The author of No Easy Day is scheduled to be on 60 Minutes tonight. Also, I must give a warning about this article. When describing bin Laden's wounds, the language is graphic. - Reggie
A former U.S. Navy SEAL commando who took part in the daring raid to kill Osama bin Laden has exposed as false part of the account put out by the Obama administration on how the al Qaeda leader died.
The former SEAL, writing under the pseudonym Mark Owen, stated in his new book No Easy Day that bin Laden was not killed by SEALs inside his bedroom as he stood near an AK-47 assault rifle and pistol.
Instead, bin Laden was fatally shot in the head by a SEAL advancing up a stairway to the third floor in his Abbottabad, Pakistan, house, after bin Laden had looked out of the doorway of his room some 10 feet away.
Several minutes later, SEALs entered the room and found what was determined to be bin Laden convulsing in death throes. He was then finished off by two SEALs, including Owen, who fired numerous shots into his chest.
Until the book was released Sept. 3, the White House, Pentagon, and CIA allowed an inaccurate version of the final confrontation with bin Laden to stand as the official record of how the world’s most notorious terrorist leader and mastermind behind the September 11 terror attacks had died.
Initially, White House National Security counterterrorism chief John Brennan said bin Laden was shot as he tried to use his wife as a shield inside the third-floor bedroom.
That version from May 2, 2011—the day after the commando raid—was changed on May 3 when administration officials then stated that commandos had shot bin Laden inside his room.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters during a briefing that the earlier inaccurate information had been made public in “great haste.”
In an attempt to correct the record, Carney said that when SEALs reached the third floor of the residence, “in the room with bin Laden, a woman—bin Laden’s—a woman, rather, bin Laden’s wife, rushed the U.S. assaulter and was shot in the leg but not killed. Bin Laden was then shot and killed. He was not armed.”
In Owen’s account, a group of SEALs were advancing up a stairway to the third floor of the house in darkness using night vision goggles to see.
“We were less than five steps from getting to the top when I heard suppressed shots. BOP. BOP,” he wrote. “The point man had seen a man peeking out of the door on the right side of a narrow hallway about ten feet in front of him,” Owen stated. “The man disappeared into the dark room.”
The commandos then slowly moved to the open doorway. “Unlike the movies, we didn’t bound up the final few steps and rush into the room with guns blazing. We took our time.”
The commandos were worried that they were in danger of being shot or blown up because the element of surprise was lost when their helicopter crashed inside the walled compound, alerting those inside and allowing them to grab weapons or strap on explosives-laden suicide bomb vests.
After reaching the room, the SEALs saw two women “hysterically crying” as they stood over a man lying at the foot of the bed, Owen wrote.
One commando then grabbed both women and moved them to a far corner of the room. One had a minor gunshot wound to her calf, most likely from a bullet fragment from the first two shots fired from the hallway.
“If either woman had on a suicide vest, [the SEAL] probably saved our lives, but it would have cost him his own. It was a selfless decision made in a split second,” Owen said.
On the floor, the wounded man’s head had a hole in the forehead and had been split open with blood and brains spilling out.
As the body twitched, “another assaulter and I trained our lasers on his chest and fired several rounds,” Owen wrote. “The bullets tore into him, slamming his body into the floor until it was motionless.”
“I think this is our boy,” said one SEAL, who avoided using the name bin Laden because of concerns “President Obama was listening” to their radio communications, and they did not want to be wrong.
Photos of bin Laden were taken and DNA samples were tested. The body was then flown to a ship and dumped in the sea.
Owen said after confirming the kill: “It was strange to see such an infamous face up close. Lying in front of me was the reason we had been fighting for the last decade.”
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