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Thread: Navy SEAL who says he killed bin Laden draws ire of colleagues

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    Navy SEAL who says he killed bin Laden draws ire of colleagues

    WASHINGTON — Some special operations servicemembers and veterans are unhappy that one of their own has taken credit publicly for killing Osama bin Laden. Others say they have gotten used to the idea that their brethren might break the code of silence and seek to profit from their deeds.

    That internal debate gained intensity this week when retired Navy SEAL Robert O'Neill acknowledged that he had fired two rounds into the forehead of the al-Qaida leader during the 2011 raid on his secret compound in Pakistan. O'Neill says more and more people were becoming aware of his role and that his name was bound to become public anyway.

    O'Neill had recounted his version of the bin Laden raid in February 2013 to Esquire magazine, which identified him only as "the shooter." In a story Thursday, The Washington Post identified him by name as he described shooting the leader of the terrorist group behind the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

    One current and one former SEAL confirmed that O'Neill was long known to have killed bin Laden. Defense Department officials confirmed that O'Neill was a member of SEAL Team Six and was part of the raid, but they said they could not confirm who fired the fatal shot, noting that other SEALs on the mission also fired at bin Laden.

    If O'Neill discloses classified information during the interviews he could be subject to an investigation or action by the Justice Department, the Defense Department officials said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter by name.

    O'Neill told the Post that shots also were fired by two other SEAL team members, including Matt Bissonnette, who described the raid somewhat differently in his book "No Easy Day." His lawyer said Bissonnette is under federal criminal investigation over whether he disclosed classified information in the book, which he did not vet with the military. In the Esquire piece, O'Neill makes no mention of Bissonnette shooting bin Laden.

    Well before the Post interview, O'Neill discussed his role in the raid during a private meeting with relatives of victims of the 9/11 attack on New York's World Trade Center before the recent opening of the National Sept. 11 Memorial Museum. He donated the shirt he was wearing in the operation, which is now on display there.

    O'Neill is scheduled to be featured in lengthy segments next week on Fox News. He told the Post he decided to go public because he feared his identity was going to be leaked by others. Indeed, his name appeared Monday on the website SOFREP, which is operated by former special operations troops.

    The actions of both O'Neill and Bissonnette have drawn scorn from some of their colleagues. In an Oct. 31 open letter, Rear Adm. Brian Losey, who commands the Naval Special Warfare Group, and Force Master Chief Michael Magaraci, the top noncommissioned officer of the group, urged SEALs to lower their public profile. Their comments were widely perceived as being aimed at O'Neill and Bissonnette.

    "At Naval Special Warfare's core is the SEAL ethos," the letter says. "A critical tenant of our ethos is 'I do not advertise the nature of my work, nor seek recognition for my actions.'"

    The letter added, "We do not abide willful or selfish disregard for our core values in return for public notoriety or financial gain."

    Debra Burlingame, whose brother Charles Burlingame was the pilot of the hijacked plane that crashed into the Pentagon, attended the 9/11 museum ceremony. She said O'Neill, whose name was not divulged at the event, offered the families clarity on conflicting information they had received about the raid.

    She said she didn't have an opinion about whether SEALs should disclose information about their deeds. "Whatever that (SEALs') ethos is, is between the SEALS," she said. "The 9/11 families are the beneficiaries of any rules he might have broken or whatever lines he might have crossed."

    "He went through the mission in really in great detail. All that information was very helpful to me because this is a figure in a terror organization that has loomed large in our lives," she said, adding that she listened to him so intently that the 9/11 commemorative coin she was clasping tightly in her hand left a bruise.

    Rick Woolard, a former SEAL team commander who previously urged his comrades to avoid discussing recent operations, said active-duty SEALs are "pretty much very disappointed and I'd have to say angry with guys who have used their deeds and those of their companions for personal gain."

    "No Easy Day" was published in 2012 under the pseudonym Mark Owen. Bissonnette recounted on CBS-TV's "60 Minutes" program that he sent a text to the commander of SEAL Team Six after its publication. He said the commander replied, "Delete me."

    At the same time, Woolard said, there is frustration among some special operations soldiers that senior government officials have left office and written memoirs revealing and profiting from actions involving troops who are sworn to secrecy. However, one active-duty SEAL officer, who declined to be quoted by name because he had no permission to speak publicly, said some SEALs had grown accustomed to some of their members seeking to profit from their connections to the elite group, upon retirement.

    Senior Pentagon and CIA officials cooperated extensively with the makers of "Zero Dark Thirty," a film that depicted both the CIA's yearslong hunt for bin Laden and the SEALs raid that killed him in Pakistan.

    In the Esquire piece, O'Neill said he was one of two SEALs who went up to the third floor of the building where bin Laden was hiding. The first man fired two shots at bin Laden as he peeked out of the bedroom, but O'Neill says those shots missed. The man then tackled two women in the hallway outside of bin Laden's bedroom.

    O'Neill went into the bedroom, he recounts. "There was bin Laden standing there. He had his hands on a woman's shoulders, pushing her ahead, not exactly toward me but by me, in the direction of the hallway commotion. It was his youngest wife, Amal."

