SEAL: 'I watched him take his last breaths'
Tue, 12 Feb 2013 1:02p.m.
By 3 News online staff
The United States Navy SEAL who claims to have shot Osama bin Laden dead has told of how he now feels abandoned by the military.
The former commando, who is now retired, has told Esquire magazine he was the last person to see the al-Qaida founder alive on May 2, 2011.
He says bin Laden was in his third-floor bedroom with one of his wives, and moved towards an AK47 rifle when the Navy SEAL entered.
"I shot him, two times in the forehead,” said the man, identified by Esquire only as “The Shooter”.
“He crumpled onto the floor in front of his bed and I hit him again, Bap! Same place … He was dead. Not moving. His tongue was out. I watched him take his last breaths, just a reflex breath."
The man was part of SEAL Team Six, which was tasked with killing bin Laden in his Pakistan hideout.
He says he retired from the Navy three years before the official requirement of 20 years because he was exhausted, and is scathing about the lack of support he has received.
He was given no pension or healthcare, and the best security protection offered was a new identity and a job driving a beer truck in Milwaukee – which he turned down because he didn’t want to lose touch with his family and friends.
The man says he expected much more.
"Maybe some courtesy eyes-on checks. Send some Seabees over to put in a heavier, metal-reinforced front door. Install some sensors or something. But there was literally nothing."
He is now unemployed, and struggling to support his wife and children.
The navy told MSNBC it could not corroborate the man’s version of events or his post-retirement treatment.
"We take seriously the safety and security of our people as well as our responsibility to assist sailors making the transition to civilian life,” it said in a statement.
“Without more information about this particular case it would be difficult to determine the degree to which our transition programme succeeded."
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13/02/2013 4:44:01 p.m.
That poor man didn't deserve that treatment. He did a great service, not only for his country but for other countries also serving overseas. He is looked at as a hero. He deserves to be given everything every other Seal gets at retirement regardless of retiring three years early. He did one of the hardest jobs to do out there and this is how he is repaid. I'm just disgusted by the country's actions. Absolutely disgusted!
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