Photo: US NAVY
An article published by the centre For Investigative Reporting in conjunction with Esquire today details the most intimate picture we have of the man who shot Bin Laden.And it’s pretty shocking.
“The Shooter,” as he’s called throughout the lengthy Phil Bronstein piece, is exiting the service after 16 years with plenty of scar tissue, and no retirement pay.
From the piece:
What is much harder to understand is that a man with hundreds of successful war missions, one of the most decorated combat veterans of our age, who capped his career by terminating bin Laden, has no landing pad in civilian life.
Nothing. No pension, no health care, and no protection for himself or his family.
Now the medical bills are piling up, and the Shooter is without a job.
If he had stayed in the service another four years, then he would be eligible for a half-base-pay pension. If he had stayed for another 14 years then he would be eligible for full pay. Anyway it’s hardly enough to survive on with a family, unless the Shooter wore a few stars on his shoulders by retirement.
A couple nuggets from the lengthy piece:
The writer watched “Zero Dark 30” with the Shooter. He had no major complaints, but said the guy who breached the door would never have yelled, merely tapped his helmet, tattoos were different, helicopters turned the wrong way into the compound, and overall the tactics “sucked”.
Shooter said the female character Maya was “Awesome. They made her a tough woman, which she is.”
The piece concludes with Shooter’s understanding that one final line from the movie will define his remaining days. A CIA station chief remarks on the dedicated vengeance of jihadists. “Once you’re on their list,” he says, “you never get off.” Meaning the Shooter, and every other servicemember who fought against insurgents well enough to earn recognition, will never stop being a target for revenge.
Meanwhile he, like Matt Bissonnette, may suffer the consequences of talking about a Top Secret mission, as the Navy could level charges on him for conducting an unsanctioned interview.
The Shooter and Bissonnette are so far the only two members of SEAL Team 6 to divulge elements of the raid to the press. Both prior servicemembers risk prosecution from the U.S. government for divulging classified information, and risking jihadists tracking down their locations to exact revenge for the historical mission that took out al Qaeda’s most famous leader.
Needless to say, the piece illuminates the man behind the scope in the single greatest military raid in history, and we encourage everyone to read the whole story here.
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