The Truth About the Killing of Osama bin Laden
“No Easy Day” by Mark Owen, Is still on the best seller list. He was part of the elite Navy Seal team 6 that shot and killed Osama bin Laden at the compound in Abbottabad. He said 15 minutes into the mission that he saw a man stick his head out of a third floor window, and the point man shot at him. Entering the room, they found bin Laden dying on the floor. (Mark Owen is a pseudonym, his real name is Matt Bissonnette).
Monday, an article in Esquire magazine contained a story about the Seal who claims to have actually been the one to shoot bin Laden. He asked that his name not be revealed, so he is referred to only as “the Shooter”.
“The Shooter’s” account differs from that of Owen’s. He says it wasn’t quite that dramatic. He simply entered bin Laden’s bedroom, and they stood face to face. He saw bin Laden’s gun was very close by, and fired the shots that killed him.
Peter Bergen, national security analyst for CNN, and author, was one of the few outside of the military allowed into the Abbottabad compound before it was demolished in February 2012. When he went into the bedroom where bin Laden was killed, he saw blood stains on the low ceiling, consistent with a very tall man having been shot in the head.
It is important to remember that all this took place in a span of about 15 minutes, on a dark night with no moon. One of the Blackhawk helicopters had crashed, and there was a brief but intense firefight with Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti, bin Laden’s courier. The SEALs also shot and killed the courier’s brother, sister-in-law and bin Laden’s son Khalid. This may be why Owen told his story as he believed it to have happened.
When “the Shooter” was asked about why he thought Owen told a different version of the story, he said: “I don’t know why he’d do that,”
A large party of the story in Esquire is devoted to “the Shooter’s” worries about what will happen to his family, now that he has left the service. He told Esquire: “When he leaves after sixteen years in the Navy, his body filled with scar tissue, arthritis, tendonitis, eye damage, and blown disks, here is what he gets from his employer and a grateful nation: Nothing. No pension, no health care, and no protection for himself or his family.”
It is a rare case for a veteran to receive benefits until he has served for 20 years. Should it be different for our elite forces, who operate in the most arduous and dangerous conditions imaginable? It’s a good and reasonable question for Congress to consider.
As far as the full story about the death of Osama bin Laden, it will be many years before some facts can be revealed and give us answers.
Thank you Matt Bissonnette, and “the Shooter”. Your courage resulted in the death of one of the biggest villains of all time.
Columnist-The Guardian Express