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 199.

    Killing him was absolutely the right thing to do.

    Why bother trying to spin the story?

    Now it's given the 'we are no better than them' bunch a branch to grab at. Funny they don't seem so convinced that they'd actually leave here to go and live in the muslim world, though....

  • rate this

    Comment number 198.

    @195.Good Egg
    Who said anything about Washington? The only evidence you need is the fact that the Afghan war has been going on for over 10 years, but there has never been a shortage of heroin supply in the western world.

    In fact it’s increased.

    Conspiracy or no conspiracy, it’s the mathematics that doesn’t add up.

  • rate this

    Comment number 197.

    159 jackinthegreen, says, Many would see it as state sponsored-murder

    Methinks jackin.. you have mud in your eyes. Bin-laden was an active combatant making himself a big target the world over to any sleeping lion that wakes up pissed of with his terrorism. You`re post is not without it`s hidden anti-American sentiment. Many states would have loved having the privilege of dispatching.

  • rate this

    Comment number 196.

    Matters not how he died, the guy had forfeited his human rights long long ago. I admire the way yanks deal with such situations. We Brits faff around with human rights!!
    Britain must be the only country in the world where perpetrators of crime have more rights than victims.

  • rate this

    Comment number 195.

    @181 Rosetta
    The problem with what you are suggesting is that ISAF have destroyed a number of Afghan poppy fileds and that (as with Vietnam) any money made from D&N corruption within the military is unlikely to benefit actual decision makers in Washington. Most conspiracy theories don't hold water.

  • rate this

    Comment number 194.

    "Ex Tory Voter
    Because one version is murder with no attempt to arrest him, the other tries to imply self-defence."

    It's well known that several different witnesses to any event (especially violent ones) acting in good faith recall the sequence and nature of events very differently. In courts, this has to be compensated for (eg with forensic evidence).

  • rate this

    Comment number 193.

    Bissonette wants his 15 minutes - but surely being labelled as the guy that shot OBL means he becomes a target himself. He is also now out in the open as the guy that broke the contract he had with his Government to keep quiet and certainly is an embarrassment to the Seals.
    All in all this guy has bought his 15 minutes of fame at a heavy price all to help the ratings of some media organisation

  • rate this

    Comment number 192.

    I for one do not care or want to know who or how OBL was killed- just happy that this evil man was put away so efficiently and for once without any loss of innocent lives!
    They went after the Iraqi’s for 9-11, they went after the Afghans for 9-11, they went after BL for 9-11.
    All with no proof. And millions died.
    “without any loss of innocent lives!”
    Think again.

  • rate this

    Comment number 191.

    Bin Laden's dead?!

    The US keep secrets?!

    I'm stunned.

    Still, at least Bin Laden's dead.

  • rate this

    Comment number 190.

    //.David Traynier
    1 Hour ago
    It's another example of how far backwards political elites have slipped since World War II. At Nuremberg, we brought the Nazis to a fair trial. We demonstrated that we had principles and that we were better than them.//

    after we'd killed several million German civilians, mind.

  • rate this

    Comment number 189.

    I don't know if the US govt really insisted on Bin Laden being killed to prevent a trial which could give more credence to the conspiracy theorists, but by this murder and the absence of a trial, the theorists are winning the argument

  • rate this

    Comment number 188.

    I too feel uncomfortable that a president or prime minister can have somebody assassinated but had he been arrested, what would happen?

    1. Kidnaps and attacks would have increased demanding his release
    2. Where could we find an unbiased jury?
    3. Still useful intelligence release for trial.
    4. Burial site after execution would become a future focal point for jihadists.

    Much better this way.

  • rate this

    Comment number 187.

    What I really really can't understand is how he kept his white clothes so clean...I'm sure he didn't really live in a cave!

  • rate this

    Comment number 186.

    Armchair soldiers everywhere know that it is easy to carefully shoot to produce a minor non dangerous wound. Any Lawyer will tell you that every effort must be made to allow a dangerous and unpredictable murderer to surrender.. The civil liberties bunch all know that soldiers are excluded from the right to life, that right only applies to murderers..

  • rate this

    Comment number 185.

    I for one do not care or want to know who or how OBL was killed- just happy that this evil man was put away so efficiently and for once without any loss of innocent lives!

  • rate this

    Comment number 184.


    * rules of war

  • rate this

    Comment number 183.

    177.Ex Tory Voter
    "Personally I reckon Bin Laden was was dropped in it by his 'friends' as he had out-lived his usefulness and become an embarrassment."
    Are you saying you think "the lady (in this case the Govt of Pakistan) doth protest too much"?
    That would be a more viable conspiracy theory than most here.

  • rate this

    Comment number 182.

    So? It's been clear from the outset that the intention was to kill Bin Laden, not to bring him to trial. Job done - at least, if the corpse was correctly identified before it was dumped at sea.

    Breaching the rules of confidentiality is a separate matter, and one to be handled by the JAG corps. It doesn't matter whether his account is accurate, without clearance he ought not to have written it.

  • rate this

    Comment number 181.

    176.Good Egg
    If national security is the 'guise' what is the real goal? There isn't any oil in Afghan.
    Your right there. But about 70% of the world opium comes from Afghanistan making the US military is the biggest drug dealer in the world.

  • Comment number 180.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.


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