Esquire's Bin Laden Killing Story "Complete BS," Says SEAL Team 6 MemberWho really killed bin Laden?
By Peter Bergen, CNN National Security Analyst
Mar. 28, 2013
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(CNN) -- In February, Esquire magazine published a lengthy profile of "The Man Who Killed Osama bin Laden." The story did not identify the killer by his real name, referring to him only as "the Shooter."
The Shooter told Esquire he encountered al Qaeda's leader face-to-face in the top-floor bedroom of the compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, where he'd been hiding for more than five years.
The Shooter said the al Qaeda leader was standing up and had a gun "within reach" and it was only then that the Shooter fired two shots into bin Laden's forehead, killing him. That account was in conflict with the narrative from another raid participant in a wildly successful book, "No Easy Day."
Now, another member of the secretive SEAL Team 6, which executed the bin Laden raid, tells CNN the story of the Shooter as presented in Esquire is false. According to this serving SEAL Team 6 operator, the story is "complete B-S."
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. Phil Bronstein, who wrote the 15,000-word piece about the Shooter for Esquire, was booked on CNN, Fox and many other TV networks after his story came out.