By Barbara Starr CNN Pentagon Correspondent
The head of U.S. special operations has contacted members of the covert Navy SEAL team that killed Osama bin Laden to reconfirm some details of the al Qaeda leader's last moments conveyed in a new book, and military officials have concluded the author's account was not accurate, CNN has learned.
Adm. William McRaven took the extraordinary action more than a year after the May 2011 raid in Pakistan in response to "No Easy Day," authored by former SEAL Matt Bissonnette, who tells about his participation in the operation.
In a dramatic passage, Bissonnette said that bin Laden was on the floor when he and other SEALs entered his room in the safe house in Abbottabad, having been shot by another SEAL when he had peeked his head into the hall as the team approached.
Bin Laden's body lay at the foot of the bed, twitching and convulsing, the book said, adding that the SEALs, including the author, shot him again until he was motionless.
That account differs from what U.S. officials have said publicly since the raid.
McRaven, the head of U.S. Special Operations Command, went back to the team - including the lead SEAL, or "point man" - in recent days to make sure Bissonnette did not have any information they did not know about.
Navy SEALs: A battle for the conscience
Senior Pentagon officials, who declined to speak for attribution because of the sensitivity of the matter, told CNN they have now concluded Bissonnette was wrong.
Bin Laden, they said, was standing in the room when the SEALs entered and they shot him, believing he posed a direct threat, given there were weapons in the room.
Although bin Laden was unarmed, the SEALs had encountered hostile fire in the house before entering his room and he showed no signs of surrendering.
The officials CNN spoke with said it was possible Bissonnette, who was a few seconds behind the lead SEAL, never saw bin Laden standing.
It is not clear from accounts already made public if the initial shots fired by the lead SEAL - when bin Laden looked out of the room - actually hit him. One Navy official told CNN the belief is those shots missed.
Another passage causing concern in the Pentagon has been the fate of the only U.S. soldier from the war in Afghanistan currently held captive.
The parents of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl were briefed on Thursday by the military about the book's contents because it contains several pages in which the author says he was on a secret mission to rescue their son.
US Army Col. Timothy Marsano, the military liaison to the family, confirmed to CNN that the Bergdahls know about the passages and are declining to comment publicly.
The book has triggered a firestorm of controversy over the author's decision to detail the bin Laden raid. Pentagon officials are also concerned that any discussion of Bergdahl, who was captured in 2009, could put him at risk.
Military officials have privately said for some time that they believe he is being held in Pakistan by members of the Haqqani network, but have not discussed details because he is still a captive.
"We are still searching for Bowe Bergdahl and any public discussion of our ongoing efforts is not helpful," one senior U.S. official said.
This official, who also spoke on the condition of not being identified, and others said the concern is insurgents might learn any detail from the book about hostage rescue techniques.
Several military officials have told CNN there was never sufficient intelligence about Bergdahl's location to mount a full rescue attempt although they conducted many searches inside Afghanistan.
But Bissonnette said there was a tip Bergdahl might be in a compound south of Kabul about a month after Bergdahl was captured and a mission ensued.
After a firefight, Bissonnette says "there was no sign of Bergdahl, but we figured he had to be somewhere nearby. There were too many fighters here, and they were well armed."
Pentagon: SEAL's book has classified info, didn't follow protocol
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Being a Vet I can tell you first hand that the military will tell you exactly what the want to tell you.People will be truly amazed at what really goes on.I served on the U.S.S.Independence from 72 to 79 on the flight deck.Live ordinance was fully loaded on all aircraft.We were the only ones that knew that Sorties were being carried out in 78 when the so called police action was deemed over.Believe what you will,but I know what really goes on.
Washington's just worried about reprisal if they admit this was 100% a kill mission – they have to maintain the "HE'S COMING RIGHT FOR US!" Uncle Jimbo BS. anyone w/three working brain cells knows he could have dropped to his knees, put his palms face up on his head w/fingers interlaced & started running off the names & locations of all know acquaintances & they'd still would have killed him (which is exactly what they should have done)
You mean this guy didn't fly in without the aid of a helicopter, seduce Bin Laden's wives, and then best him in a one-handed scimitar duel? Damn! And I thought America had a new super-hero.
Is it not that there exists a government within the government in the United Sates? That secret government must be asked as to who carried out the attacks.
– Osama bin Laden, September 28, 2001
The military and its members have a history of being mentally challenged liars. So I wouldn't trust either party on this one.
