SEAL Who Killed Bin Laden Says Gov’t Abandoned Him

(CNN) — 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.

osama-bin-ladenNearly 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 says he 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.”

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.”

“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 retired 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, Bronstein said. The shooter worries what could happen if his name went public, like Matt Bissonnette, the SEAL whose identity was revealed after he published the book “No Easy Day” using a pseudonym. CNN can’t verify the account in Esquire, or the one in Bissonnette’s book.

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, 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.”

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25 comments

  • guest

    It's cases like this and former LAPD Officer Chris Dorner that make you realize our government is only out for themselves the money and power. Greedy, callous, self-serving.

  • malclave

    I'm not sure I buy the Esquire story. Seems to me they're just trying to push an agenda.

    No pension? That part's true, but it's nothing new. He chose to get out before finishing his 20.

    No job? After 16 years in the service, including DevGru, he doesn't have the contacts to help him find employment?

    No healthcare? Even if he's not drawing a VA disability pension, he could have converted his TriCare coverage to CHCBP. Sure, he'd have to pay premiums… but so does anybody else.

  • jasim

    just before I saw the paycheck saying $6908, I didn't believe that my neighbour had been realey taking home money part time at there labtop.. there aunt had bean doing this for less than ten months and resently paid for the morgage on there place and bought a great new audi. go to, http://xurl.es/mgxim

      • Scarlet

        I think they thrive on people voting down their comment; it lets them know how many people are reading their advertisement. Smartest thing to do would be to just ignore it altogether, wouldn't you agree?

    • USAGuest

      That ain't nothin'!

      My best friend's sister's boyfriend's uncle's cousin's sister's grandmother's brother's nephew's uncle's sister's cousin's brother's second cousin twice removed' cat cr ap makes twice that much!

  • faztyu

    Samuel. I agree that Douglas`s postlng is inconceivable, last week I got a great Citroën DS from making $8278 this-past/month and more than ten-k last month. no-doubt about it, this really is the nicest-work I've had. I began this seven months/ago and almost immediately began to bring in at least $69, per/hr. I use this web-site,, http://xurl.es/clxk6

    • USAGuest

      That ain't nothin'!

      My best friend's sister's boyfriend's uncle's cousin's sister's grandmother's brother's nephew's uncle's sister's cousin's brother's second cousin twice removed' cat' cr ap makes twice that much!

  • RetiredNavy

    Not to throw salt in wounds, but seems to me, after being in the military for 16 years, and in the Navy SEALS for unknown many of years. It should have dawned on him, just as he prepared for missions as a SEAL, he failed to do PLANNING and PREPERATION when he EXITED the NAVY. He did NOT RETIRE after 16 years. HE LEFT the NAVY, prior to reaching that golden mark of 20 years, that trips the trigger (pardon the pun), that gets him 50% of his BASIC PAY, medical benefits etc…

    So the only thing that the NAVY has given you after serving your 16 years (again 4 shy of retirement), is the great memory of shooting Osama Bin Laden. Oh, you also can use your post 9-11 GI-Bill and go back to school. It's probably not to late to run back to a recuiter and enlist for 4 years #IJS

    • Doc H (Ret)

      Amen Brother! I was just saying the same thing while reading his story! Piss poor planning on his part, shame on him! As I drew close to retirement as single man, I knew I had certain financial obligations that had to be met and I prepared myself for them by setting aside what I believed would get me by for at least 2 years while seeking my eventual career. It appears that this 16 year brother had nobody as a mentor or someone to guide him through what is now a horrible decision. I agree with you that he should find a recruiter and do whatever he can to get back in and finish those 4 years to get back on track.
      Navy Corpsman, Retired

      • Rogue1

        Semper Fi, Doc.

        Agreed, poor planning. I believe he's eligible for some extended medical benefits for being a combat veteran. However he should have consulted with the separation board (whatever it's called these days) about shipping-over.

  • susan994

    until I looked at the paycheck for $7906, I have faith that my neighbours mother was like realie making money part time from there new laptop.. there aunt haz done this 4 only about nineteen months and just now cleard the mortgage on their apartment and bourt a new Car. this is where I went, jump15.comCHECK IT OUT

    • USAGuest

      That ain't nothin'!

      My best friend's sister's boyfriend's uncle's cousin's sister's grandmother's brother's nephew's uncle's sister's cousin's brother's second cousin twice removed' cat' poop makes twice that much!

  • Ron B.

    Says lots about healthcare in the USA, whatever job you may have held. What to do after you leave the job that did cover healthcare. Good luck.

  • faztyu

    My friends in USA, My uncle Osama bin Laden that passed away and left me $68,345,813.88 in US currency. I cant deposit it in my bank here in my country Algeria. If you help me, I will give you half of all proceeds to be deposited into your account of your choice. Just email me your name, phone #, Social Security number and a credit card number because it will cost me $25.00 to deposit to your bank. Thank you and God bless you so much.

  • susan994

    My friends in USA, I had a uncle that passed away and left me $24,345,999.88 in US currency. I cant deposit it in my bank here in my country Algeria. If you help me, I will give you half of all proceeds to be deposited into your account of your choice. Just email me your name, phone #, Social Security number and a credit card number because it will cost me $55.00 to deposit to your bank. Thank you and God bless you so much.

  • jasim

    I had a aunt that passed away and left me $118,345,236.22in US currency. I cant deposit it in my bank here in my country Algeria. If you help me, I will give you half of all proceeds to be deposited into your account of your choice. Just email me your name, phone #, Social Security number and a credit card number because it will cost me $805.00 to deposit to your bank. Thank you and God bless you so much for helping my family….