Those old-fashioned things called books can roil campaigns, and two that are due to hit stores on Sept. 11 certainly have that potential.
Both No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama bin Laden, by a Navy SEAL writing under the pseudonym Mark Owen, and The Price of Politics, Bob Woodward’s latest look into the inner workings of the Obama administration, will be published that day, according to The New York Times‘ Media Decoder blog.
The SEAL’s book, as The Associated Press writes, “comes just as a group of retired special operations and CIA officers have launched a campaign accusing President Barack Obama of revealing classified details of the mission and turning the killing of bin Laden into a campaign centerpiece. The group complains that Obama has taken too much credit for the operation. Their public complaints drew a rebuke from Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as well as other special operations forces, who called the partisan criticism unprofessional.”
Spokesmen for the Pentagon and the CIA say that as far as they know the book has not been “read or cleared” by officials, the AP adds. If the SEAL divulges something that might be considered classified intelligence, he could be prosecuted.
Related story: “The Pentagon moved quickly Wednesday to knock down a rumor spreading on the Internet that one of the Navy SEALs killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan Aug. 16 was the same special operator who killed Osama Bin Laden,” Military.com reports.