Osama bin Laden raid: Navy SEAL speaks to Esquire about mission
The Navy SEAL who killed Osama bin Laden thought there was a "90% chance" he wasn't coming back, so he wanted to get it right, the shooter reveals in a profile jointly published by Esquire magazine and the Center for Investigative Reporting.
The sprawling 15,000-word profile details the shooter's life leading up to and during the raid on bin Laden's Abbottabad compound in Pakistan.
Here are some of the most interesting new facts from the profile:
- He saw "Zero Dark Thirty" and thought it was "fun to watch," but that the raid scene was particularly inaccurate. He said that during movie's raid the SEALs were too talkative, the helicopter turned the wrong way, it took "way too long" and the onscreen tactics "sucked."
- He retired after 16 years of service instead of the customary 20 and declined to become a reservist, so he lost his pension and he must now buy his own health insurance. "I asked if there was some transition from my Tricare to Blue Cross Blue Shield," the shooter said. "They said no. You're out of the service, your coverage is over. Thanks for your 16 years. Go f*** yourself."
- During the raid, there were multiple times when he and the team were unsure whether people inside the house were wearing suicide vests, causing for some confusion and unexpected heroics. A fellow SEAL tackled two women because he "thought he was going to absorb the blast of suicide vests; he was going to kill himself so I could get the shot. It was the most heroic thing I've ever seen."
- The shooter joined the Navy on a whim after a heartbreak when he was 19. He happened to wander into a recruiting office, where an officer asked him "what I was going to do with my life. I told him I wanted to be a sniper." The shooter later joked: "That's the reason Al Qaeda has been decimated," he said, "because she broke my f***ing heart."