Very gripping story, but why have other SEALs come out saying he is not the guy?
Former Navy SEAL Robert O’Neill appeared in his first television interview Tuesday night to detail the historic raid in which he shot dead Osama Bin Laden, and told how he was the last person that the elusive al-Qaeda leader ever saw.
In a two-part interview with Fox News, which concludes Wednesday night, O’Neill said: ‘If it was light enough, I was the last person he saw.’
He revealed that he looked Bin Laden straight in the eyes before he shot him dead.
O’Neill said: ‘He was standing there two feet in front of me, hand on his wife, the face I’ve seen thousands of times. I thought, “We got him, we just ended the war.”‘
Highly decorated O’Neill also talks about his unlikely journey from delivering pizzas in Butte, Montana to joining SEAL Team Six, the elite group which also staged the dramatic rescue of Captain Richard Phillips from Somali pirates.
The 38-year-old also recalls his last phone call to his father, and the emotional letters he wrote to his then-wife and children, certain that he would either be killed or taken prisoner in the risky raid ordered by President Obama on May 2, 2011.
While his three bullets helped bring closure to the many Americans who lost loved ones at the World Trade Centers, the Pentagon, and Shanksville, Pennsylvania, that moment continues to torment O’Neill every day.
‘I’m still trying to figure out if it’s the best thing I ever did, or the worst thing I ever did,’ O’Neill told Fox News’ Peter Doocy Tuesday night.
While O’Neill is proud that he was a ‘big part’ of the successful mission that brought Bin Laden’s reign of terror to an end, he remains hesitant on how that monumental action will impact his life in the long term.
‘I don’t know what’s going to happen,’ he said. ‘I did something I’m going to have to live with every day.’
Last year, a still-anonymous O’Neill gave his first interview to Esquire, telling how the events of that night led to his marriage unraveling and his early retirement from the SEALs.
But O’Neill spoke with nothing but pride on Tuesday when he detailed the rigorous training that went into joining the elite amphibious Navy squad and the immense sense of satisfaction he got when he was chosen to participate in Operation Neptune’s Spear.
O’Neill was with his team in Miami for diving training in 2011 when he and a several other senior SEALs got the call to deploy for a special mission.
At first, military officials only gave the team a vague understanding of the mission, leading them to believe they were going to Libya to capture Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi since it was around the time of the Arab Spring.