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Ex-Navy SEAL: Book on bin Laden raid about 9/11, not politics

"No Easy Day," written by a former Navy SEAL who helped take down Osama bin Laden, claims the al-Qaida leader did not defend himself during the raid. The book will become available on Sept. 4, earlier than the anticipated Sept. 11 release date. NBC's Jim Miklaszewski reports.

A Navy SEAL who took part in the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound and witnessed the killing of the 9/11 mastermind says a book he wrote about the mission is not a political statement.

Responding to criticism that the book was intended to influence the presidential election, the former SEAL told CBS News that he wrote it to honor victims of the 9/11 terror attacks and the hundreds of people who made the raid a success.

The book, entitled “No Easy Day,” had been scheduled for release on Sept. 11 to commemorate the attack on the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon in 2001, but it instead will be made available on Sept. 4. The book is already No. 1 in sales on Amazon.com.

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CBS News said Mark Owen — a fake name meant to hide his identity — was disguised for the "60 Minutes" interview as a security measure. His voice was also altered.

"He has been professionally made up by a professional makeup artist to look completely different than his true self," Kevin Tedesco, executive director of communications of "60 Minutes," told NBC News on Thursday. "He was fully comfortable to go on camera without it, but we used makeup." 

Some media outlets learned Owen’s real name and published it, sending him into hiding.

“You know, if these crazies on either side of the aisle want to make it political, shame on them,” Owen told CBS. “This is a book about September 11th, and it needs to rest on September 11th. Not be brought into the political arena, because this — this has nothing to do with politics.

An excerpt of Scott Pelley's interview for "60 Minutes" was posted on the CBS News website on Thursday.

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In the interview, Owen emphasizes that hundreds of Americans participated in the advance work that led to the raid on the compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. That included collecting intelligence, detailed planning and even building a full-sized replica of the compound for training. 

“We just took care of the last 40 minutes,” Owen said.

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