Tom O'Neill, the man who killed Osama Bin Laden (courtesy dailymail.co.uk)

The media has revealed the identity of the Navy SEAL who shot terrorist Osama Bin Laden ahead of tonight’s exclusive Fox News interview with the shooter. Senior Chief Petty Officer Rob O’Neill is the SEAL who done did it. Equally unsurprising as the timing of the reveal: The Daily Mail reports that O’Neill has become persona non grata amongst his former SEAL cohorts . . .

In a letter to past and present SEALs, Force Master Chief Michael Magaraci and commander Rear Adm. Brian Losey, made it clear that the vow of silence remains one of the most important tenets of SEAL life.

‘A critical tenant (sic) of our Ethos is ‘I do not advertise the nature of my work, nor seek recognition for my actions.’ Magaraci and Losey wrote.

‘Violators of our Ethos are neither Teammates in good standing, nor Teammates who represent Naval Special Warfare.

‘We do not abide willful or selfish disregard for our core values in return for public notoriety and financial gain, which only diminishes otherwise honorable service, courage and sacrifice.’

The two leaders made it clear that O’Neill’s decision to go public translates into shame among former SEALs, and that he could even face legal action.

‘Classified information is protected by law,’ they wrote.

‘All members exposed to classified information have a duty obligation to protect this information, regardless of what may be reflected in the media, accurately or otherwise.

‘We will actively seek judicial consequence for members who willfully violate the law, and place our Teammates, our Families, and potential future operations at risk.’

Meanwhile, the paper sought out the Montanan’s father to see what his old man thinks about his son taking out Bin Laden and making himself a marked man. And, by extension, the senior O’Neill and the rest of his family.

“People are asking if we are worried that ISIS will come and get us because Rob is going public. I say I’ll paint a big target on my front door and say come and get us.”

Now that is a stupid thing to say. Brave, but stupid. Speaking of brave . . .

In total [O’Neill] was deployed on more than a dozen tours of duty in active combat, in four different warzones, including Iraq and Afghanistan.

In the course of those tours he undertook more than 400 separate combat missions.

He was decorated 52 times, leaving as senior chief petty officer. His decorations include two Silver Stars, four Bronze Stars with Valor, a Joint Service Commendation Medal with Valor, three Presidential Unit citations, and two Navy/Marine Corps Commendations with Valor.

Our thanks to Mr. O’Neill for producing a son of such high caliber. Our thanks to O’Neill for his service to the country and the world. And, as I’m sure the SEAL will echo tonight, our thanks to all the men and women who made his mission possible, and accompanied him on that dangerous journey.

As for his ostracism from his teammates and any potential ensuing legal action, it is what it is.

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90 Responses to Navy SEAL Who Shot Bin Laden Revealed, May Face Legal Action

    • What about Chris Kyle’s obligation? Seems to me Kyle broke the same oath.

      Am I wrong? I really don’t know. I don’t know the whole story. But from how I understand the stories, I really don’t see much difference.

      • Kyle was neither a SEAL or Green Beret. He was an Army Sniper and, as I understand it, had no particular similar obligation to his brothers.

      • It depends on what was classified and what was not, re what was discussed in their respective books.

        Plus … Sorry but what kind of an idiot trusts a private sector lawyer to dermine what is and what is not classified in cases such as these?

        That sort of thing is definitely in the “do not try this at home, kids” category.

      • He is a little thing for you. Chris Kyle didn’t have the best rep in the teams. Writing a book stating he had the most sniper kills in the teams when he knew there where two other guys who had way more kills than he did doesn’t gain you friends. Marcus Luttrel pretty much got kicked out for his actions post Red wings. And the actions of him and his team on that op are taught as everything you don’t do on a op. Which wouldn’t be such a bad thing if they were breaking new ground, but when you are doing things that got other people killed and you try to do them, it’s stupid. As for both O’Neill and Bissonett. They both got demoted at Damneck for they actions on the Bin Laden raid. They both broke SOPs to try and shoot Bin Laden. There is a reason they both got out soon afterwards.

