- 'The Shooter' speaks for first time about the '15 seconds' that changed the course of history
- Describes in gruesome detail how bin Laden's brains spilled out of his head after he was shot
- The moment he realized bin Laden's young son witnessed the whole thing
- He also talks extensively about the way the U.S. government has neglected him and the other veterans leaving him with no pension, medical care or protection
- His job led to the breakdown of his marriage though he still lives with his wife and kids to save money
- Taught his kids to hide in the bathtub and showed his wife how to use a gun in case there would be retaliation
Created: 13:45 GMT, 11 February 2013 Updated:>
Death: New images of Osama bin Laden's corpse have been discovered, but won't be released to the public if the Justice Department has its way
The Navy SEAL who claims he killed Osama bin Laden has spoken for the first time about the moment he shot the world's most wanted man three times in the head and watched him take his last breath.
In an interview to appear in the March edition of Esquire magazine, The Shooter describes in extraordinary detail the heart-stopping two minutes that changed the course of history.
The Team Six member - who is referred to only as 'The Shooter' for the safety of his family - reveals how the unit prepared for the daring mission, the moment he came face to face with the al-Qaeda leader and the fallout from the successful raid.
In the Esquire interview The Shooter reveals that once they were given their mission, the female CIA agent - portrayed by Jessica Chastain's Maya in Zero Dark Thirty - told the team that bin Laden was '100 per cent on the third floor' of his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
'We got him,' she told us. 'This is him. This is my life's work. I'm positive.'
Once he locked eyes on his target, the SEAL remembers being surprised at his appearance. Bin Laden was much taller than he expected him to be - taller than any of their guys, and skinny with a short beard and shaved head.
He was holding his wife Amal in front of him as a shield and though The Shooter could see exactly what was going on through night vision goggles, bin Laden was in total darkness and could hear but not see.
He also said he feared she might try to blow them up. He added: ‘I don’t know if she’s got a vest and she’s being pushed to martyr them both.
'I'm just looking at him from right here [he moves his hand out from his face about ten inches]. He's got a gun on a shelf right there, the short AK he's famous for. And he's moving forward. I don't know if she's got a vest and she's being pushed to martyr them both. He's got a gun within reach. He's a threat. I need to get a head shot so he won't have a chance to clack himself off [blow himself up].
'He was dead. Not moving. His tongue was out. I watched him take his last breaths, just a reflex breath.
'And I remember as I watched him breathe out the last part of air, I thought: Is this the best thing I've ever done, or the worst thing I've ever done?'
'In that second, I shot him, two times in the forehead. 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.
'That time I used my EOTech red-dot holo sight. He was dead. Not moving. His tongue was out. I watched him take his last breaths, just a reflex breath.
'And I remember as I watched him breathe out the last part of air, I thought: Is this the best thing I've ever done, or the worst thing I've ever done? This is real and that's him. Holy sh**.
'His forehead was gruesome. It was split open in the shape of a V. I could see his brains spilling out over his face.'
The Shooter, a father-of-two, then describes the moments after the shooting and how the al Qaeda leader's wife Amal launched herself at him screaming.
After zip tying her to the bed, he then realized bin Laden's youngest son, who was about two or three years old at the time, had also witnessed his father being shot.
'He was standing there on the other side of the bed. I didn't want to hurt him, because I'm not a savage. There was a lot of screaming, he was crying, just in shock.
'I didn't like that he was scared. I picked him up and put him next to his mother.'
He said the third-floor action lasted for about 15 seconds. Afterwards, he remembered that he had a bottle of urine in his pocket the whole time, after having to relieve himself on the helicopter ride on the way in.
The Shooter's interview in Esquire describes how the job led to the breakdown of his marriage, and claims the U.S. government largely neglect their veterans after they retire.
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Crucial seconds: The Shooter describes the raid on bin Laden's compound in Afghanistan and how he was able to see his target through night vision goggles but that bin Laden 'could only hear but not see'
On TV: Bin Laden is shown watching himself on television in this video frame grab released by the U.S. Pentagon May 7, 2011, six days after his death
Safe house destroyed: Osama bin Laden's Abbottabad, Pakistan, compound is pictured in May 2011, left, and as it was demolished in January, right
Viewing the raid: President Obama and his key staffers watch the Navy SEAL mission at Osama bin Laden's compound in this White House photo
Journalist Phil Bronstein, Executive Chair of the Center for Investigative Reporting,
spent a year with The Shooter, earning his trust and carefully constructing his story for the 15,000-word piece for Esquire.
