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article imageOsama’s killing: Contradictory statements on how exactly he died

By Eko Armunanto     Mar 28, 2013 in Politics
The question of who actually shot Osama bin Laden has turned into a deeper mystery after CNN revealed another statement explaining the assault differently, as there are now five contradictory versions of how Osama died.
The first two versions were coming from the White House itself. The confusion began the very next day after the execution and originated from the very top of command, the White House. In their first version of how events unfolded, Obama administration officials claimed that the terrorist leader had perished in a bloody firefight, and moreover as something of a coward, using one of his wives as a human shield. That account quickly changed in the light, it was said, of further debriefings of the commandos themselves. Bin Laden had not been armed at the moment he died, and the woman had rushed to protect him.
The third version came sixteen months later, September 2012, in “No Easy Day”, a book written by Mark Owen –– pseudonym soon revealed to be Matt Bissonnette, one of the three SEALs who made it to the top-floor bedroom at the compound where bin Laden was hiding. The first of the three, the so-called “Point Man”, had shot bin Laden, who lay fatally wounded on the floor. There Bissonnette finished him off.
The fourth was exposed by Esquire Magazine, entitled “The Man Who Killed Osama bin Laden”. It wasn’t Bissonnette, but a man referred to simply as “the Shooter”, said the author Phil Bronstein. He further explained how the so-called “Point Man” had missed, and that “the Shooter” was the SEAL who burst into bin Laden’s bedroom where he had a gun within reach, and killed him with two shots to the forehead. He then left the military – and unfortunately having not served the required 20 years, does not qualify either for a veteran’s pension or his health coverage.
The last one came from CNN's national security analyst Peter Bergen. He reported an account from a SEAL Team 6 member who said the Esquire story is complete nonsense. The dispute centers on allegations that the Esquire subject exaggerated his role in the raid and fabricated key elements of the story. Despite all the critics, Phil Bronstein was booked on CNN, Fox and many other TV networks after his story came out. SEAL Team 6 operators are now in "serious lockdown" when it comes to "talking to anybody" about the bin Laden raid and say they have been frustrated to see what they consider to be the inaccurate story in Esquire receive considerable play without a response.
Peter Bergen said “the Shooter” was kicked out of Red Squadron, the Team Six group that carried out the raid, for bragging about the mission in bars around Virginia Beach where the SEAL unit is based. However, Esquire is standing by its story, insisting that it is based on information from numerous sources, including members of SEAL Team Six and the Shooter himself, as well as detailed descriptions of mission debriefs.
Military Times said firing the fatal rounds into bin Laden’s head, before Osama could grab a weapon, raised some questions from other SEALs and special operations forces –– about its truthfulness. It seemed Bronstein’s story conflicted with that of another SEAL Team 6 member on that same mission — the SEAL known as “Mark Owen” who authored No Easy Day.
The only thing that seems clear, therefore, is that the three SEALs present at the climax of the Abbottabad operation were “the Point Man”, Bissonnette (aka Owen), and “the Shooter”. But which of them actually killed Osama bin Laden may never be known. The compound itself has been razed and, as always in such historical mysteries, the further from the actual event in question, the harder facts become to verify.
More about Osama bin Laden, navy seal, War on Terror
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