By Jay Holmes
As most folks know by now, on Tuesday, September 4, 2012 author “Mark Owen” will release “No Easy Day,” a first hand account of the Osama Bin Laden mission. I have not read the book and will not guess at the veracity of its contents, but I find the controversy surrounding the release of the book rather interesting.
image from amazon.com
The author is a US Navy SEAL who was on the mission to kill (or capture) Osama Bin Laden. My guess is that the average American and many Europeans will be anxious to read about the details of the raid on Bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan. The author apparently made that assumption as well and proceeded to write and publish his book. Some members of the SEALs have expressed their displeasure over the release of the book and have stated that they feel the author has violated the SEALs’ rule of never revealing secrets about their missions.
About two weeks ago, I became aware that the Pentagon was “concerned” about the release of the book because the book had not gone through its review process—a process which the Pentagon routinely requires for books about military operations, procedures, facilities, equipment, etc. that are published by members and ex-members of the US military. A Pentagon spokesman even mentioned that the Pentagon wished it COULD review the book prior to its release. Apparently, the mere Pentagon with its military judicial system, backed up by the US Justice Department, is helpless in the face of an author and a publishing company and could only WISH to see the book before its then-projected September 11 release date.
Is this the same Pentagon that routinely invites people to vacation in Guantanamo, Cuba so it can ask whatever questions it or the CIA might have on their numerous and well financed minds? Am I to believe that the same Pentagon that commands the greatest military force in history has been left begging to review a book before its release, while media members stroll through fashionable Georgetown restaurants flashing their copies? It’s summertime. Perhaps a few hundred thousand people in the military and at the Justice Department have all gone on extended vacation, and the Pentagon simply can’t get anyone to answer the phone. Maybe they forgot to pay the bill and the phones are shut off.
Maybe. But maybe not. The Pentagon, the Justice Department, and the White House, along with lots of other government agencies, have always proven themselves quite agile when it comes to reviewing and redacting books before publication, and even suppressing books after publication. In fact, their willingness to redact has nearly rendered the Freedom of Information Act useless. But I’ll save my personal anger over those black ink wielding clowns in Washington for another day.
On August 30, 2012 a Pentagon spokesman, apparently just returned from a long vacation or an exceedingly long nap, announced that the Pentagon will use “all legal means available” to do something about “No Easy Day,” but they haven’t quite figured out what that might be. Apparently, too many folks have not yet returned from their vacations. My point today is that I simply can’t buy the helplessness that the Pentagon is presenting to the public concerning “No Easy Day.”
So what’s with all the theatrics? Is someone in the White House or Pentagon hoping to drive up sales of the book? Why would they do that? What politician, if any, will be assisted by the publication of “No Easy Day”? I have no idea. I suppose that I will have to grit my teeth, pay for a copy and then decide. I haven’t convinced myself to take the bait. I still haven’t recovered from the indignity of paying to see “The Bourne Legacy,” and I don’t want to be duped by what might turn out to be “One Easy Political Scam.” Who knows? Perhaps it’s a great book without any hidden agendas. Time will tell.
I suppose that I will eventually cave in and read the book. In the meantime, I would love to know what the hell is going on over at the Pentagon when they can’t lay their hands on a copy of a book or remember how to “invite” someone in for a frank conversation about the rules. If this is really the state of affairs in the Pentagon, then someone’s mother or the taxpayers should take away all of their expensive and dangerous toys until they remember how to behave like grown up bureaucrats.
Interestingly, since the Pentagon announced its “concerns” and made a great show of public hand-wringing, sales of “No Easy Day” have soared to well over half a million. My writing partner and I are thinking there’s a great a marketing opportunity in this for some of us thriller authors. After all, having the Pentagon upset about our book would be more publicity than we could ever afford to purchase for ourselves.
