HOMEPAGE

O homem que matou Osama Bin Laden
Publicado em: 12 Fev, 2013
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1 APRIL 2011: THE MISSION

The reason we knew this was a special mission, the Shooter said as our interviews about the bin Laden operation began, is because we’d just finished an Afghanistan deployment and were on a training trip, diving in Miami, when a few of us got recalled to the Command in Virginia Beach. Another ST6 team was on official standby — normally that’s the team that blows out for a contingency operation. But they were not chosen, to better cloak what was going to happen.

There was so much going on — the Libya thing, the Arab Spring. We knew something good was going to go down. We didn’t know how good.

The first day’s briefing, they actually kind of lied to us, being very vague. They mentioned underwater cables because of the earthquake in Japan or some craziness. They hinted at Libya. They said it was a compound somewhere in a bowl and we were going to have two aircraft get us there and we don’t know how many are inside but we have to get something out. You won’t have any air support.

I assumed it was WMD, a nuke, because why else are they sending us to Libya?

Every question the Red Squadron ST6 members asked was answered with, “Well, we can’t tell you that.” Or: “We don’t know.”

It was also weird that the entire Red Squadron was in town, but they kicked everyone out of the briefing except those guys who were going, twenty-three and four backups. We’d leave the room to get coffee and stuff, and the other guys were like, “Well, what are you guys doing?” We were telling them, “I have no idea.”

The Shooter was a mission team leader. Almost everyone chosen had a one or two ranking in the squadron, the most experienced guys. The group was split into four tactical teams, with the Shooter as leader of the external-security group — the dog, Cairo, two snipers, and a CIA interpreter to keep whoever might show up in the area out of the internal action.

The group left Virginia on a Sunday morning, April 10, to drive to the CIA’s Harvey Point, North Carolina, center for another briefing and the start of training. The Master Chief was saying JSOC [Joint Special Operations Command] would be there, the Secretary of Defense might be there, the Pak/Afghan CIA desk, too. That’s when the wheels started spinning for me: This is big.

I’ve had some close calls with death, bullets flying past my head. Even just driving, weird stuff. Every time, I would tell my mother, “There’s no way I’m going to die, because I’m here to do something.” I’ve been saying that for twenty years. I don’t know what it is, but it’s something important.

By Monday the team was assembled in a big classroom inside a one-story building. They actually had security sitting outside. No one else was allowed in. A JSOC general, Pak/Afghan and other D.C. officials, and the ST6 commanding officer were there. The SEAL commander, cool as ever, said, “Okay, we’re as close as we’ve ever been to UBL.” And that was it. He kind of looked at us and we looked at him and nodded. There was none of that cheering bullshit. We were thinking, Yeah, okay, good. It’s about time that we kill this motherfucker. It was simple.

This is what I came for. Jealousies aside, one of us is going to have the best chance of killing this guy.

During the daylong briefing, the SEALs heard how the government found the compound in Abbottabad, how they were watching it, analyzing it, why they believed bin Laden might be there. He, UBL, had become known as the Pacer, the tall guy in satellite imagery who neither left nor mixed with the others.

It was the CIA woman, now immortalized in books and movies, who gave the briefing. “Yeah,” she told us. “We got him. This is him. This is my life’s work. I’m positive.”

By then, government and military officials had been considering four options. They were either going to bomb the piss out of the compound with two-thousand-pound ordnance, they were going to send us in, do some kind of joint thing with the Pakis, or try what was called a “hammer throw,” where a drone flies by and chucks one fucking bomb at the guy. But they didn’t want any collateral damage. And they wanted to make sure he was dead and not in a cave or a safe room.

After the group settled into “motel-like” rooms, with common areas that had TVs and a kitchen, the team started strategizing with a model of the compound on a large table. Then they drove to a full-scale mock-up for a walk-through. The next day the helos came and we started doing iteration training based on how we wanted to hit it.

Once I realized what was going on, I actually moved myself to one of the assault teams, even if I was no longer a team leader. We didn’t need that many guys on the exterior team, and I’ll go fast-rope on the roof with what I started calling the Martyrs Brigade, because as soon as we landed, I figured the house was going to blow up. But we were also going to be the guys in there first to kill him.

One sniper would also be on the roof to lean over and try to take a shot upside down. The rest of the team would rope again down to the third-floor windows and get your gun up fast because he’s probably standing there with his gun. If you fell, it would suck.

If the group made it inside, there were other issues. I’ve been in houses before with IEDs in them designed to blow everything up. They’d hang them in the middle of the room so it’s a bigger explosion.









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