Mark Owen Kevin Maurer Biography & Facts
No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission that Killed Osama bin Laden (2012) is a military memoir by a former member of the United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group (DEVGRU) who participated in the mission that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden. The book was written by Matt Bissonnette under the pen name Mark Owen. It details Owen's career with DEVGRU, including several combat missions in which he participated with the unit. At least half of the book focuses on Owen's participation in the mission that killed bin Laden.
Owen and his publisher's decision to release the book without first submitting it for United States Department of Defense (DoD) review generated controversy. The DoD claims that the book contains classified information, which the book's publisher denies. In late August 2012, advance publicity increased the initial print run from 300,000 copies to 575,000. This ultimately led the publisher to release the book on September 4, a week earlier than the originally planned September 11 release date. It also made the New York Times bestseller list.Shortly after the book's announcement, Owen's identity was revealed as former U.S. Navy SEALs Chief Special Warfare Operator Matt Bissonnette and the DoD confirmed that he was in fact the author. For media appearances, including an interview on 60 Minutes, Owen appeared incognito. In August 2016, he was ordered to return his royalties of US$6.8 million to the US federal government.
In the book, Owen chronicles his upbringing in Alaska and his long desire to be a SEAL. Owen completed BUD/S training in 1999 and served with SEAL TEAM FIVE. He recounts the rigors of his entry into DEVGRU and describes several operations in which he participated with the group in Iraq and Afghanistan. Owen also discusses his involvement in the Maersk Alabama hijacking rescue operation in 2009. Throughout, he describes the camaraderie, professionalism, and dedication of his teammates during extremely demanding training and dangerous combat missions.
The second half of the book details Owen's participation in the raid that targeted bin Laden. Owen writes that he was one of the team members present in the third-floor room of bin Laden's compound when the terrorist leader was killed.
In the months following the mission, Owen left active duty and began writing the book with the journalist Kevin Maurer. Owen says the book accurately portrays DEVGRU's relationship and involvement with Operation Neptune Spear.The book was published by Dutton Penguin and went on sale September 4, 2012, a week before the eleventh anniversary of the September 11 attacks. Owen stated that most of the proceeds from the book will be donated to families of SEALs killed in action.
In early September 2012, a former SEAL named Brandon Webb stated that he learned of Owen's intent to write the book after a "slight" from the U.S. Navy shortly before he separated from the service. According to Webb, when Owen told his comrades on SEAL Team Six of his intent to leave the service, he was ostracized by his leadership and ordered to return to his home base while his unit was in the middle of a training exercise. The book's publisher disputed Webb's account, repeating co-author Maurer's statement that,
After spending several very intense months working with Mark Owen on this book, I know that he wrote this book solely to share a story about the incredible men and women defending America all over the world. Any suggestion otherwise is as ill-informed as it is inaccurate.
U.S. government response, settlement, lawsuit and investigations
Before the book was released, DoD press secretary George E. Little stated that the book had yet to be evaluated for sensitive information that could potentially jeopardize national security. Lieutenant Colonel James Gregory of the DoD stated that, should the book contain specialized information about SEAL weapons and tactics, Owen could potentially be charged with a criminal offense. Christine Ball of Dutton Penguin stated that the contents of the book were vetted by a former special operations attorney and that sensitive content would not be an issue.On August 25, 2012, members of al Qaeda spread Owen's personal information, calling for militants to exact revenge upon him, identifying him as the one responsible for the death of bin Laden.On August 30, 2012, the Pentagon announced that it was considering legal action against the former U.S. Navy SEAL for material breach of non-disclosure agreements with his first-hand account of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden. The DoD chief counsel at the time, Jeh Johnson, sent Owen a letter threatening him with legal action to pressure him and his publisher to withdraw the book from release until it could be vetted by the DoD. According to the DoD, Owen had signed a Classified Information Non-Disclosure Agreement and a 2007 Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI) Nondisclosure Statement that requires pre-publication security review under certain circumstances. Owen's lawyer, Robert D. Luskin, responded that the non-disclosure statements only require review of items that touch certain, highly classified programs, and Owen's book does not meet that description.In an e-book, No Easy Op: The Unclassified Analysis of the Book Detailing the Killing of OBL, Webb and other ex-SEALs state that Owen would have been "best served" by submitting the book for official review before its release, but understand his decision not to. Said the No Easy Op authors,
It has been our experience as writers that DOD reviews are painfully long and typically are more concerned with removing information that might make senior leadership look bad than with ensuring operational security [OPSEC]. Such a review would have come with intense scrutiny and put the integrity of the story at risk. In October 2012, the DoD informed Stanley A. McChrystal that its security review of his forthcoming memoir, My Share of the Task, which had been under DoD review for 22 months, was not yet complete. The book's publisher was forced to postpone the book's release from its previously planned publication date of November 12, 2012.On September 5, 2012, Pentagon officials stated that Owen revealed classified information in the book and it could endanger other special operations servicemen. Department of Defense Press Secretary George Little told reporters the department "believe[s] that sensitive and classified information is contained in the book" and called its publication without review the "height of irresponsibility."In the book, Owen mentions several SEAL-related charities and asks readers to consider donating to those organizations. On September 5, 2012, one of the organizations, the Navy SEAL Foundation, stated that it would refuse to accept any donations related to the book or associated activities. Unnamed retired SEAL officers interviewed by the Washington Times stated that, in their opi.... Discover the Mark Owen Kevin Maurer popular books. Find the top 100 most popular Mark Owen Kevin Maurer books.