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No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission that Killed Osama bin Laden, is set to be released under the Dutton imprint of Penguin Publishing House next month. Subtitled The Autobiography of a Navy Seal, this book will be the first direct account of the events. Articles published after bin Laden’s death were accounts from officials who had debriefed the members of SEAL Team 6, not the members of the teams themselves.
The book is written by one of the navy seals who participated in the mission firsthand, under the pseudonym Mark Owen. The author was the leader of one of the teams during the mission that killed bin Laden on May 2, 2011. For their protection, the names of all of the SEALs on the mission have been changed. Scheduled television interview will feature the author in disguise, with his voice altered.
Co-author Kevin Maurer is a journalist that has worked for the Navy SEALs six times and is the author of four books.
Penguin plans on printing 300,000 copies for the release on September 11, 2012 and continuing through the holiday season. The book is expected to be a bestseller.
So far, the book is the best kept secret of the company. While described as 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” and “an essential piece of modern history” by the publisher, other officials were caught off guard by the announcement.
John Kirby, Navy spokesman, told the New York Times that “The author did not seek Navy support/approval for this book.”
George Little, Pentagon press Secretary, told the Times that “he had not read the book and was unaware that anyone in the department had reviewed it.”
CIA spokesman Preston Golson said “As far as we can determine, this book was not submitted for pre-publication review.”
Tommy Viater, National Security Council spokesman, said “We learned about this book today from press reports,” and added, “We haven’t reviewed it and don’t know what it says.”
It is unclear whether any legal action or attempt to stop the publication will be taken as of this time. This is indeed possible: all 10,000 copies of a book by a former Defense Intelligence Agency officer who described operations in Afghanistan were destroyed before publication because the book hadn’t been reviewed by official.
The book has the potential to impact the upcoming 2012 election, putting one of President Barack Obama’s achievements in the limelight before voters cast their ballots. According to the Washington Post, it may also raise issues on their aggressive campaign toward information leaks, while supposedly allowing the press in on many secrets.