Therefore, we hereby officially announce that our current work in progress will include titillating and previously untold facts concerning how a special forces team kidnapped Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and installed a puppet alien life form to rule in his place. We will also reveal details about how the Pentagon has created a portable black hole device that can suck in cash at a velocity greater than the speed of light. Only those who buy our book will ever know these great national secrets, and we certainly hope for the sake of our sales that the Pentagon will wake up in time to express its anxiety about the fact that we did not ask them to review it first.
Top Secret preview from our upcoming book, the actual alien life form known as Hugo Chavez captured on film by David Shankbone.
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*‘Jay Holmes’, is an intelligence veteran of the Cold War and remains an anonymous member of the intelligence community. His writing partner, Piper Bayard, is the public face of their partnership.
© 2012 Jay Holmes. All content on this page is protected by copyright. If you would like to use any part of this, please contact us at the above links to request permission.
I thought that revealing or selling military secrets was the president’s job. No wonder Obama’s military is miffed with the anonymous–probably enlisted–SEAL.
Hi larkin. Makes you wonder, doesn’t it?
My problem with the book is that this man was a SEAL and by writing this book he not only violated the code (to keep quiet about missions) but put his team at risk. Everyone is talking about how his name was released and that he is now a target (which, yes, is bad), but by writing this book he put each and every member of his team, and their families, at risk for his own personal gain. That, to me, is both selfish and irresponsible (not to mention shameful).
Hello Book Wheel. It seems unusual for any Navy SEAL to act without regard for his running mates. That’s one of the reasons why I am wondering if there is a missing piece to this story.
It seems to me that during the last two years the Navy has been more willing to release information about Special Warfare operations.
When Delta Force was in the lime light for a while it was not because the members of Delta Force were seeking publicity.
I don’t know what outside influences (if any) might have come to play in the publication of “No Easy Day”. If the book turns out to be apolitical, I will then take a less cynical view about it. But then I will have to wonder how the Pentagon managed to reduce itself into a helpless bunch of whiners that couldn’t stop a well publicized book from going on sale.
At a time when the TSA is expanding its mission to include randomly searching vehicles on public roads and individuals are being arrested for making “anti-government” statements, I can’t understand how the Pentagon and Justice Department would fail to wield their ever growing authority to stop a book about which they claim they are worried.
I guess only time will tell!
I’d like to buy you that copy, so you can save your money but still inform the rest of us what NO EASY DAY is about. As for myself, I’m generally in the don’t-reveal camp. I don’t need to know exactly how they took out Bin Ladin. He’s dead, our guys did it, and that’s good enough for me.
And that black hole thing does explain our national debt. I can’t wait to read your book!
Thank you Julie. You buying me the book doesn’t quite work. If it turns out to be a political tool, then having a middle-woman doesn’t let me off the hook as a fool…Thank you for trying.
LOL. I was willing to “take the bullet” for you if I could.
I want to borrow that black hole for a day or two. I’m a tax payer after all. 🙂
Hi Elizabeth. If I could get my hands on that particular device, the world would soon be a different place.
Maybe the Pentagon wrote the book in hopes of raising some money in lieu of a bake sale. Although the bake sale would have been easier. But I think the Pentagon is hoping to get more money as “Mark Owens.”
Hi middle. If this all somehow results in the taxpayers forking out a few less bucks for defense, then I’ll consider that a great side effect. One can only hope.
The book No Easy Day is an example of what is happening in our society in general. There is a conflict between Freedom of Speach, something that is confused with ramblings about participation in various exploits, and the need to keep a secret. The author wants someone, anyone to know he was in on a momentous occasion. And make a buck or two, but I believe there’s some restriction on that. There are people who would revel in Bin Ladin’s last moments. A lot are just glad he’s dead. One thing, as a veteran I’ve seen the black hole in action. And alien puppets, are you sure we’re not running a couple in this year’s presidential race?
