The Lookout

Disguised SEAL who wrote bin Laden raid book makes first TV appearance

The Lookout

The former Navy SEAL who wrote about his part in the raid that killed Osama bin Laden was interviewed on "60 Minutes." The CBS news program disguised his face and altered his voice to protect his identity.

"He calls himself Mark Owen. That's not his real name. We've disguised him and will keep his name confidential for his own safety," begins the "60 Minutes" piece.

CBS used a professional makeup artist to render his true appearance unrecognizable, The Atlantic reported.

Mark Owen is the pen name of the author of  "No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama bin Laden," a book that is getting some attention as it claims to offer a firsthand account of the raid on the al-Qaida chief's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. There are also reports that the book contradicts parts of the official version of events.

Owen, a former member of SEAL Team 6, was the second man in the room when bin Laden was shot and took photos of bin Laden's body that were never released, CBS notes.

Among the things Owen revealed to CBS' Scott Pelley:

  • There was a full-size model of the bin Laden complex, where he and the other members of the elite tactical team trained.
  • There was a dress rehearsal of the raid for military top brass, including Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, and Adm. Eric Olson, head of Special Operations Command.
  • The team had a week off at Virginia Beach, Va., then trained one more time at the full-size model before heading off on their mission.
  • The book is not meant to be political. "You know, if these crazies on either side of the aisle want to make it political, shame on them," Owen said. "This is a book about Sept. 11th, and it needs to rest on Sept. 11th, not be brought into the political arena, because this ... this has nothing to do with politics."

While CBS chose not to identify the SEAL Team 6 member, some other media outlets have revealed his real name. CBS was clear in its online version of the story: "When word of the book was announced last week, a few news organizations discovered Mark Owen's real name and published it. As a result, he's a marked manin hidingprobably for the rest of his life. We will not reveal his true name."

The interview will air on "60 Minutes"  on Sunday, Sept. 9, at 7 p.m. ET.

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