February 11th, 2013
06:45 PM ET

'Nightmare' at home for SEAL who shot Osama bin Laden

By Jamie Gumbrecht

He's the man who rolled into a bedroom in Abbottabad, Pakistan, raised his gun and shot Osama bin Laden three times in the forehead.

Nearly two years later, the SEAL Team Six member is a secret celebrity with nothing to show for the deed; no job, no pension, no recognition outside a small circle of colleagues.

Journalist Phil Bronstein profiled the man in the March issue of Esquire, calling him only the Shooter - a husband, father and SEAL Team Six member who happened to pull the trigger on the notorious terrorist. It's a detailed account of how the raid unfolded, and what comes after for those involved. The headline splashed across the cover reads, "The man who killed Osama bin Laden ... is screwed."

"They spent, in the case of the shooter, 16 years doing exactly what they're trained to do, which is going out on these missions, deployment after deployment, killing people on a regular basis, " said Bronstein, executive chairman of the Center for Investigative Reporting. "They finally get to the point where they don't want to do that anymore."

Bronstein reported that the man left SEAL Team Six in September. His family's health care coverage ceased. Because he left before the 20-year mark, he gets no pension.

The Shooter is judicious about the details of his story and hasn't been involved in dramatic books, movies or video games that will make millions for some. It's out of loyalty to his work and concern about his family's safety. He worries what could happen if his name went public, like Matt Bissonette, the SEAL whose identity was revealed after he published the book "No Easy Day" using a pseudonym.

Bronstein reported that the Shooter was offered some witness protection, but no such program exists yet.

Home life is a struggle, too. The Shooter and his wife are separated, Bronstein wrote, although they live in the same house - "on very friendly, even loving terms" - to save money. He has done consulting work, Bronstein told CNN's Wolf Blitzer in an interview to be broadcast Monday afternoon, but it's not clear how long it will last.

"They suddenly find themselves trying to translate into a civilian world that they're not used, and they haven't been used to for decades," Bronstein said. "I think he has nightmares about how he's going to support his family, and how he's going to feed his family."

In a statement the Navy responded: "We have no information to corroborate these new assertions. We take seriously the safety and security of our people, as well as our responsibility to assist sailors making a transition to civilian life. Without more information about this particular case, it would be difficult to determine the degree to which our transition programs succeeded."

soundoff (85 Responses)
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    November 28, 2013 at 3:37 am | Reply
  4. David

    Bruce Willis killed Bin Laden. He said so in Planet Terror...

    March 8, 2013 at 7:43 pm | Reply
  5. joyous

    I pray and believe the government won't let him down like that no matter what.....he needs better life....they can waste money on funny vacations and let him suffer? Biiiiiiig shame

    March 8, 2013 at 1:36 pm | Reply
  6. Farrok

    The Military Industrial Complex and this man typifies it’s waste product that falls into the trash bin at the end of the process, burned out, trashed out and freaked out.

    February 23, 2013 at 10:04 am | Reply
  7. Pete

    "...rolled into a bedroom...", "They spent, in the case of the shooter, 16 years doing exactly what they're trained to do...", "...killing people on a regular basis, ". And then "Home life is a struggle, too. The Shooter and his wife are separated, Bronstein wrote, although they live in the same house – "on very friendly, even loving terms" – to save money.".
    1. Rolled into a bedroom? Is he a robot on wheels?
    2. It takes 16 years to train a SEAL?
    3. Killing people on a regular basis? When will we see him on TV in a police chase?
    4. Well, the last one I leave to your imagination.
    Hey, this is the US! Killers, nuts, unballanced individuals, etc.!

    February 19, 2013 at 11:06 pm | Reply
  8. Yusuf Zahid Kazmi

    There is no bravery in violating the peace, tranquality, harmony and sleep of 180 million law abiding Pakistanis living in the sovereign, independent nation of Pakistan. This is not a honorable thing to do. Do Americans sneak into their friends bedroom in the middle of the night while their friends and relatives are sleeping and sneak into their friends and relatives daughter's bed for some fun while her parents are asleep ? Is that your culture? Then why did you sneak into Pakistan in the middle of the night ?
    Answer me now why ?
    America has violated friendship and put dirt on our great Army and our mutual "relationship" and pushed Pak into the strong arms of none other than its enemy – The Real Super Power China . Yes China will treat Pakistan with respect and honor like she deserves.
    Because there is only one Pakistan the beautiful on earth, and she deserve a better suitor.

    February 16, 2013 at 7:38 am | Reply
    • Jake

      Hello? Because Pakistan harbored the world's most wanted man for years and lied to the USA about it? If Pakistan wanted to be friends with the US, Pakistan would have handed us Osama on a silver platter. Pakistan has been using the US for aid and military partnership for years. Time to wake up and look at the whole picture, not just your smoke-screened half-sided view of the world.

