HOMEPAGE

O homem que matou Osama Bin Laden
Publicado em: 12 Fev, 2013
Partilhar: Partilhar no Twitter

“I realized when I joined I had to be a better shot and step up my humor. These guys were hilarious.”

There are the now-famous pranks with a giant dildo — they called it the Staff of Power — discovered during training in an abandoned Miami building. SEALs would find photos of it inserted into their gas masks or at the bottom of a barrel of animal crackers they were eating. Goats were put in their personal cages at ST6 headquarters. Uniforms were borrowed and dyed pink. Boots were glued to the floor. Flash-bang grenades went off in their gear.

The area near the Shooter’s cage was such a target for outlandish stunts that it was called the Gaza Strip.

Even in action, with all their high state of expertise and readiness, “we’re normal people. We fall off ladders, land on the wrong roof, get bitten by dogs.” In Iraq, a breacher was putting a charge on a door to blow it off its hinges when he mistakenly leaned against the doorbell. He quickly took off the charge and the target opened the door. We were like, “You rang the fucking doorbell?!” Maybe we should try that more often, the Shooter thought to himself.

The dead can also be funny, as long as it’s not your guys. “In Afghanistan we were cutting away the clothes on this dead dude to see if he had a suicide vest on, only to find that he had a huge dick, down to his knees. From then on, we called him Abu Dujan Holmes.

And then there was the time that the Shooter shit himself on a tandem jump with a huge SEAL who outweighed him by sixty pounds. “The goddamn main chute yanked so hard he slipped two disks in his neck and I filled my socks with human feces. I told him, ‘Hey, dude, this is a horrible day.’ He said if I went to our reserve chute, ‘you’re gonna fucking kill me.’ He was that convinced his head was going to rip off his body.

“Okay, so I’m flying this broken chute, shitting my pants with this near-dead guy connected to me. And we eat shit on the landing. We’re lying there and the chute is dragging us across the ground. I hear him go, ‘Yeah, that’s my last jump for today.’ And I said, ‘That’s cool. Can I borrow your boxers?’

“We jumped the next day.”

The Shooter’s willingness to endure comes from a deep personal well of confidence and drive that seems to also describe every one of his peers. But his odyssey through countless outposts in Afghanistan and Iraq to skydives into the Indian Ocean — situations that are always strewn with violence and with his own death always imminent — is grounded by a sense of deep confederacy.

“I’m lucky to be with these guys. I’m not going to let them down. I was going to go in for a few years, but then I met these other guys and stuck around because of them.” He and one buddy made their first kills at exactly the same time, in Ramadi. Shared bloodletting is as much a bonding agent as shared blood.

After Team 6 SEAL Adam Brown was killed in March 2010, Brown’s squadron members approached the dead man’s kids at the funeral. They were screaming and inconsolable. “You may have lost a father,” one of them said, “but you’ve gained twenty fathers.”

Most of those SEALs would be killed the next year when their helicopter was shot down in eastern Wardak province.

The Shooter feels both the losses and connections no less keenly now that he’s out. “One of my closest friends in the world I’ve been with in SEAL Team 6 the whole time,” he says.

The Shooter’s friend is also looking for a viable exit from the Navy. As he prepared to deploy again, he agreed to talk with me on the condition that I not identify him.

“My wife doesn’t want me to stay in one more minute than I have to,” he says. But he’s several years away from official retirement. “I agree that civilian life is scary. And I’ve got a family to take care of. Most of us have nothing to offer the public. We can track down and kill the enemy really well, but that’s it.

“If I get killed on this next deployment, I know my family will be taken care of.” (The Navy does offer decent life-insurance policies at low rates.) “College will be paid for, they’ll be fine.

“But if I come back alive and retire, I won’t have a pot to piss in or a window to throw it out for the rest of my life. Sad to say, it’s better if I get killed.”

4.”IS THIS THE BEST THING I’VE EVER DONE, OR THE WORST?”

When we entered the main building, there was a hallway with rooms off to the side. Dead ahead is the door to go upstairs. There were women screaming downstairs. They saw the others get shot, so they were upset. I saw a girl, about five, crying in the corner, first room on the right as we were going in. I went, picked her up, and brought her to another woman in the room on the left so she didn’t have to be just with us. She seemed too out of it to be scared. There had to be fifteen people downstairs, all sleeping together in that one room. Two dead bodies were also in there.

Normally, the SEALs have a support or communications guy who watches the women and children. But this was a pared-down mission intended strictly for an assault, without that extra help. We didn’t really have anyone that could stay back.









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