Another member of SEAL Team 6, the military squad responsible for the killing of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, has come forward to share the story of the infamous mission. Speaking to CNN national security analyst Peter Bergen, the anonymous SEAL criticized the record of the bin Laden’s death given to Esquire magazine, saying that “The Shooter” identified in Esquire was not the person who fired the key shot that downed the 9/11 conspirator.
CNN’s source was not the first to question the Esquire account, which has been contradicted by reports from former Navy SEAL Brandon Webb, and a book from another SEAL Team 6 member, Matt Bissonnette. The questionable accuracy of the varying stories has made the mission a target of unwanted attention, specifically in the eyes of military officials who worked to keep the story out of the public.
It also calls for a closer look at the team responsible for the military’s most critical missions. The SEAL who spoke to Bergen recounted Team 6’s debriefing with President Barack Obama after bin Laden’s death, during which the team’s commander focused on the importance of the entire team.
“If you took one person out of the puzzle, we wouldn’t have the competence to do the job we did; everybody’s vital,” the commander of SEAL Team 6 said. “It’s not about the guy who pulled the trigger to kill bin Laden, it’s about what we all did together.”
Bergen concludes that while the first team members to reach the al-Qaeda leader have been identified, it may be impossible to determine who delivered the fatal wounds. It has been two years since the mission that led military forces to bin-Laden’s compound in Pakistan. Oscar-nominated historical drama Zero Dark Thirty presented a loose story of the mission last year.