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Navy Seal is reported to be publishing a book about the bin Laden raid

Penguin is reported to be publishing a major, first-person account of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, scheduled for release on Sept. 11.

By Elizabeth Drake / August 22, 2012

The May 2, 2011, raid that killed Osama bin Laden is often cited as a crowning accomplishment of the Obama administration. Photo: Locals and media stand outside the compound where Osama bin Laden was caught and killed in Abbottabad, Pakistan. By Anjum Naveed/AP.


A Navy Seal who was present at the raid that killed Osama bin Laden will publish a first-person narration of the events to be released on September 11, according to unnamed publishing executives, reports the New York Times.

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The author, who was a “team leader” for the mission, will use pseudonyms to protect the identities of those involved, including his own. He will be known only by the pen name "Mark Owen." Kevin Maurer, author and co-author of several books with military themes, will be the co-author of this title as well.

The book, “No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama bin Laden” is owned by Dutton, an imprint of Penguin. Until now, the details of the book had been kept a secret, even from the bookstores that will stock it.

The publisher’s description promises 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 calls the book "an essential piece of modern history.”

With the bin Laden raid cited as one of the Obama administration’s greatest accomplishments, the book is expected to be an immediate best seller. But its timing – coming in the midst of the US presidential election cycle – could prove controversial. As the NYT blog points out, a film about the raid – “Zero Dark Thirty" by Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal – was originally scheduled for release in October, but was moved to December after Republicans complained that it could provide positive publicity for President Obama in the weeks before the election.

An insider has reported that the publisher plans to print 300,000 hardcover copies of the book. 


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