For the first time anywhere, the first-person account of the planning and execution of the Bin Laden raid from a Navy Seal who confronted the terrorist mastermind and witnessed his final moments.
From the streets of Iraq to the rescue of Captain Richard Phillips in the Indian Ocean, and from the mountaintops of Afghanistan to the third floor of Osama Bin Laden’s compound, operator Mark Owen of the U.S. Naval Special Warfare Development Group–commonly known as SEAL Team Six– has been a part of some of the most memorable special operations in history, as well as countless missions that never made headlines.
No Easy Day puts readers alongside Owen and the other handpicked members of the twenty-four-man team as they train for the biggest mission of their lives. The 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, is an essential piece of modern history.
In No Easy Day, Owen also takes readers onto the field of battle in America’s ongoing War on Terror and details the selection and training process for one of the most elite units in the military. Owen’s story draws on his youth in Alaska and describes the SEALs’ quest to challenge themselves at the highest levels of physical and mental endurance. With boots-on-the-ground detail, Owen describes numerous previously unreported missions that illustrate the life and work of a SEAL and the evolution of the team after the events of September 11. In telling the true story of the SEALs whose talents, skills, experiences, and exceptional sacrifices led to one of the greatest victories in the War on Terror, Mark Owen honors the men who risk everything for our country, and he leaves readers with a deep understanding of the warriors who keep America safe.
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About Mark Owen and Kevin Maurer
Mark Owen a former member of the U.S. Naval Special Warfare Development Group, commonly known as SEAL Team Six. In his many years as a Navy SEAL, he has participated in hundreds of missions around the globe, including the rescue of Captain Richard Phillips in the Indian Ocean in 2009. Owen was a team leader on Operation Neptune Spear in Abbottabad, Pakistan, on May 1, 2011, which resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden. Owen was one of the first men through the door on the third floor of the terrorist mastermind’s hideout, where he witnessed Bin Laden’s death. Mark Owen’s name and the names of the other SEALs mentioned in No Easy Day have been changed for their security.
Kevin Maurer has covered special operations forces for nine years. He has been embedded with the Special Forces in Afghanistan six times, spent a month in 2006 with special operations units in east Africa, and has embedded with U.S. forces in Iraq and Haiti. He is the author of four books, including several about special operations.
Book on Bin Laden Killing Contradicts U.S. Account
The New York Times Book Review – August 29, 2012 (Excerpt)
WASHINGTON — A new first-person account of the Navy SEALs raid that killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan last year contradicts the Obama administration’s previous descriptions of the mission, raising questions about whether the leader of Al Qaeda posed a clear threat to the commandos who fired on him.
According to the account in the book, “No Easy Day,” which will go on sale next week under the pseudonym Mark Owen, Bin Laden was shot in the head when he peered out of his bedroom door into a top-floor hallway of his compound as the SEALs rushed up a narrow stairwell toward him.
The author, whom military officials have identified as Matt Bissonnette, 36, said he was directly behind the “point man,” or lead commando, as the SEALs followed Bin Laden into the room, where they found him on the floor at the foot of his bed with “blood and brains spilled out of the side of his skull,” and two women wailing over his body, which was “still twitching and convulsing.” [Read the full article...]
A SEAL’s Own Story, Bin Laden and All - ‘No Easy Day’ by Mark Owen Tells of SEAL Raid on Bin Laden
The New York Times Book Review – September 2, 2012 (Excerpt)
The Navy SEALs who killed Osama bin Laden on May 2, 2011, learned from ABC News that they had “gazelle legs, no waist, and a huge upper body configuration,” not to mention calloused hands and gigantic egos. They learned from other American news sources that they had taken part in a 45-minute firefight and that an armed bin Laden, once cornered, had tried to defend himself in his final moments, staring straight at the fighters who would shoot him. Their raid was being turned into a bad action movie.
These distortions seemed funny at first. But “Mark Owen” (the pseudonym of one gutsy, transgressive member of the SEALs, who served 13 consecutive combat deployments) began to want to set the record straight. He hoped to deliver firsthand a visceral and often surprising version of the bin Laden raid and other SEAL stories. The emphasis of his “No Easy Day,” written with Kevin Maurer, is not on spilling secrets. It is on explaining a SEAL’s rigorous mind-set and showing how that toughness is created.