After an investigation by McRaven himself interviewing the SEALS on the team, the conclusion was that Matt Bissonnette came after the lead SEALS and was not even there when the actual killing occurred. I am real skeptical of someone who publishes anonymously "factual" accounts of highly charged incidents, especially timely ones that coincide with political events like an election of a president. This book was published to get the max out of people's interests not to set any record straight.
There are a whole lot of accusations about the government lying and Obama using the event for political gain. Well, he was the man who reactivated the unit closed down by Bush in 2006 whose mandate was to track and kill UBL. Without that reactivation, UBL would not be sleeping with the fish.
Credit to the SEAL teams for what they did. But credit also to other teams that are not SEALS who have done the very same thing perhaps hundreds of times and do not get credit for what they did in killing lesser targets.
I think time will tell Matt Bissonnette to be just one of the gadflies in the SEAL program.
This guy wrote this book because he wanted to expose the people who used this mission to promote thier politics. He wascertain that they would not prosecute him because he knew they couldn't risk the truth coming out from the rest of the active duty seals that were there.
Now this Admiral has to make this statement a week later. It's all lies so no need to prosecute him. Brilliant.
Look for this Admiral to quietly resign in the next year. I'm sure he has lost the respect of the men he commands.
I took the time to read the book. There is no mention of an intention to expose anybody to promote their politics. Yes, he did not like how it became a political issue but later he even admits that politics is a necessary part of what SpecOps does. He makes no mention of Obama reactivating the Able Danger program that was killed in 2006 under Bush. Clearly, the guy does not follow the overall strategy. He is a tactical soldier. As with Vietnam, very few soldiers knew the Ops Plans (34 and 35) that activated the Phoenix program until they got out of the war and read the history.
And McRaven will be around SpecOps and the Pentagon a long, long time unless he chooses to retire which he may well do anyway having 4 stars. If he does, it won't be his actions in this incident that will cause him to do so. He will have his head held high.
30+ years in Navy, now retired, that's me. UCMJ requires active duty to salute and obey. Once retired, the TRUTH can come out, as it did with a lot of Vietnam information (and other military ops over the years). I believe this Navy SEAL because he was there on site. The WH, Pentagon, and so forth, are all tentacles of this government of ours and are therefore, suspect of covering up the truth in my view. I'll take the word of this operator WHO WAS THERE. Adm McRaven HAS TO OBEY ORDERS, as he is still active duty, so he must salute and obey. This WH has got a full force psy-war operation going to discredit this Navy SEAL and by association, the other Navy SEALs who have come out against Obama. The objective is clear: Cover Obama so he can be reelected. Open your eyes America. The Democrats rejected even the mention of GOD three times in their party platform at their convention and Debbie Whatshername Shultz, the pathological lying propogandist, denies it. Open your eyes, America! This WH is full of pathological LIARS!
And which WH hasn't been full of pathological liars?
I couldn't care less where Bin Laden was or was not standing. What we really wanted was him dead with a bullet between his eyes. Mission accomplished and well done.
I'm really tired of all these crazy statements from government officials referencing guns being nearby, his making a move towards an alleged gun, etc. etc. WHO CARES?? As if we need to justify shooting a guy like Bin Laden...PUH-LEEZE...
Governments rarely tell the truth. This is true for our government as well as every other government throughout history.
Who is more credible? The snake-eaters that were there and did the deed, or the bureaucrats that take credit for everything and twist the message to suit their personal agendas?
How about neither?
More lies from the puppets of our government. Military "leaders" are war criminals.
sorry i diverted to PaxH's thought and forgot my own:
I still argue with friends who were also there about Tay Ninh being overrun... how and why and who and what... all of us saw something different and tell a different story. We all met our responsibilities in the after action reports we filed. Who knows what story would be told from our after action reports, the morning reports, the citations from medals given, or the memories of other participants? Or for what purpose the story would be told? Or what responsibility the teller might have?
Strange, wasn't it, that the paid advertisement was run only once. We saw only unpaid re-runs by so-called "news reports". Oh yeah, election season!
...sad, follow the money lies the truth. certainly not about anything else..
say there PaxH...
Obama didn't produce or approve that ad which i bet you didn't ever see on tv because it wasn't shown but once in one state on one channel...which is not relevant anyway because the ad is both factual and accurate. YOU made the assumption that resulted in the "felon" label; you inferred that Romney did the killing. The fact is that Bain is the type of business that makes money from actions that sometimes cause results as shown by the ad.
