Fox News Reveals Identity of Navy SEAL Writing Bin Laden Book
(New York Daily News) Just a day after the publishing house Penguin said it was on the verge of releasing a first-hand account of the Osama Bin Laden raid, Fox News outed the previously anonymous author of the potentially explosive book.
“No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama Bin Laden” is to be published on September 11, by “Mark Owen,” a pseudonym for one of the Navy SEAL Team 6 members who participated in the Abbottabad, Pakistan, raid on May 2, 2011 that killed the terrorist mastermind.
According to Fox News, that author is Matt Bissonnette, who is 36 years old and hails from Wrangell, Alaska. According to the report, Bissonnette is now retired, but participated in both the Bin Laden raid and the 2009 freeing of a hostage from Somali pirates in the Indian Ocean — another well-publicized SEAL success. The Times says he participated in more than a dozen deployments and only very recently retired.
Some have criticized Fox News for releasing the author’s name, speculating that if a left-leaning news source had done so, it would have been accused of a lack of patriotism. Others conceded that it was only a matter of time before the author’s real name came to light.
Although the book supposedly does not use any real names of Navy SEALs in order to protect their identities, Bissonnette could still be in trouble with the Pentagon, which seemingly never reviewed the book, and appears to have been unaware of its existence until this week.
“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,” a Navy spokesman told the New York Times, which first reported on the forthcoming publication of the book.
Not seeking permission from the armed forces to publish his account — which is co-written with Kevin Maurer, who has written previous books on the military — could potentially land Bissonnette in trouble, even if he is no longer active in the military.
“It is time to set the record straight about one of the most important missions in U.S. military history,” he writes in the book, according to Fox News. It is unclear if this means he will be less-than-flattering to the Navy SEALs or if he intends to discuss President Obama’s supposed triumphalism about the kill — a sore point for the right, as well as for some in the mility
The decision to release the book on 9/11 is sure to meet with questions, as well, since Bin Laden’s assassination remains a contentious political point. A film about the raid, “Zero Dark Thirty,” by “Hurt Locker” director Kathryn Bigelow, has been pushed back because it was suspected by some on the right as being more than an advertisement for the President’s foreign policy.
To this point, the most definitive account of the raid was a New Yorker piece published last August called “Getting Bin Laden.” That will soon change.
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