52 in 52 Week 47: No Easy Day by Mark Owen
"After the mission, the Navy identified a need for a force capable of successfully executing those kind of specialized missions and tapped Richard Marcinko to develop a maritime counter-terrorism unit called SEAL Team Six. The team practiced hostage rescue as well as infiltrating enemy countries, ships, naval bases, and oil rigs. Over time, missions branched out to counter-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction." p. 17This eventually became DEVGRU (United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group) which was the author's unit that killed Obama. Since September 11, it has gone to Afghanistan and Iraq to target al Queda and Taliban commanders. They are also the guys who rescued Jessica Lynch in 2003.
I have to admit that I am not a military gal. So, I sort of skimmed over all the military stuff and got to the meat of the book on page 157. That is my biggest criticism of the book. You think you are getting the firsthand account, but you will notice by the title after No Easy Day on the book cover above that it is followed by this: The Autobiography of a Navy Seal. Other than a little "teaser" at the beginning about the mission to kill Osama Bin Laden (URL in the book), you get Owen's autobiography, and I found that pretty boring. There were too many details and acronyms! The pictures were of helmets and guns and things in his kit. For military people, it might be interesting, but it wasn't interesting to me. So I skimmed. (I reserve the right to skim, by the way.)
Reading the teaser in the beginning and then skipping to page 157 would be totally acceptable. I loved the book from then on. Well . . . you cannot really "love" a book that talks about killing people, but the story is very compelling, and I couldn't put it down from that point on.
I have read some reviews stating that Mark is egotistical, and it is all about him, but I disagree. He just gives you the facts about his mission. And my hat is off to those Navy SEALS! My goodness, I couldn't imagine doing something like that.
I was confused about one thing: Owen states that they were given orders not to kill Obama and take him as a prisoner if he did not put up a fight. Others in the compound did draw weapons and they were killed, but Mark points out that Osama did not even have a loaded gun in the room. Why did the "point" kill him then? I was confused about that.
I don't disagree that Osama was to be brought to justice for his HORRIBLE Hitler-like crimes, but I will never forget taking a walk with Shelly and Sandy before sitting down to watch The Amazing Race that Sunday evening in May and coming home to the news reports instead. Shelly and I could not rejoice over anyone's death, even Osama's.
I thought it was interesting that Owen mentioned that none of the SEALS were Obama fans emphasizing that Obama took WAY more credit for the mission than he deserved to. (Basically it was in the works, and Obama just approved it at the very end with no input along the way. Interesting that he took no responsibility for the lack of security and protection of the U.S. Embassy in Libya in September 2012, but I digress.) Owen states that Osama being killed on Obama's watch would reelect him (even though he had very little to do with it). I read Owen's words right after Obama had won the White House for the second term. SIGH.
I also don't have a problem with him coming out and telling the story. There was so much MISINFORMATION (Laughed about his making fun of Chris Cuomo's report on ABC - ABC News inaccurate? Really? LOL!) that he felt he needed to set the record straight without compromising security. I believe he succeeded in doing that.