        • seans:
          There is a lot of truth in your post, but some seriously questionable material as well. “Marcus Luttrel pretty much got kicked out for his actions post Red wings.” What evidence do you have to back that up? His significant injuries and subsequent medical discharge would seem like a much more logical reason for his separation from the Navy.

          As far as Kyle, his book was vetted, and heavily edited by NSW and SOCOM. If his command disagreed with anything he said, they certainly got the chance to correct it. And in many cases, they did, prior to the book’s release. Many of us who have one of the galley proofs were very surprised at how much was cut at the request of NSW and SOCOM.

          Also, based on some of your post, I may know you. Were you ever 4BCT 82nd?

          JWT

        • JWTaylor. Marcus Luttrel did a deployment to Iraq after his injuries in Afghanistan. It was his actions there(granted most likely PTSD based) which kinda sealed his rep in the teams. That and writing a book about the biggest Fuck up in NSW history and whitewashing all their mistakes out of it. Chris Kyle has a bad rep due to him trying to act like he had some kind of record. There were multiple individuals at Damneck at the time who had double his kill count. And it was known in the community and he still went about his claims. And this problem just isn’t with the Seals. Pete Blaber, CAG guy, goes and writes a book about operation anaconda, but conveniently leaves out the part where he is the guy most responsible for the Ranger qrf getting shot down.

          And no I wasn’t in the 82nd.

        • So Kyle is a clown. That’s the first time I read that. I’m not a blind fan waving cheerer of the military or government in general, but I haven’t seen negativity towards Kyle, perhaps a few writing how naive he was in how he died, but never anything close to being called a clown.

      • yeah well, people sat down with him well before he got out short of 20 offering him options to stay in and coast to retirement essentially. He had it in his head to get out and had this grand plan that seems to have fallen apart. Now it is somehow the military and his Team’s fault.

  1. I’d really like to thank him AND his team for making the world a better place. I am sad that he broke his silence on this, but I can also understand the HUGE temptation of a big payday that can set his family up for life. I hope it all works out well for him and his family. After going on 400 combat missions, I hope he is planning a quiet life home and enjoy some of the good things of life.

  2. I remember reading that exact line about their ethos and not seeking recognition right after the GQ article about “The Shooter” in which all of the Bin Laden publicity stuff began. Hope it all works out in the end.

    As to Bin Laden:

    • Shame? What shame? As I remember it the Obama administration outed them first. What am I missing? It is no longer a secret.

        • Isn’t it the “don’t reveal secret missions” that these guys actually keep secret? Once someone like the Whitehouse blows the secret, it’s no longer a secret. Whether it was John Doe or Bill Smith who was on the mission is immaterial if he’s no longer working for the DoD.

        • @Griffin: Flat out wrong. Those Non-disclosure agreements are for life, and secrets aren’t unclassified just because they get published.

        • secrets aren’t unclassified just because they get published.

          Apparently they are. The Whitehouse publicized it and worked with Hollywood to make a freakin’ movie about it.

      • I meant shame from his own SEAL community. Becoming persona non grata to them.
        I’ve been fortunate to know a few SEAL’s, Rangers, Green Berets and a good friend who was Delta.
        Those communities are tight.

    • Shame to what? Some secret government code or some military organization with cult like rules to it? There’s less honor in keeping secrets away from the american people than there is in keeping some bullshit oath to the federal government.

  3. There is another member of DEVGRU (Naval component of JSOC) that was part of the platoon who raided the compound that claims he was the one who shot OBL.

    Two SEALs, two conflicting stories, and two people who are betraying secrets in order to fatten their pockets. It was predictable and their still awesome but I’m sure their fellow team mates are not to happy with them.

    • You think, huh? Any evidence for that claim or is your hunch–such as it is–sufficient? Based on your handle, I’d say you have an inherent bias which might cloud your judgment on this issue.

  4. His purpose in coming out, as I read, was not for self-aggrandizement, but to publicize the poor or lack of health/medical treatment for our veterans–and establishing his bona fides as a hero’s hero gives him credibility in achieving his goals.

