Reports on the leaked copies came just hours after the book's publisher, Dutton, announced it was moving up the publishing date to Sept. 4 from its original intended release on the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks. The move came after the book became the center of widespread controversy over possible national security breaches.
Officials from the White House to the Department of Defense to the CIA have said they were unaware of the book and had not reviewed it for possible leaks at the time of the first media reports. A Department of Defense spokesperson said Monday the department had received a copy of the manuscript and had begun reviewing it for potential security issues.
Owen also said he was aware the book could be used as a political pawn near the end of a tight presidential election.
"My worry from the beginning is, you know, it's a political season. This book is not political whatsoever," Owen told CBS. "You know, if these -- crazies on either side of the aisle want to make it political, shame on them. This is a book about Sept. 11, and it needs to rest on Sept. 11. Not be brought into the political arena, because this-- this has nothing to do with politics."
Dutton said Owen plans to donate a majority of the proceeds from his book to charities that help the families of fallen Navy SEALs.