When Will Fox News' Interview With The SEAL Who Shot Bin Laden Air? Rob O'Neill Has Already Been Identified
Ahead of his interview on Fox News, the former Navy SEAL who shot Osama bin Laden has been identified pre-emptively by special operations blog SOfrep.com: He's allegedly Rob O'Neill, a native of Montana and a highly-decorated veteran who quit after 16 years of service.
O'Neill had previously been profiled on Esquire magazine as "the shooter." That, compounded with the decision to identify himself on Fox News later this month as the man who shot bin Laden at his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, in 2011, incurred the wrath of some bigwigs in the Navy, namely the commander and force master chief of Naval Special Warfare Command (NSWC). Fox News' interview is scheduled to air on Nov. 11 and 12.
According to the blog, both leaders signed a letter stating that SEALs were supposed to live up to the title of "quiet professional," and implied that O'Neill was "seeking notoriety for his own story." The letter also addressed Mark Bissonnette, another member of SEAL Team Six involved in the raid that killed bin Laden, who wrote a book under the pen name "Mark Owen" detailing his role in it.
In an interview with MailOnline, O'Neill's father, Tom, said in an interview that their family was far from worried about the possible repercussions in revealing O'Neill's identity:
People are asking if we are worried that ISIS will come and get us because Rob is going public. I say I'll paint a big target on my front door and say come and get us.
Speaking to the Washington Post about his decision, O'Neill said that he was convinced others were about to leak his identity regardless, since people in the military, members of Congress and two news organizations were already in the know. The Esquire feature also reported that his decision to go public was spurred by the loss of some of his military benefits, because he was four short of a full 20 years of service.
The letter directed at O'Neill and Bissonnette also condemned their alleged pursuit of "glory and fame," as individual credit is rarely doled out due to the "nature of our profession," noted SOfrep.com.
In the Esquire article, O'Neill claimed to have shot the mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks, twice, in the forehead. He told The Post that he was sure bin Laden died instantly. O'Neill also said that while he had been on more dangerous missions, the 2011 raid on bin Laden's compound was the one time he considered he might be killed.
His decision to reveal his identity violates an unspoken military rule of not seeking attention for one's service, which explains why his former superiors are so mad about it. But I'm not so sure about his father's scary confidence that there won't be consequences at all, because call me paranoid, but I'll take being safe over being sorry anytime — especially when it comes to extremist crazies.
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