I was in the army during Vietnam; I killed people; I accept the responsibility for my actions which resulted from my joining the army.
Romney has failed to accept any responsibility for any of his actions.
Of course the government/military is going to claim inaccuracy... does this really surprise anyone? Regardless of which way you look at it, it isn't what the government reported and/or released to the world shortly after it took place.
Can we PLEASE get back to discussing things that are truly important?
Does anybody else realize that it has now been more than two weeks since Randy Travis was arrested for being drunk and naked in public?
Follow the money and you will find a predator......Matt Bissonnette. I cannot trust Bissonnette's story because Bissonnette lied to his oath of loyalty and confidentiality to his brother Seals, to the military, to the US Government and to the People of the United States. He did not keep his oath, he cannot then be trusted to tell the truth. My side is with the Navy and the outstanding work of the US Seals. In keeping with the laws of terrorist, I understand why they shot Bin Laden – he was at that moment too dangerous to keep alive. He could have blown all sky high. Or thinking no one would kill him, had some kind of a back up domino terror act to happen if he were captured. Bottom line, President Obama did what Bush could not do, kill Ben Laden. Thank you President Obama. I lost relatives at the Pentagon on 911. Rear Admiral Flagg, may you rest now in peace.
Is this the same military that lied and disputed that the U.S. has spy drones flying in Iran? First they deny, than say...no way could they shoot it down, than say...it crashed by accident...than say well if it is ours, they can't reverse engineer it. Iran is being accused of making nuclear weapons but cant reverse engineer an RC plane? LOL
...he said v. he said
I lean towards the Navy.
Lets say you are the White House and you catch, but don't kill Bin Laden. Let's say you precede to tell the world he is dead and that his body has been "buried at sea". Let's say the whole story is a little ridiculous and conspiracy theorists start to assert the whole story is ridiculous. Lets say you arrange for one of the Seals to retire and write a book that MOSTLY confirms your ridiculous story, and then the government floats that the book contains some insubstantial inaccuracies and calling the Seal names in public and maybe even having a couple of mock trials where they pretend they are really upset with him. Meanwhile they torture and interrogate Osama in a New Jersey safe house every night with pliers and blowtorches and razorblades. In between sessions they show him video of how the whole world thinks he is dead and tell him how he is gonna be here a while.
Earlier this year, Lt. Col. Danny Daniels released a report detailing how the American generals, are lying to congress and the American public about the hopeless situation in Afghanistan. The level of deception that the report reveals dwarfs this minor indiscretion. Search him, you will find the complete eighty four page report at the Rolling Stones web site.
Bin Laden did not have to be holding a weapon to be a threat. He was on record saying he would never be taken alive. Who knew if he was or was not wearing an explosive vest or had a bomb in the room or a trigger to blow the whole place for that mater. He brought this on himself. The comments that Bin Laden was an unarmed man are not realistic..
LOL.. Are you mentally challenged or what? Tell that to every cop or FBI agent that has arrested a terrorist suspect. Your full of bull excrement and is lying to yourself. Of course every arrest does have a certain amount of danger to it. But this was an unarmed old man. And this is also a very well trained group that assassinated him. There isn't a excuse for it like he was a threat. Thats just BS. They could handled him in any way they wanted. And they did handle Bin Laden in the way they were ordered. They weren't there to arrest him. They were there to assassinate an old man. The interesting thing is why. Why did USA put so much effort into silencing Bin Laden. The Taliban offered to try Bin Laden before 9/11 but US wasn't interested. The Taliben offered to try Bin Laden after 9/11 but US didn't want to supply any evidence. Then US started to bomb Afghanistan and the Taliban offered to give Bin Laden to a 3rd country in Europe for trial. But USA wasn't interested. To me that seems like there was a lot of effort put into making Bin Laden someone who didn't testify in a trial.
An "unarmed old man" that killed thousands of people. Get real dummy, he was a mass murderer who deserved to be executed, assassinated, or whatever other adjective for killing his stupid !@# you want to use.
