Everyone I know has been dying to hear the real story of the Bin Laden assassination, and it looks like we’ll soon be hearing it–a Navy SEAL who helped kill Bin Laden is publishing a book about it: No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama Bin Laden.
The author is publishing it under the pseudonym “Mark Owen” and was hoping to quietly go about his life while watching his bestseller rise in sales and seeing the shitstorm from the conversations at a distance.
But here’s the kicker: Fox News already outed him, just a day after his publisher announced the book. His real name is Matt Bissonnette, and he’s a 36-year-old retired SEAL. Several reports are saying that Bissonnette doesn’t like Obama and that he said, “it’s time to set the record straight about the most important mission in US Military History.” It sounds like he may be on the same team as the OPSEC people.
The sudden flood of news has caused a firestorm of anger. Now his publisher is angry at Fox News for outing him, saying they have endangered this man’s life. The Pentagon is angry at Bissonnette for possibly leaking secrets; they didn’t vet the book or even know about it until they read about it online. Last but not least, Al-Qaeda is angry at Bissonnette and has called for his death.
I have a number of reactions. First, I agree with this journalist–I don’t think Fox News did anything wrong because Bissonnette should have no expectation of privacy or anonymity if he’s writing a book of this nature. Second, he should’ve checked with the Pentagon before writing it–Repubs complained about leaked secrets, but now anyone with an Amazon account can just buy the book. Third, Bissonnette participated in something extraordinary, and even if he made a bad mistake, I hope he remains safe. (Honestly, I think he will. The government has done a very good job of stopping Al Qaeda’s efforts in the U.S.)
Fourth, this book looks awesome and I can’t wait to check it out!