Fox News' Interview With The Man Who Killed Bin Laden, Robert O'Neill, Reveals Never-Before-Known Details
The former Navy SEAL who killed Osama bin Laden, Robert O'Neill, said during an interview that aired Tuesday that he and the rest of SEAL Team 6 believed that the Pakistan compound raid in search of the world's most wanted terrorist would be a "one-way mission." During the segment, O'Neill took Fox's Peter Doocy to his hometown of Butte, Montana, and detailed the mental and physical preparation that went into the May 2, 2011 mission. The first part of the two-part interview with Fox News aired Tuesday evening.
The team was not explicitly told that they would be raiding bin Laden's compound, and were only given vague details about what they would be doing. O'Neill said that he realized the mission's target when a few of the names that he and his fellow SEALs were given "didn't make sense."
The more we trained on it, the more we realized…this is going to be a one-way mission. We’re going to go and we’re not going to come back. We’re going to die when the house blows up. We’re going to die when he blows up. Or we are going to be there too long and we’ll get arrested by the Pakistanis and we’re going to spend the rest of our short lives in Pakistan prison.
O'Neill said that he had just returned from his 11th tour when he was called back to carry out the mission. He was initially supposed to lead a smaller security team outside of the compound, but managed to convince leaders that he would remain on the team that SEALs called the "martyrs' brigade."
He detailed his mental preparation leading up to the raid to Doocy, saying that he wrote letters to his kids explaining that he was going on "the most important mission since Washington crossed the Delaware." Although O'Neill said that the mission was worthy of him sacrificing his life, he struggled with saying goodbye to his family. "It was sad. There were a few times when tears hit the pages."
The last person that O'Neill called was his father, thanking him for everything that he had done. The segment included an interview with O'Neill's father, who choked up as he remembered what could have been his last conversation with his son.
Though the interview is certainly powerful, U.S. special ops leaders have criticized O'Neill for breaking his silence about the mission. The Naval Special Warfare Command has issued a statement asking SEALS to remember their code, which dictates that they keep mum about missions.
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