The publisher of an insider account of the US Navy SEAL raid that killed terror mastermind Osama bin Laden said it would begin public sales next week despite a Pentagon warning of possible legal action against the author and others.
Before the Pentagon's warning, Penguin Group (USA) brought forward publication to September 4 from September 11, saying it was "important to put No Easy Day on sale and let the book speak for itself".
"At this time, we see no reason to change our plans," Christine Ball, a spokeswoman for Penguin Group's Dutton imprint, said.
In his book, Mr Bissonnette, writing under the pseudonym Mark Owen, says that during the raid on bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, last May, the SEALs spotted the terror chief at the top of a darkened hallway and shot him in the head, even though they could not tell whether he was armed.
US government officials have described the SEALs shooting bin Laden only after he ducked back into a bedroom, because they assumed he might be reaching for a weapon.
Pre-orders for the book have catapulted it to No 1 on Amazon's bestseller list, displacing erotic trilogy Fifty Shades Of Grey. An initial print run of 200,000 has been increased to 575,000 copies.
It was highly unlikely that the US government would try to halt publication of the book itself, considering that a limited number of advance copies are already in the public domain and media reports have summarised the book's contents.
Pentagon press secretary George Little said the book's author, ex-SEAL Matt Bissonnette, had broken two non-disclosure agreements that he signed in 2007 by failing to submit the book for an official security review before it was published.
Mr Bissonnette's lawyer disputed that, saying he believed the decorated former commando had "earned the right to tell his story".
Mr Little would not say what legal options the Pentagon was considering, or when it might take action.