      February 16, 2013 at 7:42 pm | Reply
      • The Kid

        Thank You Jake luv it...they can't handle the truth...but they will spin it 2 fit their needs.... Again Thank You Jake !!!

        February 16, 2013 at 9:14 pm |
    • The Kid

      Last person he saw was A USA American Shooting him between the eyes....hahahaha we laugh at ur tears

      February 16, 2013 at 9:12 pm | Reply
    • CharlieSeattle


      Pakistan is understandably upset because they have been exposed as harboring and supporting international terrorism.

      March 2, 2013 at 12:45 pm | Reply
    • A Woitt

      You just dont know China do you Maybe they will help you like they helped the Sudan people

      April 6, 2013 at 12:37 pm | Reply
  9. subee

    It is a darn shame that these men go out and do what they are taught and trained to do and get treated like this.
    Yet the big shot in D.C get their full salary and medical, and all they do is sit up there and make a mess mof things.
    Not right....

    February 13, 2013 at 11:17 pm | Reply
    • Josh Carlson

      Get treated like what? He left the military of his own choice. I can't imagine doing that only four years short of retirement pension, but nowhere does it say he was forced out. I don't see how he was treated badly....he seems to be more a victim of his own career choices. Also it was his choice not to cash in with a book deal like Bissonette and Marcus Luttrell and others have done. I feel bad for a guy at the pinnacle of his profession who has come to a bad situation, but I can't see how it's due to anything but his own choices.

      March 3, 2013 at 12:04 pm | Reply
  10. Bangash

    It is absolutely wrong to call OBL hero of muslims or Pakistanis. Since begining we in Pakistan were suspecious of him being the agent of CIA on a mission to realise US dreams of occupation of Afghanistan to get strategic leverage in global politics. However constantly increasing resistance made them change the plan i.e putting an end to Osama charactor in the drama to find an excuse to get out of Afghan quagmire. Whole world knew how Osama faught American war against USSR and how he managed helping Americans in occupation of Afghanistan.
    So it is a time to realise that in new millinium it is difficult to fool others except American public to deprive them of their hard earned money by the Corporatocracy.

    February 13, 2013 at 11:31 am | Reply
  11. JamThong

    Who CARES who he died or who shot him. It's immaterial.

    February 12, 2013 at 5:22 pm | Reply
    • Paul

      @JamThong - Please watch out. Your comment may be offensive to a lot of Muslims. While he may be immaterial to you, Muslims viewed Bin Laden as somebody as good as Mohammed. He was a national hero in Pakistan and in the Muslim world - Muslims called him the Great Emir.

      February 12, 2013 at 6:25 pm | Reply
      • Jamie

        I do not think this is the case for all or even most Muslims. I think many Muslims saw Bin Laden the way the west sees Bin Laden. I'm quite certain your average Muslim would not applaud him for the thousands of lives he is responsible for ending. There is an argument to be made against America's foreign policy regarding Muslim nations, but I do not believe it starts with Bin Laden.

        February 12, 2013 at 7:05 pm |
      • Paul

        @Jamie – There was a $25 million bounty on Bin Laden's head. However, Bin Laden was surrounded and supported Muslims for almost a decade. No Muslim turned him in because he was the a revered symbol of Islam. Osama, the Great Emir, was spiritually worth much more to Muslims than those earthly $25 million bucks.

        February 12, 2013 at 7:16 pm |
      • Don

        There is no shortage of Muslims who support UBL. Hundreds of thousands of Muslims in the Pakistani military were protecting UBL. President Obama was ready to "rain hell' on Pakistani military during bin Laden raid according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

        February 12, 2013 at 8:38 pm |
      • Michael

        You're an idiot. Along with Mohamed and all the othe rMuslims

        February 19, 2013 at 9:39 am |
  12. Julia

    Reblogged this on Julia Clark and commented:
    The economic draft in America is taking too much toll on our populations. It is time to stop the for profit wars.

    February 12, 2013 at 2:23 pm | Reply
    • Patrick

      Thank you, Julia. How right you are!

      February 12, 2013 at 3:59 pm | Reply
    • Wes

      This article is about a hero who took big risks, went into enemy territory, put his life on the line, and eliminated a terrorist threat to mankind. A hero like that deserves better in return from society.

      February 12, 2013 at 4:54 pm | Reply
      • Julia

        Exactly, Wes, This war economy is ruining our people. Jobs for war and war for jobs to support a military trade is not worth the sacrifices.

        February 12, 2013 at 8:31 pm |
      • Don

        @Julia – Putting that Islamic terrorist, mass murderer and polygamist out of his miserable existence was worth every penny and then some.

