SEAL who killed Bin Laden feels abandoned by US govt

He killed the terrorist leader with three bullets, but former sniper has no pension or health insurance

LAST UPDATED AT 09:26 ON Tue 12 Feb 2013

THE former Navy SEAL who killed terrorist leader Osama bin Laden with "three shots to the forehead" has accused the US government of abandoning him and his family after he left the armed forces.

The navy sniper, who has not been named, has given a graphic description of the moment he came face-to-face with Bin Laden in the terrorist's compound in Pakistan on 2 May, 2011. He told Esquire he was surprised how tall Bin Laden was – "taller than all of us" - and recalled his short beard and "crew cut" hair.

The SEAL, who Esquire refers to as 'The Shooter', said Bin Laden was edging towards an AK-47 assault rifle on a nearby shelf and he realised he had to act. "In that second, I shot him, two times in the forehead," the SEAL said.

"Bap! Bap! The second time as he's going down. He crumpled onto the floor in front of his bed and I hit him again, Bap! Same place."

The Daily Telegraph points out that other SEALS have claimed to have shot Bin Laden, but The Shooter insists that it was he alone who fired the fatal rounds.

Despite his bravery, and 16 years of active service as a Navy SEAL, The Shooter is scathing about the US government's treatment of him and his family since he left the armed forces in September last year.

The Esquire article, which is headlined "The Man Who Killed Osama bin Laden … is Screwed", reveals that The Shooter is almost destitute because he has no pension or health insurance.

"I left SEALs on Friday," he told Esquire. "My health care for me and my family stopped at midnight Friday night. They said: ‘You're out of the service, your coverage is over. Thanks for your sixteen years. Go f--- yourself.'"

The Shooter did not receive a pension, he said, because he served less than 20 years in the armed forces. He and his wife live in constant fear of reprisals and have taught their children to hide in the bathtub at the first sign of an attack. Despite the risks, he says the US government has not provided him with any security.

In a written response to the Esquire article, a US Navy spokesman said: "We have no information to corroborate these new assertions."

"We take seriously the safety and security of our people, as well as our responsibility to assist sailors making a transition to civilian life." · 

Disqus - noscript

...seems to be some sort of fantasist to me - in the British army we call this type of person a "cowboy". Surely he has had ample time to plan for his retirement from the Armed Forces? Before I left the British Army I had made sure that I had bought a house (albeit with a mortgage) - and that was a considerable time BEFORE I became a civilian.

To make his children "hide in the bathtub" suggests that this individual might not be particularly stable - perhaps the US Security Services should take note?

It all depends on how he was "retired," he may not have had time to plan. As for kids hiding in bathtubs, it is a fairly common practice if you live were bullets fly or things can fall from above. Bathrooms are often in the center of houses here in the States, and tubs are fairly sturdy.

People outside the US have no idea how much the cost of health insurance can be for an individual, I pay over $950/month and that is only for me, a family with several children would pay much, much more.

Sorry, Ms.Wright, are you serious? 950 dollar a month for a personal health insurance? That's completely outrageous compared to our European standard! And trust me,
I'm not living in a “communist” country, far from it. There is no need for us hide in bathtubs either, to seek protection from loose gunmen. The most likely enemy an American citizen has to fear, is, by far, a crazed fellow countryman, so it seems. It should ring a bell… A lot of fixing-up to do, over there, for Obama II. Still, it remains really difficult to believe that a US-soldier with over 16 years of active service, has so little financial and social security after his dismissal. Therefore I have the impression the story of this former Seal must
be flawed. Why should the US abandon its former military to such an extend? It's more than disrespectful, it's inhumane. No, there must be something else the matter here.

For further concise, balanced comment and analysis on the week's news, try The Week magazine. Subscribe today and get 6 issues completely free.