Consumer response to the Navy SEAL book No Easy Day has been fast and positive, so much so that the publisher, Dutton Books, pushed its release up a week, to Tuesday, to meet demand.
But reaction from the defense establishment and special warfare communities has been swift and critical.
The Pentagon objected Tuesday to the account of how SEAL Team 6 took out Osama bin Laden, reports the Associated Press, claiming the author gave up classified information.
The Daily Beast has an account of how the author, using the pseudonym Mark Owen, but identified by various media outlets as Matt Bissonnette, managed to get his tale published without first undergoing an official Pentagon review.
The author himself will appear on 60 Minutes Sunday; his voice was altered and he is disguised by Hollywood makeup. CBS previewed the interview Tuesday, and said the author denied that he revealed any national security secrets.
The hubbub over the book has drawn in other special ops members, who countered with an e-publication, No Easy Op, which claims to offer the “insider politics” behind how No Easy Day came to be written. The Daily Beast reports that the piece includes allegations the author was disgruntled and shunned.
AP, via the North County Times, also reported that Rear Admiral Sean Pybus, who heads the Navy's Special Warfare Command, based in Coronado, has joined the fray.
Pybus sent a letter, according to the AP, warning the special warfare community that the SEALs' elite status could be compromised if the military doesn't make an effort to deter those who “seek inappropriate monetary, political, or celebrity profit” because of their military service. U-T San Diego also reported on the letter.
The Navy has courted some of the attention that has followed the SEALs in recent months, cooperating with filmmakers in the February release of , which featured real-life members of the service.
But there also have been questions about whether the government has been too revealing about the May 2011 raid that led to bin Laden's death; another film, the drama Zero Dark Thirty, which details the hunt for the terrorist and the operation that killed him, is set to be released in December.