Robert O’Neill is the U.S. Navy SEAL who pulled the trigger to end the life of Osama bin Laden, at least according to him in a recent interview with Fox News. In the interview, the second part of which aired last night on Fox News, O’Neill claims that the fact he was the triggerman was just by chance, not something that was necessarily planned.
In the first part of the interview, O’Neill went into detail about his transformation from a small child growing up in Butte, Montana into one of the most highly trained special ops fighters on the planet, a role that would eventually put the world’s most wanted terrorist in his gun sights.
O’Neill explained that he rose within the ranks of the SEALs to the elite “SEAL Team 6” by taking part in missions like the one aboard Maersk Alabama. You may remember that mission, in which Navy SEALS rescued the crew from Somali pirates, as it was told in the movie ‘Captain Phillips.”
However the mission that will most likely define his entire service in the Navy SEALS was when he and SEAL Team 6 took off to kill bin Laden. He told Fox News “They told us a couple of things like we’re going to read you in eventually and here’s who’s going to be there… and they said a few names that didn’t make sense. A few of us were talking a couple days later about this person, this person why would they be there… It’s bin Laden… they found him… we’re going to go get him.”
In describing he and SEAL Team 6’s mindset when undertaking the mission, he explained that the team did not have confidence that they would survive the mission. “We are going to die eventually,” he explained. “This is a good way to go and it’s worth it to kill him. He’s going to die with us. To be part of something so historic, you can’t ask for more… we wanted it bad. It doesn’t get any better. This is it. This is why we’re here. We are at war because of this guy and now we’re going to go get him.”
For what it’s worth, despite the bravado O’Neill shows, he still may be conflicted about his role as triggerman in the mission. “I’m still trying to figure out if it’s the best thing I’ve ever done or the worst thing I’ve ever done,” he asked Fox News.
In the second part of the interview, O’Neill explains that the 90 minute flight back to Afghanistan after killing bin Laden was wrought with danger, but a great sense of relief washed over the team as they entered Afghanistan again.
“Eighty-something minutes into it, somebody came over the radio to everybody and said, ‘Alright gentleman for the first time in your lives you’re going to be happy to hear this… welcome to Afghanistan, and everyone was like: oh my God… we just did it. We just pulled it off and we got him. And we all lived. We’re all fine. It was insane. So then, there was high-fiving and stuff. Guys were, cause I mean, we just got Osama bin Laden and we’re going to live… amazing!”
Months later, in a secretive ceremony, O’Neill donated the shirt he was wearing when he killed bin Laden to the National September 11 Memorial Museum in New York City.
By Brett Gillin © Popularmilitary.com