O homem que matou Osama Bin Laden
Publicado em: 12 Fev, 2013
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Several years ago, a SEAL friend had died in a helicopter crash. The Shooter’s wife had just been to his funeral, consoling his widow. The Shooter was on the same deployment, and she had not heard anything about his status.

“I came home and was inside holding our infant child. Our front door is all glass, and I see a man in a khaki uniform coming up the steps. All I could do was think, I’d better put the baby down because I’m going to faint. So I set the baby on the floor and answered the door. It was a neighbor with a baby bib I’d dropped outside. I swore at him and slammed the door in his face.”

It was four days more before she heard that her husband was safe.

Given all of that, she has a surprising equanimity about her life. Talking with them separately, the couple’s love for each other is evident and deep. “We’ve grown so much together,” she says. “We’ll always be best friends. I’ll love him till the day I die.”

She remains in awe of “the level of brilliance these men have. To be surrounded by that caliber of people is something I’ll always be grateful for.”

Her husband’s retirement has been no less jarring for her. “He gave so much to his country, and now it seems he’s left in the dust. I feel there’s no support, not just for my family but for other families in the community. I honestly have nobody I can go to or talk to. Nor do I feel my husband has gotten much for what he’s accomplished in his career.”

Exactly what, if any, responsibility should the government have to her family?

The loss of income and insurance and no pension aside, she can no longer walk onto the local base if she feels a threat to her family. They’ve surrendered their military IDs. If something were to happen, the Shooter has instructed her to take the kids to the base gate anyway and demand to see the commanding officer, or someone from the SEAL team. “He said someone will come get us.”

Because of the mission, she says that “my family is always going to be at risk. It’s just a matter of finding coping strategies.”

The Shooter still dips his hand in his pocket when they’re in a store, checking for a knife in case there’s an emergency. He also keeps his eyes on the exits.

He’s lost some vision, he can’t get his neck straight for any period of time. Right now, she’s just waiting to see what he creates for himself in this new life.

And she’s waiting to see how he replaces even the $60,000 a year he was making (with special pay bonuses for different activities). Or how they can afford private health insurance that covers spinal injections she needs for her own sports injuries.

“This is new to us, not having the team.”


Within another fifteen seconds, other team members started coming in the room. Here, the Shooter demurs about whether subsequent SEALs also fired into bin Laden’s body. He’s not feeding raw meat to what is an increasingly strict government focus on the etiquette of these missions. But I would have done it if I’d come in the room later. I knew I was going to shoot him if I saw him, regardless.

I even joked about that with the guys before we were there. “I don’t give a shit if you kill him — if I come in the room, I’m shooting his ass. I don’t care if he’s deader than fried chicken.”

In the compound, I thought about getting my camera, and I knew we needed to take pictures and ID him. We had a saying, “You kill him, you clean him.” But I was just in a little bit of a zone. I had to actually ask one of my friends who came into the room, “Hey, what do we do now?” He said, “Now we go find the computers.” And I remember saying, “Yes! I’m back! Got it!” Because I was almost stunned.

Then I just wanted to go get out of the house. We all had a DNA test kit, but I knew another team would be in there to do all that. So I went down to the second floor where the offices were, the media center. We started breaking apart the computer hard drives, cracking the towers. We were looking for thumb drives and disks, throwing them into our net bags.

In each computer room, there was a bed. Under the beds were these huge duffel bags, and I’m pulling them out, looking for whatever. At first I thought they were filled with vacuum-sealed rib-eye steaks. I thought, They’re in this for the long haul. They’ve got all this food. Then, wait a minute. This is raw opium. These drugs are everywhere. It was pretty funny to see that. Altogether, he helped clean three rooms on the second floor.

The Shooter did not see bin Laden’s body again until he and the point man helped two others carry it, already bagged, down the building’s hallways and out into the courtyard by the front gate. I saw a sniper buddy of mine down there and I told him, “That’s our guy. Hold on to him.” Others took the corpse to the surviving Black Hawk.

With one helo down, the Shooter was relieved to hear the sound of the 47 Chinook transports arriving. His exfil (extraction) flight out was on one of the 47’s, which had almost been blown out of the sky by the SEALs’ own explosive charges, set to destroy the downed Black Hawk.

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