    • It seems to be a trend for governments to say “thanks for your service but now we are going to renege on promised entitlements and benefits”, and at the same time those in government grant themselves large pay rises and increased perks.

    • He is making money public speaking, motivational speaking. This helps. I don’t think it is more complicated than that.

      Hey, we put these guys on pedestals so we get what we deserve.

      • Foolish is thinking your dance moves are smooth. Foolish is not blabbing about secret missions and- potentially- lying to the public about your part in such missions.

        I don’t know if he’s lying, but I wouldn’t be surprised given the way his teammates seem to be treating him.

    • Semper Fi.

      While in the Suck, I was in an MOS that often required classes alongside of SEALs. This story reminds me of a joke we used to tell them. “How can you tell that someone is a Navy SEAL?… Don’t worry, they will let you know”

      • They’ll tell you twice, and once more just because. The Seals I met were cool guys, but made sure you knew who they were over and over to the point it was annoying

  5. I rack this one up to a big “maybe”….seems like some other SEALs on the team that raided the home of Bin Nobody say he ain’t the guy….

  6. Groan. No body, no video… ObL’s family posted death announcements in December of 2001 after he succumbed to Marfan’s Syndrome. Recall the FBI didn’t list ObL as a 9/11 suspect. The Taliban hated his guts. And since when do Seals conduct extrajudicial homicide? Shooting someone in the dead of night in their bed is nothing like due process.

    Eventually the US will have to get over the steady diet of fear and deceit we’ve been fed. And the Seals and UWD guys I’ve met do not seem like they’d write a book on any of their activities, period.

    Say… did you know the 9/11 Commission didn’t have subpoena power? What kind of investigation was that?

    • If it was all a conspiracy the way you seem to think, I doubt Pakistan would have been so bent-out-of-shape as they were over his being killed. And extrajudicial homicide? Someone like OBL is not entitled to due process. He is a war criminal. The ordinary criminal justice system does not apply to someone like him.

      • Buillshit. Murder is murder. No such thing as assassins in our force. It is not for some grunt to label anyone a war criminal.

        • Actually as long as the engagement was within the ROE for the mission it’s legal, that’s why JAG approves them

  7. Personally, I think it is exceedingly foolish to publicly claim that he offed Bin Laden. I cannot imagine any other way of making a bigger target of oneself.

    • … O’Neill has become persona non grata amongst his former SEAL cohorts …

      Yep. Nobody wants to be at Ground Zero when the moslems retaliate.

  8. The man did a very hard, very dangerous job for our country for a number of years. No taking that away from him. But the community is pushing him out because he got out short of retirement then whined like a little girl in the media about not getting retirement or medical benefits and all that was due him… as if he didnt know what everyone did… 20 years buck-o or its so-solly-chalie (of course he probably will get medical for any service related injuries) but its as if he didnt know you had to stay in 20 to retire.
    Its a big boy club, with big boy rules. He could have took a gig training or in a staff position for his last few years and coasted to retirement. He chose to get out and chose to be public. Talk about ME instead of the team.
    Hell he has been doing motivational speaking with a number of contracts coming because of the unwritten “this is the guy that killed Bin laden)

    They all know the rules. They all know the game… He decided not to be part of the community, not the other way around.

  9. There seems to be a lot of this going around lately, and I can’t say I don’t sniff a double standard myself, and that’s the story for many of those who talk after retirement….

    Bissonnette told NBC News he “almost has to laugh” when he hears about the code of silence. “It’s hard for me to take when I’ve been reading books my whole life about former special operations warriors, Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines. There’s how many former generals, how many former CIA directors, how many former secretaries of defense? How many of them all get out and write books?”