        February 12, 2013 at 8:41 pm |
  13. l2aynard

    BullSheet this is propaganda the Governemt is spreading there's no farging way a man with a 25 million dollar price on his head being caught up with and the team is not taken care of.

    February 12, 2013 at 12:27 pm | Reply
  14. easyrhino

    The guy who had outwitted the National Security Agency, the CIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the FBI, all 16 US intelligence agencies, all intelligence agencies of Washington’s NATO states, Israel’s Mossad, the National Security Council, NORAD, US air traffic control, and airport security four times on the same morning and he's simply shot then buried at sea with no witnesses, the most valuable foreign intelligence asset on planet earth?

    Who wants to buy a bridge?

    February 12, 2013 at 12:25 pm | Reply
    • l2aynard

      Right and my sis in AZ has plenty of ocean front property for you as well. If it even happened those Seals are set for life.

      February 12, 2013 at 12:29 pm | Reply
      • Mohammed

        Sure. Finding ocean front property in AZ is like finding decency in a Muslim country.

        February 12, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
    • Mohammed

      @easyrhino: A woman CIA analyst found your favorite guy. A Navy Seal shot him. Fish ate him. And you go ahead and mourn him.

      February 12, 2013 at 1:19 pm | Reply
    • Phil

      I agree that OBL was a very important figure in the Muslim world. Shooting him like that was a total humiliation to them. But then everyone ridiculed OBL and his family - Pakistanis expelled all his wives too after OBL was shot dead and stopped making monthly payments to Pakistanis. That was such a public humiliation to a dead Muslim hero.

      February 12, 2013 at 1:25 pm | Reply
    • Star-Spangled Bullsh!t

      easy – I agree with Paul Craig Roberts, as well.

      February 12, 2013 at 2:12 pm | Reply
  15. George Patton-2

    Contrary to American public opinion, there is absolutely no glory in killing people, none at all. If I were this man, I'd be ashamed of what I did rather than take pride in it. However, since he believed in his mission as he thought that he was serving his country, he should get his pension. To this day, we still don't know whether it was the actual Ussama bin Laden who was murdered that day or an impostor.

    February 12, 2013 at 10:36 am | Reply
    • Mohammed

      @ George: Yes, we do know exactly what happened and how it happened. UBL's youngest,14 year old wife, Malala, wanted to divorce him. But UBL did not want a divorce because like liked gratification. So, Malala shot UBL to get out of the unholy marriage. Then, Pakistanis shot Malala on her way to school because she killed their Pakistani national hero. That's exactly how UBL died.

      February 12, 2013 at 1:13 pm | Reply
      • David

        OBL died at Tora Bora

        February 12, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
      • Mohammed

        @David or George – Not possible. Malala was too young at the time of Tora Bora encounter.

        February 12, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
    • George Patton

      #2, you know damn well, we don't kill Islamic terrorists for glory, stop working for al Qaeda, phunnie boy.

      February 12, 2013 at 4:49 pm | Reply
  16. Nick

    It takes real guts to go in the middle of the night right into enemy's military encampment and take out a high value target like that world famous terrorist. This seal deserves to be treated like a hero.

    February 12, 2013 at 10:34 am | Reply
    • Reverend Freddie Feltch

      Feel free to suck his "*sniff*....*whimper*....I-can't-find-a-job" d!ck anytime.

      February 12, 2013 at 2:14 pm | Reply
    • Rotting Ronnie Reagan

      A 'hero"? Like a sandwich? He deserves to be eaten? Fine by me.

      February 12, 2013 at 3:38 pm | Reply
    • Patrick

      Really, Nick? Somehow I don't think so! You don't become a "hero" by shooting down a 56 year old, unarmed man with nephritis who stood no chance against 4 or 5 heavily armed members of the Seal Team, never!

      February 12, 2013 at 3:57 pm | Reply
      • Paul

        Not only it takes real guts, it takes real skills too to go into a different country, into their military compound, take out the terrorist and come out a winner. The heroes were kind enough not to kill the polygamist terrorist's numerous wives. Now compare these heroes to the Muslim terrorists who indiscriminately killed innocent women and children on 9/11.

        February 12, 2013 at 6:34 pm |
  17. Jeff

    Something very fishy here. The whole story contradicts everything the press and military have released about the psychology, personality, and overall picture of just who a SEAL is.

    February 12, 2013 at 7:54 am | Reply
    • Kamkor

      Not really. He's not selling his story, he's not revealing his name, he's not making money on his experiences. Sounds like he's doing more than the other seals who have written books and made video games.

