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SEAL book raises questions about bin Laden's death

By Kimberly Dozier
AP Intelligence Writer

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 10:02 a.m. HST, Aug 29, 2012


WASHINGTON » A firsthand account of the Navy SEAL raid that killed Osama bin Laden contradicts previous accounts by administration officials, raising questions as to whether the terror mastermind presented a clear threat when SEALs first fired upon him.

Bin Laden apparently was hit in the head when he looked out of his bedroom door into the top-floor hallway of his compound as SEALs rushed up a narrow stairwell in his direction, according to former Navy SEAL Matt Bissonnette, writing under the pseudonym Mark Owen in "No Easy Day." The book is to be published next week by Penguin Group (USA)'s Dutton imprint.

Bissonnette says he was directly behind a "point man" going up the stairs. "Less than five steps" from top of the stairs, he heard "suppressed" gunfire: "BOP. BOP." The point man had seen a "man peeking out of the door" on the right side of the hallway.

The author writes that bin Laden ducked back into his bedroom and the SEALs followed, only to find the terrorist crumpled on the floor in a pool of blood with a hole visible on the right side of his head and two women wailing over his body.

Bissonnette says the point man pulled the two women out of the way and shoved them into a corner. He and the other SEALs trained their guns' laser sights on bin Laden's still-twitching body, shooting him several times until he lay motionless. Only when they wiped the blood off his face, were they certain it was bin Laden.

The SEALs later found two weapons stored by the doorway, untouched, the author said.

In the account related by administration officials after the raid in Pakistan, the SEALs shot bin Laden only after he ducked back into the bedroom because they assumed he might be reaching for a weapon.

White House spokesman Tommy Vietor would not comment on the apparent contradiction late Tuesday. But he said in an email, "As President Obama said on the night that justice was brought to Osama bin Laden, 'We give thanks for the men who carried out this operation, for they exemplify the professionalism, patriotism and unparalleled courage of those who serve our country.'"

"No Easy Day" was due out Sept. 11, but Dutton announced the book would be available a week early, Sept. 4, because of a surge of orders due to advance publicity that drove the book to the top of the Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.com best-seller lists.

The Associated Press purchased a copy of the book Tuesday.

In another possibly uncomfortable revelation for U.S. officials who say bin Laden's body was treated with dignity before being given a full Muslim burial at sea, the author reveals that in the cramped helicopter flight out of the compound, one of the SEALs called "Walt" was sitting on bin Laden's chest as the body lay at the author's feet in the middle of the cabin.

The publisher says the author used pseudonyms for all the SEALs.

Bissonnette also writes disparagingly that none of the SEALs were fans of President Barack Obama and knew that his administration would take credit for ordering the May 2011 raid. One of the SEALs said after the mission that they had just gotten Obama re-elected by carrying out the raid.

But he says they respected him as commander in chief and for giving the operation the go-ahead.

Bissonnette writes less flatteringly of meeting Vice President Joe Biden along with Obama at the headquarters of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment after the raid. He says Biden told "lame jokes" no one understood, reminding him of "someone's drunken uncle at Christmas dinner."

Beyond such embarrassing observations, U.S. officials fear the book may include classified information, as it did not undergo the formal review required by the Pentagon for works published by former or current Defense Department employees.

Officials from the Pentagon and the CIA, which commanded the mission, are examining the manuscript for possible disclosure of classified information and could take legal action against the author.

In a statement provided to The Associated Press, the author says he did "not disclose confidential or sensitive information that would compromise national security in any way."

Bissonnette's real name was first revealed by Fox News and confirmed to The Associated Press.

Jihadists on al-Qaida websites have posted purported photos of the author, calling for his murder.







