HOMEPAGE

O homem que matou Osama Bin Laden
Publicado em: 12 Fev, 2013
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For me, it was a snapshot of a target ID, definitely him. Even in our kill houses where we train, there are targets with his face on them. This was repetition and muscle memory. That’s him, boom, done.

I thought in that first instant how skinny he was, how tall and how short his beard was, all at once. He was wearing one of those white hats, but he had, like, an almost shaved head. Like a crew cut. I remember all that registering. I was amazed how tall he was, taller than all of us, and it didn’t seem like he would be, because all those guys were always smaller than you think.

I’m just looking at him from right here [he moves his hand out from his face about ten inches]. He’s got a gun on a shelf right there, the short AK he’s famous for. And he’s moving forward. I don’t know if she’s got a vest and she’s being pushed to martyr them both. He’s got a gun within reach. He’s a threat. I need to get a head shot so he won’t have a chance to clack himself off [blow himself up].

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. That time I used my EOTech red-dot holo sight. He was dead. Not moving. His tongue was out. I watched him take his last breaths, just a reflex breath.

And I remember as I watched him breathe out the last part of air, I thought: Is this the best thing I’ve ever done, or the worst thing I’ve ever done? This is real and that’s him. Holy shit.

Everybody wanted him dead, but nobody wanted to say, Hey, you’re going to kill this guy. It was just sort of understood that’s what we wanted to do.

His forehead was gruesome. It was split open in the shape of a V. I could see his brains spilling out over his face. The American public doesn’t want to know what that looks like.

Amal turned back, and she was screaming, first at bin Laden and then at me. She came at me like she wanted to fight me, or that she wanted to die instead of him. So I put her on the bed, bound with zip ties. Then I realized that bin Laden’s youngest son, who is about two or three, was standing there on the other side of the bed. I didn’t want to hurt him, because I’m not a savage. There was a lot of screaming, he was crying, just in shock. I didn’t like that he was scared. He’s a kid, and had nothing to do with this. I picked him up and put him next to his mother. I put some water on his face.

The point man came in and zip-tied the other two women he’d grabbed.

The third-floor action and killing took maybe fifteen seconds.

The Shooter’s oldest child calls the place his dad worked “Crapghanistan,” maybe because his deployments meant he regularly missed Christmases, birthdays, and other holidays.

“Our marriage was definitely a casualty of his career,” says the Shooter’s wife. They are officially split but still live together. Separate bedrooms, low overhead. “Somewhere along the line we lost track of each other.” She holds his priorities partially responsible: SEAL first, father second, husband third.

This part of the Shooter’s story is, as his wife puts it, “unique to us but unfortunately not unique in the community.”

SEAL operators are gone up to three hundred days a year. And when they’re not in theater, they’re training or soaking in the company of their buds in the absorbing clubhouse atmosphere of ST6 headquarters.

“We can’t talk with anyone else about what we do,” the Shooter says, “or about anything else other than maybe skydiving and broken spleens. When it comes to socializing, it’s really tight.”

His wife understands that “so much of their survival is dependent on the fact that their friends and their jobs are so intertwined.” And that “we lived our lives under a veil of secrecy.”

SEAL Team 6 spouses are nicknamed the Pink Squadron, because the women also rely on their hermetic connections to other wives. When you have no idea where your husband is or what he’s doing, other than that it’s mortally dangerous, and you can’t discuss it — not even with your own mother — your world can feel desperately small.

But his wife’s concerns, and her own narrative, convey a faithfulness that extends beyond marital fidelity.

She has comforted him when he was “inconsolable” after a mission in which he shot the parents of a boy in a crossfire. “He was reliving it, as a dad himself, when he was telling me.” Not long after, she tended to him when she found him heavily sedated with an open bottle of Ambien and his pistol nearby.

The command had mandatory psych evaluations. During one of those, the Shooter told the psychologist, “I was having suicidal thoughts and drinking too much.” The doctor’s response? “He told me this was normal for SEALs after combat deployment. He told me I should just drink less and not hurt anybody.”

The Shooter’s wife is indignant. “That’s not normal!” Though she knows that “every time you send your husband off to war, you get a slightly different person back.”

The alone times are deeply trying.









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