You need to get real. He wasn't tried in a court so... And it doesn't matter if he killed a couple of thousands. The justice system is supposed to be the same for everyone. There isn't supposed to be a exclusion for some suspects. That would lead to a society that kills people and citizens with out trial.. You know. Like USA does. Whats the point of using a justice system if your gonna make random exclusions just because you think they are worse then some other shiite heads? I think its you and you fellow id0tos that needs to take a break and think about what your destroying here. Your taking away the right of people to have a fair trial. And the only way to measure the fairness is to see what a country does to the worst of its offenders. In this case Bin Laden. And then again i don't know if Bin Laden was guilty of what was claimed. I haven't seen any evidence in any trial of it. I don't take hearsay for granted as you do. I kinda believe in evidence presented in a court. If that something that sounds strange to you perhaps you should join Al-Queada or the Taliban. They probably have a place for people like you.
Dick Perry – 2 excellent comments! I couldn't agree more.
Osama bin Laden was an old man, was unarmed and our US Navy SEALS killed him! That is a fact. I salute the SEALS for doing what had to be done. It's just too bad they did not wipe out everybody in the house the way OBL's terrorists killed innocent men, women and children when they attacked the World Trade Center. I am not shedding any tears over the death of OBL, and neither is the vast majority of people on the planet.
@DickPerry – Such Noble thought...would you say the same for Hitler too? curious.
BTW US should stop fighting Saudi's war /civil war in Islamic nations, unless they come for Israel.
Also this SEAL is a crazy to say that his book is not politicaly motivated...Conduct unbecoming of US Military officers who hate this Commander In Cheif/President...for obvious reasons. Its strange no colored soldiers are showing this kind of dis-regard.
the manner of death really is insignificant to us, however if it is not classified it should be, and it sounds to me the way the military is reacting is that they do consider it classified. and this book may be an accurate account, which the intelligence community is pulling together to discredit. the reasons behind this is how bin laden died might be significant in other parts of the world, and inspire more hate, anti Americanism, which we don't need. They also want to take a stand, and say if you are going to write a book, we are going to, out you, come after you legally, and discredit you, do don't do it its not worth the money.
Meanwhile Bradley Manning is sitting in solitary confinement for releasing info. Oh, that's right, his info showed troops killing innocent civilians so obviously he deserves to rot while this guy gets hailed as a hero of free speech and government transparency.
Good ole, government denial in practice here. If we can't stop him because it's his freedom to release non damaging secrets then lets do what we do best and discredit him and his book. Plausible denial.
Eric – That's about right! Good post.
I think ill take the word from someone that was actually there, and not sitting at a makeshift desk 100 miles away.
Seriously, this guy should be arrested, and then book should be banned. Regarding the Government telling the truth in regard to our military secrets, they should not tell us anything. The media ONLY wants to know tom make money, so they can go to, CNN included. LOL.
Indeed, we the voters and tax payers should be kept completely in the dark about everything our government does. People like you dream of living in a polices state.
It's a dream that is slowly coming true.
Wow... banning books. There is a path to freedom...
There are at least 3 areas in the book that are highly classified...The actual Killing of Bin Laden was not one of them...I found the book intelligently written, but only from the standpoint that it was written to make a lot of money...Like a movie script...There is so much more to the life of a SEAL that is more interesting. Killing is the easy part.
Thats real american heroes. Killing an old unarmed man. LOL...
Sure, let's just forget all of the hell they had to go through to get to an "old man" in the middle of a foreign country, and get out again safely.
It was an ally.. Not a enemy. So whats heroic about it? If i trespass on my neighbors lawn i don't fear anything.
Yeah right – they had to "go through hell" to ILLEGALLY invade another country to commit murder. And all to give Obama something to run on for re-election in the absence of economy, jobs and leadership!!!!
Dick perry shut up. Trial is for the Citizens of the US. you sound like an UBL sympathizer please go join the Al Qaeda ranks, so one of our snipers can take a pop at you...
Looks like the American public needs to be educated about the concept of Pyhrric victory. OBL succeeded in his main objective of bankrupting the US, and nothing is going to undo that.
That was his stated goal from day one. To draw us into a protracted and expensive war, which he knew we would "win" militarily, while creating ten terrorists for each we kill with ten thousand dollar missiles.
I'm no Obama fan but HELLO, BUSH got us into that war! The bottom line is when this idiot entered the military he took an oath. When he became a SEAL he took another one. With each successive level of clearance he signed a piece of paper stating that he would keep any and all information to himself until otherwise TOLD, FOR THE REST OF HIS LIFE, under the penalty of life imprisonment and even the death penalty pending on the severity. Effectivley signing away that part of his "Freedom of Speech." He is a liar and on some level a traitor, he should be thrown in Leavenworth and left to ROT.
