No Easy Day is the controversial book written by Navy SEAL Matt Bissonnette, the Team 6 member who was on the mission that killed Osama bin Laden. The AP got a first look at the book and revealed shocking details. Here’s what you need to know.
1. Osama Was Unarmed
According to the book, Osama bin Laden was not wielding a weapon when he was killed inside his compound in Abbotabad, Pakistan. This would suggest that the world’s most infamous terrorist did not present the immediate and clear threat to the commandos suggested previously by official government statements.
2. Bissonnette Was the Second Man In
The book says author Matt Bissonnette was just steps behind the “point man” who led the charge toward the kill. Bissonnette says he heard gunfire after the point man saw a “man peeking out of the door.”
3. Osama Was Already Dying When They Killed Him
The book says bin Laden was shot in the head when he poked his head out into the hallway, then retreated into his bedroom. It says the SEALs entered the room and found him still alive, twitching, with a hole in the right side of his head — while two women cried over him. It says the point man moved the women away, and the SEALs proceeded to shoot Osama several times. This contradicts the official account, in which an unwounded bin Laden ducked into his room, where SEALs shot him because he may have been retrieving a weapon.
4. But There Were Guns
Though Osama didn’t have a chance to wield them, SEALs did find two weapons in the room.
5. It Was Not a Kill Mission
Bissonnette writes that during a briefing before the raid a government lawyer told the team it was not an assassination mission. They were told to detain, not kill, Osama if he did not pose a threat.
6. Osama Was Dressed Casually
The terror mastermind was wearing loose pants, a tunic and a white T-shirt.
7. A SEAL Sat on Osama’s Dead Body
The book claims that in the helicopter flight after the raid, with bin Laden’s corpse aboard and close quarters (they were packed in one helicopter because the other had crashed on the way in), one of the SEALs sat on Osama’s lifeless chest. It’s understandable, however it conflicts with the government’s insistence that Osama’s body was treated with dignity.
8. The SEALs Resented Obama but Respected His Command
According to Bissonnette, the SEALs generally disliked President Obama, joked that their raid had assured his re-election, and griped that he would take credit. But they respected that he had the guts to order the mission.
9. The Author Thinks Joe Biden is a Doofus
The SEALs met Obama and Vice President Joe Biden after the raid, and Bissonnette says Biden told stupid jokes and seemed like “someone’s drunken uncle at Christmas dinner.” Biden is likely the easiest target at whom Bissonnette has ever had to take aim.
10. The Book Will Go on Sale a Week Early
Scheduled for a Sept. 11 release, the book will now go on sale Sept. 4. The buzz surrounding the outing of Bissonnette’s real identity — he wrote the book under a pseudonym — by Fox News has apparently served to drive demand.
Matt Bissonnette: Top 10 Facts You Need to Know