By Chris Carter
Last year, members of the Navy SEAL elite counterterrorism unit set out on the mission America had waited for since September 11, 2001. We were finally going to get Osama bin Laden. Hours later, the leader of al Qaeda was in a body bag, and stories have circulated ever since on how the operation went down.
Considering the secrecy of our top-tier special operation forces, like SEAL Team Six, we were left to guess which of those accounts were accurate – if any truly were.
Former SEAL Matt Bissonnette was not just there, but saw bin Laden go down. Writing under the pseudonym Mark Owen, he published a detailed and accurate account of the battle, No Easy Day.
Although No Easy Day has all the detail and excitement of a Tom Clancy novel, from the near-fatal helicopter crash on insertion to evading the Pakistani air force on the return trip, the author avoids disclosing anything that could be used by the enemy.
The Pentagon claims the author violated nondisclosure agreements and has threatened legal action. Mr. Bissonnette and his lawyers assert that he did not.
That is for the lawyers to decide.
Members of the SEAL community have spoken out about the author's decision to publish, saying he violated the SEAL Ethos: “I do not advertise the nature of my work, nor seek recognition for my actions...”
I am not a SEAL, so I leave that to Bissonnette and his former teammates to work out.
What I can say is that No Easy Day is required reading.
Considering the controversy surrounding this book's release, I was expecting the book to contain a real dressing-down of the Obama administration and perhaps the Pentagon. However, Mr. Bissonnette kept it professional, completely avoiding politics and kept the focus solely on the mission.
Information that is not sensitive to our national security belongs to the American people. And we deserve to know the truth about how the mastermind of numerous terrorist attacks, which killed thousands of our citizens, met his end.
The bin Laden raid is one of the most significant operations in American military history. Unless you were there when it happened, read No Easy Day.
~~Editor's Note: The Navy SEAL operation to take bin Laden down was first publicized by Vice President Joe Biden during a 2011 speech. A film about the operation was made with cooperation from the Obama administration and it is set for release days before the November election.