The bin Laden story is the marquee event in “No Easy Day,” of course. But the formative steps in the author’s own story are just as gripping. In a prologue the author, who grew up in Alaska and earned his SEAL Trident in 1998, writes about reading a book about SEALs (“Men in Green Faces” by Gene Wentz) as a junior high school kid, realizing that this was his vocation and hoping that he too could one day write a book that would inspire others. Mission accomplished. [Read the full article...]
Pentagon Threatens Legal Action Against SEAL Author
The New York Times – August 31, 2012 (Excerpt)
WASHINGTON — The Pentagon on Friday threatened legal action against the former member of the Navy SEALs who has written a first-person account of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, but the author’s lawyer and the book’s publisher, Penguin, said they were proceeding with publication on Sept. 4.
The Pentagon press secretary, George Little, told reporters in a briefing on Friday that the book’s author, Matt Bissonnette, was “in material breach of nondisclosure agreements he signed with the U.S. government” to not reveal classified information and to submit his book to the Pentagon for review.
Mr. Little said the Pentagon was “reviewing all options” against Mr. Bissonnette, but he would not specify what those options might be and repeatedly declined to say whether the Pentagon had determined if there was classified information in the book. Mr. Bissonnette did not submit his book to the Pentagon for review. [Read the full article...]
‘No Easy Day’ is a compelling account of Bin Laden’s killing: Book Review
The Chicago Tribune Book Review – September 5, 2012 (Excerpt)
Former Navy SEAL Matt Bissonnette did not put the first slug into Osama bin Laden when SEALs raided the terrorist’s lair in Pakistan last year in May.
But he fired follow-up shots quickly and without remorse, as he describes in vivid, gruesome detail in “No Easy Day,” written under the pseudonym Mark Owen with co-author Kevin Maurer:
“The point man’s shots had entered the right side of his head. Blood and brains spilled out of the side of his skull. In his death throes, he was still twitching and convulsing,” he writes. “Another assaulter and I trained our lasers on his chest and fired several rounds. The bullets tore into him, slamming his body into the floor until he was motionless.” [Read the full article...]
Taking Bin Laden - ‘No Easy Day,’ by Mark Owen
The New York Times Book Review – October 19, 2012 (Excerpt)
Earlier this year, under a half-moon in eastern Afghanistan, I found myself on a C-130 transport plane with a group of American Special Operations commandos — maybe Navy SEALs, maybe Army Rangers. The operators, as they like to call themselves, had come for a mission, carried it out and were hitching a ride back to their base. They had long hair and long beards, and their eyes were very hard. They didn’t smile and they didn’t talk, not even to one another. When the plane landed, they disappeared.
In the 11 years since 9/11, Special Operations commandos like SEALs and Rangers have done the dirty work of America’s wars. By day, ordinary soldiers may be trying to win over the locals with water projects and new schools, but at night the SEALs and Rangers are swooping into villages and killing and dragging away guerrilla leaders. In Afghanistan, Special Operations teams carry out dozens of these missions every night: Kill and capture, kill and capture, kill and capture. It makes the eyes very hard.
I thought of the men on the C-130 that night while reading “No Easy Day,” the first-person account of the raid last year that killed Osama bin Laden. The author, writing under the pseudonym Mark Owen — his real name is Matt Bissonnette — was a member of the SEALs for 10 years before he went on the mission to kill Bin Laden. [Read the full article...]
THE BLEEDING HILLS
A Novel by Wilfried F. Voss
I have fought a good fight,
I have finished my course,
I have kept the faith.
- 2 Timothy iv. 7
The Irish War is officially a part of history, but not for Finnean Whelan, an IRA veteran of almost 40 years. British Intelligence has produced evidence that he is the mastermind behind a conspiracy to assassinate the First Minister of Northern Ireland. For Whelan this is not only a mission of revenge, but marks the beginning of a journey into the past and the return to the one true love: Ireland. [More...]
The Bleeding Hills is available at Amazon.Com, Amazon.co.uk, Barnes & Noble, and any other good bookstore.