We’ve been hearing rumbles for months that a SEAL involved in the raid that killed Osama bin Laden was working on a book. The New York Times is now reporting it’s coming out September 11 and will be called No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama bin Laden.
The Navy SEAL allegedly involved will write under the pseudonym “Mark Owen,” with help from Kevin Maurer, an author who has been embedded with Special Forces in Afghanistan.
Kind of ironic, if true, given this group of former SEALs’ concerns about operational security. It’s also going to raise questions about the degree to which the Obama Administration enabled this book to be published two months before the President is up for re-election.
Critics have already faulted his Administration for cooperating with a movie about the daring night-time raid into bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, that killed the al Qaeda leader, the sponsor of the 9/11 attacks.
It’s tough to figure how the author, assuming he is legitimate, could get government approval for such a tale. Anthony Shaffer ran into a lot of problems when Pentagon intelligence officials objected to passages in his 2010 book, Operation Dark Heart. Ultimately, the book was published with many sentences blacked out.
The Times suggests this is going to turn into a carnival:
Because the book is written under a pseudonym, the author will appear in disguise during television interviews to promote the book. At least one major network prime-time appearance has been planned, a person familiar with the plans said, and during interviews on television and radio, the author’s voice would be altered.
It’s profoundly disturbing that the author is trading in on his inside knowledge in such a brazen way. Assuming it’s true, some of his fellow SEALs will not be pleased. Those aren’t guys you want to tick off. It will further shine a light on secrets that should be kept. But you can bet some of the profits from the volume, to be published by Penguin, will be earmarked for charities that help veterans or their families.