      February 12, 2013 at 2:58 pm | Reply
  18. George Patton

    I liked the video, bang ! bang ! bang ! three times right in middle of eyes !!! , OBL's brain flying all over.

    February 11, 2013 at 10:54 pm | Reply
    • Lewis Clark

      Hello GP its nice to see you post again. That a-s-s-h-o-l-e phunnie boy keeps posting as you. Great comment, couldn't agree more.


      February 12, 2013 at 12:12 am | Reply
      • George Patton

        Come on Lewis, make up your mind, will you? On one breath you agree with my post above and on the next, you call me an a..hole! You know how sensitive I am as a right-wing Tea Partying fanatic, don't you?

        February 12, 2013 at 10:42 am |
      • George Patton

        Thanks Lewis, here comes terrorist loving George Patton aka Achmed again in above post, I told him to use #2, bas tard, trying to look me like terrorist hugging nitwit.

        Yo Phunnie boy, just use you own handle #2, you gutless piece of s-h-i-t.

        February 12, 2013 at 12:28 pm |
  19. hmjgfhj jhfs


    February 11, 2013 at 10:40 pm | Reply
  20. massoud

    If you believe that this unnamed guy shot UBL, a.k.a. .Tim Ossman when he traveled to Los Angeles Ca. in the early 1980's to meet with the C.I.A., I want to sell you the Brooklyn Bridge. UBL was dead long before the alleged raid in Pakistan just listen to the BBC David Frost interview with the former Prime Minister of Pakistan Bhenizir Bhutto, who in her interview with Frost said that Omar Sheik killed UBL she gave the interview shortly before her assassination. The Frost interview of Bhutto is on You Tube if you want to view it.Do not think for a minute that the government is incapable of lying to the American Public. The government never provided tangible evidence or proof that UBL was killed in Pakistan. I have no doubt UBL is dead however I definitely doubt the governments far fetched account of the killing of UBL.

    February 11, 2013 at 10:15 pm | Reply
    • Mohammed

      @massoud. Only some of what you said is true. UBL's youngest,14 year old wife, Malala, wanted to divorce him. But UBL did not want divorce to gratify himself. So, Malala shot UBL to get out of the bad marriage and daily abuse. Then, Pakistanis shot her on her way to school because she killed their Pakistani national hero. That's exactly how it went down.

      February 12, 2013 at 7:10 am | Reply
      • IslGypsy

        The Battle of Tora Bora was a military engagement that took place in Afghanistan from December 12, 2001 to December 17, 2001. If what you are saying is true, Malala would have only been 2 years old. Do Muslim men really marry kids that little? She was still a baby at 2 years old. You have to be kidding me right? OR you are a bad liar. I would also say, you do not know how to cover your lies. LOL

        February 12, 2013 at 6:38 pm |
      • Mohammed

        @IslGypsy – Muslims must pay money (called Mahr) to buy their brides. Please look up Mahr on Wiki. Mohammed bought a 6 year old Aisha. Bin Laden may have bought a Malala on a discounted price since she was only 2 year old. He thought it was a good deal. Don't you?

        February 12, 2013 at 6:59 pm |
      • Mohammed

        Malala was too little to shoot Bin Laden in 2001 in Tora Bora. But she was certainly not too young for Bin Laden to buy her as a bride in 2001. Like Aisha, consummation happened when Malala turned 9 and the abuse continued on for years till 2011. Finally, one day Malala had enough and shot and killed Bin Laden on May 2, 2011 in Pakistan. That angered Muslims in Pakistan who shot Malala in retaliation. That is exactly what happened. Don't believe anything else.

        February 12, 2013 at 7:07 pm |
    • David

      OBL died at Tora Bora

      February 12, 2013 at 2:18 pm | Reply
    • Mohammed

      @ David - Malala shot OBL. Malala was too young at the time of Tora Bora fight. So, OBL could not possibly have died in Tora Bora.

      February 12, 2013 at 4:46 pm | Reply
  21. hftyijhukhftukhg


    February 11, 2013 at 7:27 pm | Reply
    • subee

      he is trained and is the cream of the crop....he should not have to wait for anything. He deserves to be taken care of well. The Jerks in D.C get taken care of and they do nothing to deserve it.

      February 13, 2013 at 11:20 pm | Reply
  22. Melanie Taylor

    There's a faster way to file a VA disability compensation claim. He can go http://www.benefits.va.gov and follow the instruction for filing a "fully-developed claim." This method is much faster than going thru the standard claims process. Some of the Veterans Service Officers (VSOs) aren't familiar with this new process, but he can do it himself.

    February 11, 2013 at 7:00 pm | Reply
    • jeff

      All Pakistan's are child molesters and goat lovers!

      February 16, 2013 at 6:29 pm | Reply

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