Glad this slimeball was killed where he cowered. "Wanted – Dead or Alive." I care a lot more about the 9-11 victims. Perhaps people should recall those who jumped off the towers to avoid burning to death. My only regret is that he didn't suffer more.
He died a slow, miserable death due to kidney failure.
THE WHITE HOUSE SPECIFICALLY PRESIDENT OBAMA LIED AFTER THE RAID TO MAKE IT MORE SENSATIONAL THAN IT WAS....THERE WERE NO FIRE FIGHTS AND ONLY ONE OR TWO HAD WEAPONS IN HAND...I BELIEVE A MAN WHO WAS THERE AND SAW IT FIRST HAND NOT A BUNCH OF GENERALS SITTING ON THEIR ASSES AT THE PENTAGON....WASHINGTON IS JUST EMBARASSED THAT THEY ARE CAUGHT IN THEIR USUAL LIES....
The Caps lock, it's on the left.
So you only believe the turncoat ex SEAL. That`s too bad because he disgraced his former comrades for money and political reasons. Don`t you find it odd that no other SEAL who was there has come forward to confirm what he said ?? I do.
LOL – "he disgraced his former comrades for money and political reasons" – That sounds like 99.9% of Washington DC, LOL
The story that came out right after the raid was complete fiction, and the White House later admitted it. They did so long before the book.
Maybe he's one of the very few Honest Seals?????
The authors lawyer is the same lawyer that defended Karl Rove in the Valerie Plame case, the outed CIA agent by Cheney for revenge against her dissented husband, then ambassador to the UN. That, along with several entirely, factually incorrect passages, show this man to be a fraud trying to cash in for retirement (and swift boat Obama). In the book, for example, the author makes claims about Obama's speech and the amount of credit he took (only giving the order, gave all credit to the armed forces) that are entirely false, and easily showed as such with a quick glance at YouTube. This, in conjunction with Karl Rove's lawyer, and the release date coinciding with the RNC, indicates this man to have been approached to create doubt about Obama for a great sum of money. Election season.
Sorry, I mean he was trying to portray Obama as taking all the credit and ignoring the SEALS, which is entirely false.
Like Obama labelling Romney as a FELON and falsely accusing him of killing an old lady seven YEARS after he left Bain? As you say – election season. If Obama can't stand the heat , he needs to stay out of the kitchen!
The "official" reports are rarely ever the truth or whole truth.
The military does not have a history of integrity to back up its statements. They have only themselves to blame.
Oh! well SAID that man!
What else is the gov gonna say? We got it wrong?
Hope they charge him with TREASON.
I don't get why everone is saying the person should be charged with treason?
He did not commit treason, (did he?)
Maybe he should be charged under the patriot act for releasing sensitive information, Unfortunatly the US government already released the information, (hey they provided info the hollywood, so a movie could be made). So technically, its not a secret anymore, sensitive, but not a secret.
BTW, the administration, not the military, has the final responsibility for classification and declassification of information. So the wacko assertions that the Obama administration illegally leaked anything is preposterous, AS THIS IS UNDER THE LEGAL PERVUE OF THE GOVERNMENT. However, it a dick move to score points the expense of service members.
This guys a fraud, just another way to bash our Commander in Chief. The slime ball wasnt even there!!!!
No Body = NOT Dead, LOL They say they 'disposed' of Bin Laden's Body so no shrine would be set up BUT it seems that with all the OIL MONEY the Bin Ladens have & how 'tight' they are with the Bush Family(George W got his first job with a 'sister company' funded by the Bin Ladens), makes me believe Osama & Obama are having a 'gay ol' time' at Camp David – Prove that Wrong LMAO
Your tin foil hat is a little tight and seems to be squeezing all the oxygen out of your brain.
Stick with the voices, including the laughing one below the belt.
The voice on your right says ramp up the paranoia. The one on the left is saying you will be a god soon, hang in their, you got what it takes to rule the world. The voices are going on strike if you start taking your meds again, don't fool with us.
Who cares the man is dead, we spent years and millons of dollars to bring him to justice. Who cares who and how he was killed! Now ask bin ladin was he better off a year ago. LOL
LOL – then why are we still in Afghanistan IF the only reason was to get 'No 1' on the Wanted List?????
Moving military in and out of a complicated country is not at the same speed at which an individual takes a dump. Like you are doing now.