The Associated Press and The Huffington Post have gotten their hands on early copies of No Easy Day. As Mark wrote earlier this month, the book is a firsthand account of the secret military raid that killed Osama bin Laden.
It's written by former Navy SEAL Matt Bissonnette, who is using the pseudonym Mark Owen. According to the AP, the authors account differs from the account given by the United States government.
"Bissonnette says he was directly behind a "point man" going up the stairs in the pitch black hallway. 'Less than five steps' from top of the stairs, he heard 'suppressed' gunfire: 'BOP. BOP.' The point man had seen a 'man peeking out of the door' on the right side of the hallway.
"The author writes that bin Laden ducked back into his bedroom and the SEALs followed, only to find the terrorist crumpled on the floor in a pool of blood with a hole visible on the right side of his head and two women wailing over his body.
"Bissonnette says the point man pulled the two women out of the way and shoved them into a corner and he and the other SEALs trained their guns' laser sites on bin Laden's still-twitching body, shooting him several times until he lay motionless. The SEALs later found two weapons stored by the doorway, untouched, the author said."
The government said that bin Laden was shot dead because the SEALs feared he had a weapon. Bissonnette's description is bound to bring up questions about whether the SEALs were on a kill mission.
The AP reports that the author says a government lawyer specifically told them they were not on a kill mission. He writes that the lawyer said if bin Laden was naked and with his hands up they should not engage and if he puts up no resistance that he should be arrested.
The New York Daily News has also gotten their hands on the book, which was originally set for release Sept. 11 and is now being released Sept. 4.
The Daily News quotes the Huffington Post saying that the author writes some of the SEALs on the mission were not fans of Obama. The Daily News reports:
"The 36-year-old SEAL said he was pleased President Obama gave the order to proceed but the team knew he would take credit for Bin Laden's death if the mission was successful.
"'Although we applauded the decision-making in this case, there was no doubt in anybody's mind that he would take all the political credit for this too,' Owen writes."
Update at 11:13 a.m. ET. On Meeting Joe Biden:
The Huffington Post was one of the first to get their hands on the book. They have a great report on their site. Among other things, they report that the author slams Vice President Joe Biden, writing that he "he reminded me of someone's drunken uncle at Christmas dinner..."