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atilter wrote:
nOThis article is a summary of "the subject book". As such, it is a personal interpretation of the written words used by the book's author, which may have different meanings to different readers. Another reader may not place the same value to the degree of thei "contradictions". I, for one, have not yet read the book. To me the most salient fact is that OBL is no longer alive and the seals are. thinge. lse is not important.
on August 29,2012 | 03:35AM
Highinthesierras wrote:
,,,and Biden is a joke.
on August 29,2012 | 05:15AM
akuman808 wrote:
NO the joike is; George W, Condolessa Rice, Dick Cheney, John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, John McCain, Lyndsey Graham, Joe Liberman........you get the idea.
on August 29,2012 | 06:17AM
hawaiikone wrote:
No we don't. Didn't read any comments about them, only about the clowns in office now. Maybe you should write your own book.
on August 29,2012 | 06:58AM
akuman808 wrote:
The clowns started 2 wars, couldn't find the WMD's or BL, spent trillions that was not funded is in the books under the historical and non-fictional sections of the book stores. VP Biden advocated counter terrorism strategies (for you lame that translates to drones) what has taken out the top echelon of al quaida.I suugest you let go of the tail you elephants like to hold onto otherwise you might get lost. lol
on August 29,2012 | 06:43PM
hawaiikone wrote:
If this is supposed to be the start of your book, suggest you try again. Unless of course it's going to be a fantasy, in which case your doing well.
on August 29,2012 | 07:40PM
soundofreason wrote:
Funny how this mission was started way before O'bama and he has no problem taking credit for it. The economy, however, is a different story. Convenient.
on August 29,2012 | 07:27AM
shshimizu wrote:
I remember watching the announcement from President Obama. He praised and gave credit mostly to the people that made it possible. He even mentioned GW and that it was years in the making. Obama gets credit for making the call to after Bin Laden even though most of his advisors was against it. He made this difficult call and the SEALS were successful, yes he deserves some credit. What if it failed? Who's responsibility is that? Of course it would be President Obama. So give President Obama the credit he deserved, it could have swung the other way. GW gave Obama credit why can't you. I guess GW is a bigger person than you and ones that only complain about our President.
on August 29,2012 | 08:46AM
hawaiikone wrote:
If you'd bothered to read my comment you'd have noticed it was in response akuman's referencing Bush and other former leaders. To my knowledge no comments in the book discussed them, whereas there were several references to Biben and Obama. Our current President is indeed a smooth orator, and many have been fooled by his rhetoric. However, actions speak far louder than words. Try and remember that when you vote.
on August 29,2012 | 09:35AM
shshimizu wrote:
Did not have to read your comment since I was responding to soundofreason and not your input.
on August 29,2012 | 05:34PM
akuman808 wrote:
Hahaha, you're a W fan and supporter. I correct my earlier post, you're the joke!!!
on August 29,2012 | 06:30PM
hawaiikone wrote:
Shshimzu, looked like me you were responding to, no problem. A-808, get a life.
on August 29,2012 | 07:55PM
allie wrote:
Obama was humble and accurate. He inherited a disastrous economy and two wars unpaid for and lost. He did what he could. America was in decline before he was elected.
on August 29,2012 | 10:30AM
HD36 wrote:
True he was dealt a bad hand but he threw away two aces and made it ten times worse.
on August 29,2012 | 04:37PM
soundofreason wrote:
"So give President Obama the credit he deserved, it could have swung the other way>>> None of O'bama's actions determined HOW it swung. He just gave the yes/no. I have a quarter in my pocket that can be used for like-kind decisions.
on August 29,2012 | 06:47PM
soundofreason wrote:
And a quarter wouldn't have coughed up the name of the doctor who REALLY made it happen.
on August 29,2012 | 06:50PM
allie wrote:
agreed
on August 29,2012 | 10:29AM
HD36 wrote:
Many think he was already dead from kidney problems a long time ago. They staged the killing and cremated the body to destroy evidence.
on August 29,2012 | 01:55PM
mitt_grund wrote:
Sure seems to indicate Bin Ladin committed suicide or tried to . I can see the soldier's frustration and ultimate act of putting the finishing shots in. This takes away from the belief there was a kill order in on Bin Ladin. But then again, he may have been hit in the initial shots on the staircase. Have the book on order. Want to read first hand and draw conclusions on the book and author after reading it. My buying it does mean he profits. Hopes he shares proceeds with a legitimate veterans organizaton.
on August 29,2012 | 03:35PM