As well as never-before-heard details of the raid, the piece offers a sobering portrait of life after the military and makes the case that the government largely abandons its most elite and highly-trained soldiers after their service is over.
He told Bronstein: 'I left SEALs on Friday. 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 f*** yourself.'
He reveals that, in the aftermath of the May 2011 raid, his marriage with his wife ended yet they have been forced to live together to save money.
Because the U.S. government have given him nothing - no pension, no health care, no protection for his wife, children or him - he has had to teach them what to do if an attack should be made on their home.
He told his children in hide in their bathtub, as it is the safest, most fortified place in their house and trained his wife how to use their shotgun, with a 'backup' knife on the dresser.
Then there is the 'bolt bag' of clothes, food, and other provisions for the family meant to last them two weeks in hiding.
The Shooter also says that the night before the raid, all the members of Team Six wrote letters to their loved ones - fully believing they would die in the mission to take down bin Laden.
He described how he sat on his bed writing a letter to his kids to be delivered on the case of his death, 'something for them to read when they are 35'.
As he wrote he started to cry, because he believed they would either die, or end up in a Pakistani prison 'where we'd be raped for the rest of our lives'.
His oldest child refers to his job as 'Crapghanistan' because his deployment means he misses birthdays, Christmasses and other important holidays.
Under fire: New film Zero Dark Thirty, starring Jessica Chastain in the lead role (pictured), has been widely criticized for suggesting that torture played a major part in the hunt for Osama bin Laden
Last month, it was revealed that gruesome images of Bin Laden's body could be made public if a court rules in favor of their release.
The autopsy and burial photos of the former al-Qaeda leader have been classified since he was shot dead during the dramatic May 2011 raid on his compound in Abbottabad in Pakistan.
A lower court has already upheld the government's argument that the photos should remain secret in the interest of national security, according to Westwingreports.com.
But a federal appeals court is now considering whether the 52 pictures should be released following a lawsuit filed by the conservative-leaning legal watchdog, Judicial Watch.
The group says it is not seeking any information about equipment or techniques used in the raid.
President Barack Obama said the photos' release could provoke violence against US citizens.
During an appearance on the '60 Minutes' show on CBS he said it was important to ensure that 'very graphic photos of somebody who was shot in the head are not floating around as an incitement to additional violence or as a propaganda tool.'
After bin Laden was killed the Obama administration said his body was buried at sea off the USS Carl Vinson - in accordance with Islamic tradition.
President Obama himself said in the White House Situation Room watching events unfold, 'We got him.'
Before the U.S Navy SEALS left the compound they destroyed one of the two top secret stealth helicopters that had delivered them to the house after it encountered difficulties on landing and therefore could not take off again.
Intelligence recovered from the home made public in the aftermath of his death showed Osama bin Laden wrapped up from the cold watching news coverage of himself.
And it was later reported from Pakistan that one of bin Laden's wives told the Pakistani authorities that they had lived there for five years without detection.
In February 2012, Pakistani security agencies demolished the building to stop it becoming a shrine to the deceased al-Qaeda supremo.
Following an outcry from lawmakers over the portrayal of torture in a new thriller called Zero Dark Thirty and its role in the hunt for Osama bin Laden, a Senate panel has launched an investigation to determine whether CIA officials intentionally misled the filmmakers.
The Senate Intelligence Committee will examine records detailing meetings and conversations between intelligence officials, director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal.
The goal of the probe is to determine whether the agency gave the filmmakers 'inappropriate' access to classified material, and whether CIA personnel fed Bigelow and Boal false information to convince them that harsh interrogation techniques were effective in producing information that led to Bin Laden.
Since the film hit the big screen in limited release last month, it has drawn high praise and sharp criticism in equal measure, the latter mainly for suggesting that waterboarding and similar techniques were important, if not key, to finding bin Laden.
VIDEO Zero Dark Thirty tells the story of how the CIA tracked down Bin Laden
Source : https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2276972/Navy-SEAL-describes-moment-shot-Osama-bin-Laden-3-times-head.html2886