It’s been months since Osama bin Laden was killed by the U.S. Navy, but interest in his death hasn’t waned.
“Mark Owen,” the pen name of author and ex-Navy SEAL Matt Bissonnette answers some of those questions in No Easy Day: The First Hand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama bin Laden, a book about the lead-up to and execution of bin Laden. The book has already been one the No. 1 spot on Amazon’s bestseller list for two weeks, just from pre-orders.
Here are some things we’ve learned from reports about No Easy Day.
1. The author’s description of events contradicts official statements. Bissonnette says bin Laden was hit in the head when he looked out his bedroom window while SEALs rushed a stairwell in his direction. Bissonnette says he was behind a “point man” going up the stairs. He says he heard suppressed gunfire, and when they followed him into his bedroom, Osama was crumpled in a corner with a hole in his head and women wailing over his still-twitching body.
2. Even Navy SEALS think Joe Biden tells “lame jokes” and reminds them of “someone’s drunken uncle at Christmas dinner.”
3. The SEALS weren’t huge fans of President Obama either, saying that killing bin Laden will earn Obama a second term.
4. Although the publishers say the book was vetted by a former special-operations attorney, it wasn’t reviewed by the military.
5. Bissonnette initially wanted the book to be released on September 11 so that it would be apolitical. The release date was bumped up a few more days due to overwhelming demand.
6. There were two guns in bin Laden’s room when he was killed, neither of which were loaded. Bissonnette calls him a “pussy” for not fighting for his life.
7. Still, Bissonnette admits that the SEALs were not on an assassination mission.
8. General counsel for the Defense Department, Jeh Johnson, wrote a letter to the author saying he had signed two nondisclosure agreements with the Navy in 2007 that prevents him from divulging classified information. Johnson says that after reading a copy of the book, the author is in “material breach and violation” of those agreements, and the Pentagon is considering legal action.
9. Bissonnette may have written his account because of bad blood in SEAL Team 6. An e-book written by fellow Special Operations veterans say Bissonnette was pushed out of his unit after expressing interest in leaving the Navy and starting a small business. Bitter over being sent home, he wrote a book. The e-book will be on sale a day before Bissonnette’s book.
10. Bissonnette has since had his identity revealed in the U.S. Al-Qaeda members have been calling for his death online.