Another unnamed source cashes in on a tragedy, not the alleged take down of Osama bin Laden, but the “Twenty-Three SEAL’s” who were shot down under very mysterious cimcumstances while riding in a Chinook over Afghanistan.
That’s my story and I’m sticking to it, I’m J.C. and I approve this message.
New York Times
By JULIE BOSMAN
A detailed first-person account of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, written by a member of the Navy SEALs who participated in the mission and was present at Bin Laden’s death, will be released next month, the publisher said on Wednesday.
A closely held secret within Penguin, the publishing house that is planning to release it on Sept. 11, the book promises to be one of the biggest titles of the year, with the potential to rattle the presidential campaign in the final weeks before the Nov. 6 election.
Titled “No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama bin Laden,” the book was written by a member of the SEALs who is using the pseudonym Mark Owen. Dutton, the imprint of Penguin that acquired the book, said he used a pen name and changed the names of other SEAL members for security reasons.
The author, a former member of SEAL Team 6, was a leader in the operation that resulted in the death of Bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan, on May 2, 2011. According to a description of the book provided by the publisher, the author gives a “blow-by-blow narrative of the assault, beginning with the helicopter crash that could have ended Owen’s life straight through to the radio call confirming Bin Laden’s death.” It describes the book as “an essential piece of modern history.”
He also recalls his childhood in Alaska, the grueling preparation to become a member of the SEALs and his other previously unreported SEAL missions. He has completed 13 combat deployments since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and he retired within the past year.
A co-writer, Kevin Maurer, is the author of four books and was embedded with Special Forces in Afghanistan six times.
Penguin officials would not address whether they sought approval to publish the material from any government agencies. Rear Adm. John Kirby, the Navy’s chief spokesman, said in an e-mail: “The author did not seek Navy support/approval for this book. We have no record of any request from an author associated with that book company.”
Tommy Vietor, a spokesman for the National Security Council, said in response to questions: “We learned about this book today from press reports. We haven’t reviewed it and don’t know what it says.”
George Little, the Pentagon press secretary, said he had not read the book and was unaware that anyone in the department had reviewed it.
The book could get caught up in the politically charged arena of the presidential campaign, similar to what occurred with another planned narrative account of the raid, a film by Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal called “Zero Dark Thirty.” That film was originally scheduled for release in October, but was moved to December after Republicans said it would help dramatize one of the president’s signature achievements right before the election. The project also prompted complaints from some Republicans that the administration had provided improper access about the raid to the filmmakers, an accusation the White House denied.
In August 2011, The New Yorker published an account of the raid that was so detailed it included information about what the pilot of a Black Hawk helicopter was thinking as the aircraft was on the verge of crashing. That article relied on interviews with officials who had debriefed members of the SEAL team, not with the individuals themselves.
“No Easy Day” joins a crop of books by other former members of the Navy SEALs who have turned their experiences into literary drama and landed coveted spots on best-seller lists. Last year, Chuck Pfarrer, a former SEAL commander, wrote “SEAL Target Geronimo,” an account of the Bin Laden raid based on interviews with members of the Navy SEALs.
The publisher is expecting a major best seller, with a planned print run of 300,000 copies in hardcover.
Because the book is written under a pseudonym, the author will appear in disguise during television interviews to promote the book, and his voice will be altered. At least one major network prime-time appearance has been planned, a publishing executive familiar with the plans said.
The book will go head-to-head with another blockbuster fall release: the latest nonfiction tome by Bob Woodward, which is also being published on Sept. 11. Mr. Woodward’s book, “The Price of Politics,” will look at the attempts by President Obama and the Congressional leadership to fix the economy during Mr. Obama’s first term.
Bookstores have been kept guessing about the book about the Bin Laden raid for weeks. One independent bookstore owner said in July that she was told by Dutton, the publisher, only that it had added a “big, major book” written by an anonymous author to its fall list, and that she should prepare by ordering dozens of copies in advance.
Cathy Langer, the lead book buyer for the Tattered Cover bookstore in Denver, predicted Wednesday that the book could be an unusually big seller.
“This sort of book is too often what I call a F.I.P., flash in the pan, with good sales for a week or so after the initial publicity,” she said in an e-mail. “But this one may have legs into the holidays.”
Thom Shanker and Mark Landler contributed reporting.