel. In other words, extraordinarily dedicated people, who have learned and polished the skills necessary to accomplish very difficult missions. Given the fact that they usually are assigned missions that place them in great danger against bad odds, I wouldn't begrudge them one bit of the intel, equipment, or aid that they receive. I don't question the courage of the Syrian rebels, but I think that you do these brave men in the Seals a disservice by questioning their courage.

      August 30, 2012 at 11:43 pm | Report abuse |
  3. yo!

    i'm surprised that with every one owning a cell phone, there isn't a picture of a dead bin laden anywhere

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

      Nobody would have been allowed near him with a cell phone and if they tried to use the camera, they would have been court martialed. Why didn't you think of that? Seems pretty simple.

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

    I take no issue with this, because this issue is a day late and a dollor short. SEALs have been exploited to the point of exhaustion by this administration and Admiral McRaven. There was a day when pirates were killed, hostages were rescued, and terror leaders were assassinated without mention of the unit that accomplished the mission, and I can't recall there being a time where movie rights were sold, or active duty SOF cleared to star in a Hollywood movie. The line has been blurred, and there is no one to blame but the leadership.

    August 30, 2012 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • HycoWhit

      What? You are saying all those things happened before but we just didn't know? And that in this administration–when those things happen it makes the news? I don't think any previous administration used the special forces as in a non-war time environment as well as this administration.

      August 30, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Brent

    Why do these Seals dislike Obama? It seems if one is going to make such a public statement to express opinions, the least they can do is man-up and state why they don't like their leader.

    August 30, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • cole

      it is probably because he is the one who got all the glory and is till hanging his hat on something that should have happened no matter who was sitting in obama's chair (ie mccain, or any other puppet in office)

      August 30, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • peter

      Because he is a coward and his book is probably full of innuendos

      August 30, 2012 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • baman

      They have stated why they don't like Obama – and he is not their leader. There is a big difference between the tiltle "Commander-in-Chief" and a true leader.

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

      You would be a good candidate to see the movie 'Obama's 2016"

      August 30, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Blaine

      Brent, they don't really care about Obama one way or another. But, in order to sell books and get on the conservative talk shows, who will promote the book, they need to have a target. Nothing like a "patriot" who will sell out his country for money to get the conservatives behind him.

      August 30, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Duc749

    “Mark Owen” was probably the last SEAL out of the helicopter who was responsible for posting security on the stable.

    "No Easy Day" – yeah right. 24 armed operators on the ground for 20 minutes against 2 armed men. More like "Walk in the Park Night".


    August 30, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe P.

      I'll bet if you'd been there you would have shown them how it's done.

      August 30, 2012 at 11:44 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Libdumb

    He's dead RIGHT? Who cares how they killed him. Like he cared how 3,000 plus humans died on 9/11. Hope the Seals get a new Commander in Chief.

    August 30, 2012 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • ImIrish

      Wow, Peter! You're a real class act!

      August 30, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
  8. untouchable luxury

    President obama did the right thing by letting the people know . Just knowing for that the monster behind the tragedy of 911 must give the peoples love ones who mourn to this day so relief. An if bin laden was a american or any established countrys citizen who happened to be a terrorist mastermind then details of his death should be told. Plus this is 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. So why is it a problem that obama. announced to the people that he leads that the. abomination we know as osama bin laden is has finally been killed. For years under the bush administation osamahid in the mountains now he over under obama and its an issue. This was to the editor.

    August 30, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Jim of Upstate

    Bin Laden’s killing was an extrajudicial assassination, illegal according to international law and the Geneva Convention. Now, this guy cashes in with a sensational book. These actions, from the Commander-in-Chief on down to his trigger-pullers, are going to get a lot more of us killed.

    August 30, 2012 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      I love how you say "US" being that I doubt you've ever done anything of use that would make you a target. No one cares about some podunk kid from "Upstate"

      The fact is, it was a covert military operation that doesn't fall under the Geneva convention, as we aren't fighting a war against another nation. And it should have stayed COVERT.

      August 30, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  10. carlo

    Why hide secrets? Because we are doing something wrong. The power of democracy is held in the secrets of the few. This is not the democracy we have envisioned.

    August 30, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
  11. charle bailey

    My uncle was a marine on Iwo Jima. The Commander in Chief was the commander in Chief. Never once did he mention the worst than Hell hole he signed up to enter. Never once did he regret his decision. Never once did he critize his Commander in chief. . Never once did he complain while burying his comrades in black sand. Never ever did he dishonor his fellow & fallen soldiers with his opinion after the fact.

    August 30, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mary1972

      Now-a-days, these SEALs have no loyalty. They seem to sell their souls to the highest bidder, aka, the Super PAC.

      August 30, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • mm

      It's called, honor, courage and committment. You can add integrity to that.
      All of which are missing from guys like this.

      August 30, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
  12. mm

    No honor with this guy or any of the others who decide to open their mouths and write books.
    We still have boots on the ground. Do these self indulgent, arrogant, self serving, former miltiary ever think of the lives they put in danger, including the country these so called patriots claim to love so much? Nope, all for the almighty buck and their fifteen minutes of fame, unless of course they decide to run for some political office in which case it turns into 30 minutes.
    Btw, his fellow SEAL members are not pleased (many of whom are still on the ground), nor is the government and military who he failed to obtain clearance from. They just received the manuscript the other day and have yet to weed through it. With any luck they will find him in violation and strip him of all he has or will ever have, but not before he causes widespread damage.

    August 30, 2012 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mary1972

      Shame on these SEALs.

      August 30, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Derp

      Blah blah blah. Spoken like a true couch potato that has never done a thing for his country, but feels qualified to criticize everyone and everyone that has. You don't speak for us. You speak only for yourself, and can only control what you yourself say. Keep raging as much as you want, but know that you will always be a meaningless failure.

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

    A disgrace to his uniform, his country, and his unit...

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

      You're absolutely right!

      August 30, 2012 at 8:07 pm | Report abuse |
  14. rosie

    Let me guess, they get the bad guy in the end.

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

      Say Spoiler Alert first!

      August 30, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • mb2010a

      There, now see you spoiled the whole thing for me...I guess I won't bother reading it then.

      August 30, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Troop

      What planet have you been on.

      August 30, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
  15. MaryM

    And Fox news has already released Mark Owens real name. Shame on them for putting his family in danger. Terrorist web sites already have him targeted. I dont think fox news should have released his real name

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

      Just imagine the bashing if it was CNN that released the name of the seal. Double standard at its best!

      August 30, 2012 at 8:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • dakotawind

      Biden and his big mouth outed the whole Seal Team 6 company first! He could have chosen other words like Special Forces or something. He did not have to tell the exact company. But of course it must be okay for the Democrats to out someone but not Fox News...

      August 30, 2012 at 8:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe P.

      Absolutely not. I wonder if they would have if he was parroting their point of view?

      August 30, 2012 at 11:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Catherine

      I wonder who it was at Fox news? Not all Fox anchor-people are conservative – we have to remember that. Don't forget Bob on The Five?

      September 2, 2012 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

      Maybe he published the book to compensate for inflation and the high cost of living since Paul Ryan and the GOT voted against a pay raise for military veterans!

      September 4, 2012 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • MAF

      I for one LOVE that they released his name. He is a traitor and should feel some fear for his actions.

      September 11, 2012 at 8:28 am | Report abuse |
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