st1d wrote:
the take away from this mission is how easily obama gave up the pakistani doctor that risked his life revealing obl's location. once obama secured his fame, he quickly abandoned the doctor to be arrested by pakistan.
on August 29,2012 | 03:49AM
frontman wrote:
The only question it raises is, Is obama a LIAR???
on August 29,2012 | 03:58AM
serious wrote:
Not really, but HE sure took credit for the whole thing. If HE were smart HE'd drop Biden as VP and run with Hillary.
on August 29,2012 | 04:10AM
st1d wrote:
1. "obama" and "liar" in the same sentence = redundant
2. depends on your definition of "is"
on August 29,2012 | 04:43AM
Highinthesierras wrote:
Perhaps, but certainly he used the word I a lot, and Joe is indeed a mess.
on August 29,2012 | 05:17AM
coachal808 wrote:
Classic_59Chevy If you are going to cite an article's passage....don't give half truths.........give your readers the WHOLE picture. "But he says they respected him as commander in chief and for giving the operation the go-ahead' ......Without the "I" am taking responsibility, for this action.....OBL would still be alive....how many US Administrations have had the opportunity to do the same? Too many, with way too many DEALS with OBL to allow him to terrorize the civilized world for way too long!
on August 29,2012 | 04:53AM
hawaiikone wrote:
Are you implying that any other president would have not allowed the mission to go ahead? Obama's permission, although necessary, was a given.
on August 29,2012 | 07:02AM
inverse wrote:
Actually what would have been BEST for the US is to capture Osama alive and "interrogate" him by non US interrogators for all information that he had regarding operatives, Al Qaeda, etc. There would be no trial, just a mention that Osama was in some prison OUTSIDE the US and whatever interrogation methods deemed appropriate would be used. At some point it would be mentioned that Osama expired "unexpectedly" in detainment and that would be the end of that. In the war on terror, the person that NEEDED to be taken alive and interrogated was Osama.
on August 29,2012 | 01:38PM
akuman808 wrote:
This navy seal is a disgrace to this elite fighting force. Imagine after 8 years of Bush who admitted ignoring Bin Laden and Afghanistan, this idiot bad mouths the President who refocused the "military" to seek and eliminate Bin Laden in which they did. To the true hero';s and navy seals loyal to the United States and commander in chief, Mahalo for your bravery and continued efforts to get all the bad guys.
on August 29,2012 | 05:27AM
mokebla wrote:
Who cares how it happened, the man is dead. Thank you Seal team, job well don't. For the nation and the media, case closed. Next!
on August 29,2012 | 05:43AM
haroldwah wrote:
Roger dat!!!
on August 29,2012 | 06:02AM
serious wrote:
haroldwah---you must have been "over there", like me and I also Roger That! Another was Sh-t Hot!!!
on August 29,2012 | 09:34AM
lokela wrote:
Yeah who cares about Laden. He took out 1000's of innocent lives. Way to go Seals...
on August 29,2012 | 05:52AM
Eradication wrote:
While I commend this SEAL Team member for his service to his country, as a veteran, I find it sad that he saw the need to write this book for a few moments of fame and money. As a result he put himself, friends and his family at risk. He is a marked man. He lost the trust of his fellow SEAL's. He will no longer be allowed to associate with AD SEAL Team members. I wish him well but I think he made a significant error in judgement.
on August 29,2012 | 06:26AM
markat wrote:
Agreed.
on August 29,2012 | 07:02AM
jomama wrote:
This book is treasonous and will cost American lives. He signed on to SEAL with certain terms and conditions, which he has not upheld.
on August 29,2012 | 08:05AM
Bdpapa wrote:
Yes, this more than any of us need to know!
on August 29,2012 | 11:47AM
soundofreason wrote:
With ya on that.
on August 29,2012 | 06:51PM
all_fed_up wrote:
Yup. Loose lips, sinks ships!
on August 29,2012 | 01:40PM
HawaiiMongoose wrote:
I also agree.
on August 29,2012 | 08:08AM
Pookie_Baby wrote:
Read the book "Lone Survivor", if you haven't already done so. May give you insight why "Mark Owen" is doing this.
on August 29,2012 | 07:28AM
shaftalley wrote:
it was cold -blooded murder that the seals shot bin laden several more times when he was already down from an apparent sel-inflected head wound. they wanted him dead,man!
on August 29,2012 | 07:35AM
mrluke wrote:
I'll send you the Chaplain's phone # so you can give him a call.
on August 29,2012 | 07:46AM
Kalaheo1 wrote:
I am perfectly okay with that.
on August 29,2012 | 09:26AM
Bdpapa wrote:
that was the mission.
on August 29,2012 | 11:48AM
bleedgreen wrote:
By writing this book, just someone making money.
on August 29,2012 | 07:40AM
cojef wrote:
