Navy Seal gives interview on Bin Laden book No Easy Day

Copies of a book by former Navy SEAL titled "No Easy Day" are seen on display at a bookstore in Washington, DC The book has shot to the top of US bestseller lists

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The first interview has been aired with a former US special forces member who wrote a first-hand account of the May 2011 raid that killed Osama Bin Laden.

The Navy Seal, who uses the pseudonym Mark Owen, was interviewed by the US television network CBS.

Mr Owen repeated his claim that Bin Laden was shot as soon as he looked out of his bedroom, contrary to the official version of events.

The Pentagon has said it may sue Mr Owen for divulging military secrets.

In the interview, Mr Owen - who has been identified by US media as Matt Bissonnette - defended what he said was the manner of Bin Laden's death.

"If a guy sticks his head around the corner he very easily could have a gun," he told CBS' 60 Minutes programme.

"You don't wait to get that AK or the grenade thrown down the hall or the suicide vest," he added.

He said that Bin Laden was still moving after the first shot and was shot again when the Seals entered the room.

"[The Seals] couldn't see his hands. So, he could've had something. Could've had a hand grenade or something underneath his chest," Mr Owen said.

The compound in Abbottabad in north-west Pakistan where Bin Laden was shot dead Mr Owen's book contradicts the official version of Bin Laden's death at a compound in north-west Pakistan

US officials had stated he was shot only after he had ducked back into the bedroom, prompting fears he might be grabbing a weapon.

'Improper disclosure'

Mr Owen told of a later meeting with President Obama at which the Navy Seals refused to tell him which of them had shot Bin Laden.

"Pulling a trigger is easy.... It's not about who that one person was, it's about the team... that teed this whole thing up," Mr Owen said.

"Who cares who the one person is. Doesn't matter," he added.

The book was not reviewed ahead of publication by the Pentagon, CIA or the White House - and officials had warned that criminal charges could result from the improper disclosure of secret information.

The Pentagon's general counsel, Jeh Johnson, has written to the author to inform him that "in the judgment of the Department of Defense, you are in material breach and violation of the non-disclosure agreements you signed."

The Pentagon is considering "all remedies legally available to us", the letter added.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 306.

    Despite being evil and responsible for thousands of deaths, I'm not sure Bin Laden should have been murdered - in my opinion it makes the US government sink to his level, whereas if they'd kept him alive they could have given him a trial, locked him up for the rest of his miserable life and devulged more intelligence to aid the war on terror. Something he would never have done himself

  • rate this

    Comment number 265.

    The US Govt doesn't want to seem like arbitrary executioners so they claim that Bin Laden was shot resisting.

    Whereas anyone with half a brain can tell that he was never going to leave that compound alive.

    Look at the problems & bad publicity the US had detaining suspects at Guantanamo & bringing them to trial, Bin Laqden would have been a thousand times worse - easier just to kill him.

  • rate this

    Comment number 264.

    The official version actually demeaned the American special forces. Nobody believed that they could not stop an old man from hobbling towards a gun without shooting him. However, if he had been captured, how many hostages of many countries would have been taken and executed on TV to get him released? While he breathed, whether in prison or free, he was a danger to humanity.

  • rate this

    Comment number 226.

    Seriously who cares a man who encouraged violence and terrorism all over the World got his. Instead of bleating about it the Americans should be applauding it. When Thatcher was accused of operating a shoot to kill policy, instead of denying she should have said yes we are so what. That is what stops people the certain knowledge that no matter where they are they will be got.

  • rate this

    Comment number 219.

    A wide range of public and private organisations ask their staff to sign confidentiality agreements or the Official Secrets Act or its equivalent before they undertake certain duties. If they have a problem they do not sign and do not undertake the work. Having signed they should shut up and refuse the financial offers made by that bastion of ethical behaviour the media industry to tell tales.


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