    O'Neill added: "In that second, I shot him two times in the forehead. Bap! Bap! The second time as he's going down. He crumpled onto the floor in front of his bed and I hit him again. Bap! Same place. ... He was dead."

    Read more: http://www.stripes.com/news/navy/nav...agues-1.312754
    I'm no SEAL, obviously, but I don't have any problem with these guys cashing in after they retire...they are the real deal and there is demand out there for their insights and stories...

    That Debra Burlingame had a really nice quote though "Whatever that (SEALs') ethos is, is between the SEALS," ...nailed it.

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    Senior Member Rusty Jones's Avatar
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    Do most people even believe that Bin Laden was killed by SEALs in 2011? I did at first, but as soon as the novelty wore off... nah. The stories on why there were no pics or videos of his dead body or the disposition of it sound like complete and utter bullshit; and I'm really under the impression that Bin Laden already been dead long before that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rusty Jones View Post
    Do most people even believe that Bin Laden was killed by SEALs in 2011?
    Yes

    I did at first, but as soon as the novelty wore off... nah.
    Just to be clear...you think Robert O'Neill is a liar?

    The stories on why there were no pics or videos of his dead body or the disposition of it sound like complete and utter bullshit; and I'm really under the impression that Bin Laden already been dead long before that.
    What I find funny is people who constantly rag on how utterly incompetent and blusterlng the govt. is, also think it is capable executiong perfect conspiracy plots and keeping them secret for decades.

    I don't buy it.

    I find it impossible to believe that a secret like that, which would have to be kept by at least dozens of people could remain secret...how many people out there would love to embarass the administration by revealing it?

    Ditto on the moon landing, 9/11, every mass shooting, etc.

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    Senior Member giggawatt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rusty Jones View Post
    Do most people even believe that Bin Laden was killed by SEALs in 2011? I did at first, but as soon as the novelty wore off... nah. The stories on why there were no pics or videos of his dead body or the disposition of it sound like complete and utter bullshit; and I'm really under the impression that Bin Laden already been dead long before that.
    I also expected this as well. No tin foil hat but I think Bin Laden was a symbol that needed to be alive to keep the GWOT alive.

    Some will even say that the news of Bin Laden's death came at a good time before the 2012 elections.
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    Senior Member TJMAC77SP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Measure Man View Post
    Yes



    Just to be clear...you think Robert O'Neill is a liar?



    What I find funny is people who constantly rag on how utterly incompetent and blusterlng the govt. is, also think it is capable executiong perfect conspiracy plots and keeping them secret for decades.

    I don't buy it.

    I find it impossible to believe that a secret like that, which would have to be kept by at least dozens of people could remain secret...how many people out there would love to embarass the administration by revealing it?

    Ditto on the moon landing, 9/11, every mass shooting, etc.
    Exactly my thinking. Apply a little reasoned thinking and most conspiracy theories collapse.

    Let's look at this one.

    What kind of fallout for the administration and the US in general would it be if it were proved that the entire Abbottabad raid was a sham and OBL had been dead for years? Huge right, possibly collapse the administration?

    If OBL had died earlier I think it is entirely reasonable that his funeral would have been filmed and if so that film would have surely been released in the wake of the raid claims.

    There are several other counterpoints to be made but this one is so obvious.
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    Quote Originally Posted by giggawatt View Post
    I also expected this as well. No tin foil hat but I think Bin Laden was a symbol that needed to be alive to keep the GWOT alive.

    Some will even say that the news of Bin Laden's death came at a good time before the 2012 elections.
    Conspiracy theories are rather easy to construct...there are ALWAYS coincidences, ALWAYS an election or govt project going on, there are ALWAYS elements of any two events that can be tied together...and there are ALWAYS people who want so very badly to believe them.

    I often wonder if the people who come up with them actually think they are onto something...of if they know they are BSing, but enjoy seeing how far it will get.
    Last edited by Measure Man; 11-07-2014 at 04:47 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Measure Man View Post
    Conspiracy theories are rather easy to construct...there are ALWAYS coincidences, ALWAYS an election or govt project going on, there are ALWAYS elements of any two events that can be tied together...and there are ALWAYS people who want so very badly to believe them.
    So are you contesting that there was a missile fired at the plane that crashed on the Hudson? And what about Roswell? I've been to their museum. That shit cannot be made up!

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    Quote Originally Posted by sandsjames View Post
    So are you contesting that there was a missile fired at the plane that crashed on the Hudson?
    The Hudson? Sully Sullenberger?


    And what about Roswell? I've been to their museum. That shit cannot be made up!
    Haven't been there...but, my understanding is that it's just a kitschy tourist trap

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    I dont agree with it. We serve to serve, not to get glory.

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    Senior Member TJMAC77SP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Measure Man View Post
    Conspiracy theories are rather easy to construct...there are ALWAYS coincidences, ALWAYS an election or govt project going on, there are ALWAYS elements of any two events that can be tied together...and there are ALWAYS people who want so very badly to believe them.

    I often wonder if the people who come up with them actually think they are onto something...of if they know they are BSing, but enjoy seeing how far it will get.

    Did you know that Lincoln's secretary's name was Kennedy and that Kennedy's secretary's name was Lincoln ?!?!?!

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