Personally, believe in protocols, and permission from the CIA/Pentagon should have been obtained before turning over manuscript to publishers. The pot cannot call the kettle black if procedures are not followed, especially when one is trained and operate under strict discplinary rules and regulations. Am a veteran and always admired the service for its discpline. Duty and honor are part of this code.
on August 29,2012 | 07:49AM
smooshpappy wrote:
Real SEALs are heroes who serve their country in the most dangerous of circumstances. They aren't supposed to be writing tell alls and making a big pay day. Bissonnette betrays all SEALs by compromising the security of future missions, he should be arrested and prosecuted. Whatever your politics, OBL is dead. End of story.
on August 29,2012 | 08:06AM
allie wrote:
True..the clown who wrote this "book" was a Tea party member and hater. That gets so tiring.
on August 29,2012 | 10:31AM
hawaiikone wrote:
Do you read what you write?
on August 29,2012 | 11:19AM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
He was a Mazie supporter and pro-rail, too. I mean, come on let's conflate everything!
on August 29,2012 | 03:07PM
kainalu wrote:
Too funny. As if anyone really expects to get the "whole truth" out of the military. Come on, man.
on August 29,2012 | 08:26AM
false wrote:
they say the SEALs are America's elite, but apparently it doesn't apply to all of them. This guy lacks integrity and class. I guess there's no requirement that SEALs support whatever U.S. administration happens to be in power. As citizens they're free to vote for whomever they choose. But to serve on a mission like this, ordered by the President, and to then write "disparagingly" about Obama and Biden and how killing Bin Laden will get Obama reelected is a travesty. The nature of the job these guys do requires secrecy and keeping your mouth shut. Otherwise you start to sound more like hired killers than America's elite fighting force, which may in fact be true (and necessary given the realities of the world) but is not the way you want to be portrayed.
on August 29,2012 | 08:59AM
Anonymous wrote:
not sure how this raises questions. All this tells me if SEALS bust into my house, rather than sticking my head out the door, I'm f**kn stripping naked and raising my arms up
on August 29,2012 | 09:00AM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
Your wife told me she saw you naked and that technique will not help you survive. She mentioned the phrase "mercy killing."
on August 29,2012 | 09:09AM
soundofreason wrote:
LOL
on August 29,2012 | 06:52PM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
I'm more worried about our policy our killing people in other countries without regard for the sovereignty of the other nations. Fly in the drone, send in the clandestine team, whack a few guys and claim glory on the front pages of newspapers. That cannot be good long term.
on August 29,2012 | 09:12AM
allie wrote:
true..expect blowback one day.
on August 29,2012 | 10:32AM
Kalaheo1 wrote:
Did the Navy SEALs kill Osama bin Laden at the order of the Commander in Chief? Yes? Then all my questions have been answered.
on August 29,2012 | 10:49AM
daniwitz13 wrote:
Most of the comments here, 98%, are typical, 'my country right or wrong' type. Love and praise our Country, good or bad. This is why we are where we are today, in much decay and decadence. Right or wrong the US goes into Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Libya, and where ever it wants, whether that Country likes it or NOT. The US simply put a NAME to a group, thereby giving it a Right to kill them in their OWN Country, even while they sleep. With most here, this is NOT a wrong but good way to control population and a RIGHT. In this same Paper on a different page is a Polish Agent's story of them telling US CIA Agents that they could arrange for the Anti-Talibans to kill bin Laden for the 5 Mil. reward. (1999) The CIA Agent, rightfully, morally and Constitutionally told him, "we do not have a license to kill." and "any other solution is out of the question." This is when the US had the high ideals that our Country was built on and revered by the world. People still flock here believing that this exists still. These comments here belie their belief. Obama trashes our Constitution and the Super Patriots applaud. Pity.
on August 29,2012 | 11:27AM
saveparadise wrote:
Matt Bissonnette has prostituted himself by selling this story for money. You will never sleep safe at night again because the enemy now knows who you are. Hope the minutes of fame and fortune are worth your peace of mind.
on August 29,2012 | 02:54PM
monkseal2 wrote:
This guy is a traitor and has put him and his family in danger. Remember when the Dixie Chicks made their comment about W and the backlash they faced? What they said was nothing compared to writing a book dissing the Commander in Chief. This is worse. What hippocrites Republicans, Red Staters are! Get enlightened. No wonder our country is going down the tubes.
on August 29,2012 | 04:16PM
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