    The bin Laden mission was “just another day at the office,” said Bissonnette, though being a SEAL is the kind of job not everyone survives. “I have 40 names in the contact list of my cell phone that are dead. Forty. And not one of those names did it for political gain or Hollywood.”

    http://www.nbcnews.com/news/investigations/who-shot-bin-laden-tale-two-seals-n241241

  10. All the ISIS wannabes are going to put his whole family on a hit list. They will save him for last.
    As long as he doesn’t live in MA, NJ, NY, or CA, he stands a good chance of defending them.

    • If he lives in MA, he will be able to carry in any town or city. No problem. Yes, even people in Boston can get an unrestricted LTC-A. I know several who do.

  11. Seals. Phhht.

    Keep keeping us safe by assassinating people on the other side of the planet, advocating for the silence of such “classified acts,” and keep that operator persona propagating around the world like it is some trait that should actually be desired.

  12. Man you got no brothers,sisters , nieces or nephews either? Dad is a mite goofy. Oh for the greatest generation who didn’t seek to get rich from their service. Maybe he was envious of Barry who took credit.

    • “Oh for the greatest generation who didn’t seek to get rich from their service….”

      Greatest Generation?

      You mean….like Audie Murphy, who not only wrote a book about the heroics that led to his winning the Medal of Honor, but later played himself in the movie, too?

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audie_Murphy

      Personally, I don’t begrudge either Murphy or O’Neill one penny.

  13. I’ve been curious as to why so much detail of actual SEAL missions has been making it in to pop culture the past decade or so. I was to understand these types were to never acknowledge their role in operations around the world. Especially ones (all?) that exist in the gray areas of international law. But it seems more and more there is SEALs coming out of the woodwork to work with Hollywood (SEAL Team 6, Zero Dark Thirty), write books (Chris Kyle), Esquire articles, and now this guy. Those are the only examples off the top of my head. I don’t know if its stems from political jockeying, .gov trying to incite post 9/11/01 levels of flag waving/ boot licking, or just these guys wanting some extra scratch. All I know is the trend seems odd to me.

  14. Enough BS. This was the biggest target post 9/11 since Yamamoto or Hitler. He came, he raided, he fired, he did his job. This is not about getting some Abdul in the desert, this was the big enchilada, the honcho watching porn in a compound in Pakistan. F the PC crap. Get over it. There are missions we will never know of that take place everyday. This one is worthy. Body, pics or some burial at sea. Who gives a crap? UBL was and is still dead.

  15. No recognition allowed, unless you are making a bad-ass commercial for the NAVY to air during football games.

    • Don,
      you keep posting that link seemingly knowing nothing (or little) about military or Team life. EVERYONE in the military, EVERYONE, from the newest guy to the Master Chief with 30 years knows you dont get retirement or full medical benefits for life until you put in 20 years. Service related injuries are covered (and I’m sure he has some of those), but that is it.

      being in 16 years… He knew this. And HE decided to get out. I know guys at the 15, 16, 17 year mark whose only thought was “Make it 20…” And wives that would have beat their asses should they have got out just a couple of short years before they get their retirement pay and benefits.

      In full light of this, KNOWING he knew he would leave with no additional pay (retirement) or benefits, just a couple of years short of it… why do you think he got out???? Because he had a plan and had it in his head that the grass (and money) was greener on the other side. He could have coasted in a staff slot somewhere until his 20, but then the iron isnt hot for books or movies is it? nope. he chose this. and the his former teammates look at him like this because he is out bashing the military and whining about benefits and medical like a little girl… like he has no responsibility in this at all. Sorry. This is the big boy club, with big boy rules.

      How much time have you spent in the military? or are you a keyboard commando trying to right any possible slight in the world?

      • You must be some kind of tier 1 operator dual wielding magpuls or something. Or you are in charge of purchasing or requisitioning stuff… Do you think it’s fair that a one term senator gets a better pension after 6 years than you do for 20?

  16. People are so mean. The man had an extraordinary career in service to our country. If he broke some ‘ethos’ with the Seals, then that’s between him and the Seals. He has my respect and thanks for his service.

  17. I really miss the days when Delta and the Seals were movies and we didn’t know as much about them. Since they’ve all been writing boks and telling all, they seem to have lost some of their luster.

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