Account says SEAL wrote Osama book after slight
Posted on: 03 Sep 2012
The former Navy SEALs member who is a co-author of a first-person account of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden was willing to break 'the code of silence' honored by many commandos because of 'bad blood' with his former unit, the elite SEAL Team 6, according to a new e-book written by other Special Operations veterans.
The e-book says the author, Matt Bissonnette, who wrote the book 'No Easy Day' under the pseudonym Mark Owen, was effectively pushed out of SEAL Team 6 after he expressed interest last year in leaving the Navy and starting a business. Upset at how he had been treated, Mr. Bissonnette felt less compunction about writing a book that he knew might upset colleagues, the e-book authors say.
'How was he repaid for his honesty and 14 years of service?' a passage of the e-book asks. 'He was ostracized from his unit with no notice and handed a plane ticket back to Virginia from a training operation.'
The e-book, 'No Easy Op,' is scheduled to go on sale on Amazon on Monday, a day before Mr. Bissonnette's book hits the market. The Pentagon has threatened legal action against Mr. Bissonnette because he did not submit the manuscript for review early enough in the publication process.
The e-book offers a few details of its own about Mr. Bissonnette's team, none of which could be independently corroborated. It says, for instance, that team members loudly celebrated their successful mission at a bar in Virginia Beach, causing them to be reprimanded.
'No Easy Op' is a product of sofrep.com, a Web site produced by former commandos and devoted to the news, culture and weaponry of Special Operations forces. Brandon Webb, a former SEALs sniper and the founder of the site, said the e-book was based on conversations that he and his co-authors had with current members of SEAL Team 6, none of whom are identified.
He declined to say whether Mr. Bissonnette provided information for the e-book, though he said he talked with Mr. Bissonnette over the past year about what it was like to write a book about the SEALs.
Mr. Webb is the author of a book about his own military experience, 'The Red Circle.' He also did not submit his manuscript for review, but was not punished because, he said, the book came out years after the missions it described and contained details that had already been made public.
'No Easy Day' and 'No Easy Op' are just the latest manifestations of the nation's continuing fascination with commando culture. A Hollywood action film released this year, 'Act of Valor,' employed active-duty SEAL members to portray themselves.
In a statement, Kevin Maurer, a journalist and co-author of 'No Easy Day,' said: 'After spending several very intense months working with Mark Owen on this book, I know that he wrote this book solely to share a story about the incredible men and women defending America all over the world. Any suggestion otherwise is as ill informed as it is inaccurate. What's more, Mark has an unshakable respect for the U.S. military, in particular the men he served with. That's why not one negative word was written about anyone he served with.'
The e-book is in many ways sympathetic to Mr. Bissonnette, calling him 'an operator's operator.' The authors also say it is highly unlikely that Mr. Bissonnette released any vital information about SEAL tactics and procedures.
But the e-book chides Mr. Bissonnette for not submitting the book for review, saying he could have eased concerns about security leaks. Mr. Bissonnette's real identity was disclosed last week.
A significant portion of the e-book is devoted to describing the differences between SEAL members and other Special Operations forces. Army units like the Special Forces, the Rangers and the Delta Force, considered the equivalent of SEAL Team 6, are far more tight-lipped than the SEALs, the authors say.
In the infantry-bred world of Army Special Operations, the authors write, 'No one wants to hear braggarts telling tall tales of their heroics,' while 'a culture of boasting and arrogance continues to haunt the SEALs.'
But that may change, the authors speculate. 'No Easy Day,' they say, 'will result in blowback that will drive policy change across the entire Special Operations community regarding operators' ability to write books in the future. Hollywood and media access will be virtually impossible for the foreseeable future.'Newyork Times