No Easy Day

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No Easy Day

Post by Cosima___J » Wed Sep 19, 2012 10:48 am

I've ordered the book but have not received it yet. I checked out the reviews at amazon, which were mostly favorable, and so I'm looking forward to reading it.

Here's something from The Week magazine (Sept 14, 2012 issue) that gives various opinions under the headline "Bin Laden's death: Did the White House alter the story?":

Bin Laden’s death: Did the White House alter the story?

In a book about the raid on bin Laden’s Pakistan hideout, a former Navy SEAL refutes the official White House version of how bin Laden died.

posted on September 6, 2012, at 9:25 AM

Remember the official White House version of how Navy SEALs killed Osama bin Laden? said Cynthia Fagen in the New York Post. It was not entirely true. So says Matt Bissonnette, a former Navy SEAL and author of No Easy Day, a firsthand account of the raid on bin Laden’s Pakistan hideout. After quickly forcing their way into the al Qaida leader’s compound, Bissonnette says, he and other members of SEAL Team Six saw bin Laden’s head poke out from a third-floor bedroom. The lead commando fired at him twice. The SEALs then entered the bedroom, and saw that bin Laden had been hit. The terrorist leader was in his death throes, convulsing on the floor, blood and brains spilling out of his skull. Bissonnette and another SEAL finished him off with several shots to the chest. Bissonnette’s book differs from the White House version in several key ways, said Marcus Baram in Americans were told that bin Laden was standing when the SEALs entered his bedroom, with one of his wives shielding him—leading SEALs to fear that he was going for a weapon. But bin Laden never posed any threat to the SEALs who blew him away. Bin Laden “hadn’t even prepared a defense,” Bissonnette writes. “He had no intention of fighting.”

Bissonnette’s book is already on the way to best-sellerdom, said Mark Thompson in, but the price for his disclosures may be steep. The Pentagon’s top lawyer last week wrote to “Mark Owen”—the pseudonym used by the author—warning that he could be prosecuted for violating the nondisclosure agreements he signed when joining and leaving the SEALs. What’s worse, said Eli Lake in, is that Bissonnette broke SEAL Team Six’s “Mafia-like code” of silence. Ex-special-operations members are required to submit their memoirs to the Pentagon before publication, so that they can be scrubbed of classified information. The author skipped that step, and so might have unwittingly released details that could endanger SEALs and their families. “Most of us are just stunned right now,” said former Army Special Forces officer Roger Carstens.

What’s really stunning is the hypocrisy of Bissonnette’s critics, said Owen West in The Wall Street Journal. Former SEALs have written dozens of books. The action movie blockbuster Act of Valor—which took in $80 million this year—starred active-duty SEALs and was developed with the Navy’s cooperation. And the biggest leaks about the bin Laden operation came directly from “the inner council of President Obama,” whose self-serving blabbing led to the jailing of a Pakistani doctor who’d helped confirm bin Laden’s location. Still, Bissonnette should have expected this kind of backlash, said Ben Macintyre in The Times (U.K.). In his book, Bissonnette says the SEALs knew that Obama would want full credit. “We’ll get Obama re-elected for sure,” the author quotes one commando as saying. “I can see him now, talking about how he killed bin Laden.”

Obama took a big political risk in ordering the operation, and deserves his share of credit, said David Uberti in But I’m troubled by how White House officials apparently altered the account of the raid. Were they trying to make it sound less brutal—less like an assassination? Bin Laden “signed his death warrant on Sept. 11, 2001,” and the SEALs needed no excuse to kill him. One can only wonder why this “administration doesn’t trust its own public to digest the truth, even with something as easy to swallow as the death of its greatest enemy.”

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Re: No Easy Day

Post by John F » Wed Sep 19, 2012 11:54 am

Bissonnette doesn't "refute" the official version. That is, he doesn't prove that his version is correct and the official version is wrong. The two versions differ but there's no reason, other than anti-administration bias, to assume that the Seal's is correct and the White House's is not. Only a thorough and impartial inquest could settle that issue, and nobody wants such an inquest as it would serve no good purpose.

As far as the American public is concerned, it doesn't make a dime's worth of difference, does it? But if indeed bin Laden was critically wounded and posed no threat to the Seals, and if (as Bissonnette said on "60 Minutes") their orders were not to assassinate bin Laden but to bring him back alive if possible, then their needlessly "finishing him off" rather damages their reputation.

I'm one of those who thinks Bissonnette had no right to publish this book in violation of his legal obligation to clear it with the Department of Defense. Who does he think he is?
John Francis

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