Honestly, at this point I think that the SEAL might have been fed up with Obama’s claim that HE killed Bin Ladin. The way the White House tells it, Obama designed and built the chopper, flew it, put it in “park” while he slid down the rope, then stormed the hidey-hole where he returned Bin Ladin’s fire, taking out the wily-and-dangerous geezer, saving the lives of the rest of the up-till-then-rather-covert SEAL Team 6, levitated back into the help where he single-handedly pulled the rest of the team to safety, then, using his magic imperial decoder kit, positively identified UBL’s still-dangerous body, said his magic imperial prayers over it, and, using the power of his massive presidential arm muscles, he hurled the body into the sea, then took Michelle on a romantic date.
I don’t believe one word of the stuff that comes out of this White House, and didn’t believe much of what came out of the past two. Hey, if Corporal Manning is not going to be punished, and Major Hasan is not going to be punished, and the malingerers at Club Gitmo are on a permanent Caribbean vacation, why should this SEAL (if he exists) be punished?
Right. I forgot. Leaking is the president’s job. Also setting kill lists.
I’ve ordered the book and plan to read it, if it really arrives at my house. Sorry, I am not outraged by this, if it really was written by a real-live-honest-to-God-sailor. My outrage button is just flat worn out. And this author is going to need a powerful team of attorneys to defend himself against the government.
Join the club. It’s time the Big Three (Dems, GOP, Libertarian okay, Tea Party) found out that it’s time for a party that’s sensitive to the needs of the people and doesn’t function as a gas factory.
Hi tomwisk. I wish you hadn’t revealed the candidates’ secrets yet. I wanted to release that information in a book titled “No easy Day-6 November 2012”.
Maybe someone can just buy it and provide the rest of us with a brief book report. Although even that seems wrong in so many different ways.
Hi Emily. I suppose that I will grit my teeth and buy it in order to provide a review. If the book is good, I will be glad I read it. If it stinks I’ll warn everyone and send the author a nasty message.
Maybe he was a member of SEAL team ‘K’, based out of Kenya and has connections.
So many responses come to mind. And what a colorful mind it is. I’ll keep this PG rated.
LOL. I’m guessing the Pentagon is keeping all options open to invoke plausible deniability.
Hi Nigel. “Deniability” does seem to be part of the unfolding drama.
My just-released novella FANCY either does or does not reveal any military secrets about the Civil War. So far, the Pentagon has been very quiet. I wish they’d whine about it a little bit to pique someone curiosity and maybe bring in some book sales.
Hi David. Congratulations on your novella. I’ll tell the Pentagon you released information on high tech civil war weapons.
Maybe Osama isn’t really dead, and they want people to think he is. I’m not saying I think he’s alive, but it’s possible.
I am willing to believe that Osama is dead. It’s possible that he is alive in the sense that it’s possible that the sun is a large lemon meringue pie.
I am more willing to believe that he was dead years before they said he was.
I saw OBL in Vegas a couple of weeks ago. He was there partying with some guy that looked a little bit like Elvis and 72 nerdy looking tech support guys from a computer repair service. Kind of an odd entourage if you ask me. But I might have been mistaken…
Hi Dave. I’m certain that there is a market for an Osama animal show in Vegas (or Juarez). The Elvis impersonators are loosing popularity.
A lot of “sound and fury signifying nothing” going on this week.
But you plan about all the free publicity sounds quite entertaining – if can get them to stop partying long enough to notice there’s a secret revealing book out there…or at least a book revealing “secrets”
The best part about “secrets” is you can make up anything and who’s to say it’s not the “Real Secret”? It’s all secret!
Right. and the TSA is making us safer, too. (FREEZE! Do not look at that luggage…you have heard about the new “freeze” policy?…sort of expecting “Sit. Stay.” next)
Hi philosopher. TSA is under the DHS. In my opinion creating the DHS was one of the worst acts of government in American history. The potential for political abuse is immense and it has not taken them long to realize it.
Yep. Not sure the Pentagon is the problem (or is doing anything but a show of concern and outrage for certain audience)….even some of them are wondering which homeland DHS is “securing” – and why.