Esquire talks to Navy SEAL who pulled the trigger
Esquire says it has landed an interview with the man who killed Osama bin Laden — and he has a few complaints.
The magazine's March cover announces, "The Man Who Killed Osama bin Laden… Is Screwed." The issue features an interview with the Navy SEAL who pulled the trigger and killed the al-Qaeda leader two years ago.
Identified only as "the Shooter" in the piece by Center for Investigative Reporting chairman Phil Bronstein, the SEAL gives his account of what happened the day of the raid in Pakistan — including his surprise at bin Laden's appearance.
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"I thought in that first instant how skinny he was, how tall and how short his beard was, all at once," the Shooter said. "He was wearing one of those white hats, but he had, like, an almost shaved head. Like a crew cut. I remember all that registering. I was amazed how tall he was, taller than all of us, and it didn't seem like he would be, because all those guys were always smaller than you think."
Bronstein reports that the Shooter is now retired but was left with no pension, medical insurance for his family, or assistance transitioning to civilian life. The story also says he had to wait months for medical benefits once he retired, and that his family still isn't covered.
"I left SEALs on Friday," the Shooter said, adding that it was a little more than 36 months before the official retirement requirement of 20 years of service. "My health care for me and my family stopped at midnight Friday night. I asked if there was some transition from my Tricare to Blue Cross Blue Shield. They said no. You're out of the service, your coverage is over. Thanks for your sixteen years. Go fuck yourself."
The Shooter is not the first member of SEAL Team 6 to come forward about his experience.
A SEAL later identified as Matt Bissonnette penned the memoir "No Easy Day: the Firsthand Account of the Mission that Killed Osama bin Laden" in 2012, under the name "Mark Owen."