Ex-SEAL: No sign bin Laden armed

Aug. 29, 2012 at 8:26 PM
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WASHINGTON, Aug. 29 (UPI) -- A former U.S. Navy SEAL says in his book Osama bin Laden made no attempt to defend himself before he was killed by U.S. forces in his home in Pakistan.

The ex-SEAL, Matt Bissonnette, who wrote "No Easy Day" under the name Mark Owen, said the long-sought al-Qaida leader hid in his bedroom for at least 15 minutes as the SEAL team fought its way through his compound. Bissonnette wrote bin Laden made no move to grab a weapon when he was shot in the head as he peered from a doorway, The Washington Post reported after obtaining a copy of the book ahead of its scheduled release next week.

The Obama administration's account of the raid differed in saying bin Laden was shot because he appeared to pose a threat to the U.S. troops seeking to capture him.

The account by Bissonnette, who retired last year, is the first by one of the soldiers who took part in the raid and does not have Pentagon or White House approval.

He writes that the political impact of what they accomplished was quickly recognized by the SEAL team.

"We just got this guy re-elected," Bissonnette quotes a member as saying of Obama in the hours after returning to their base in Afghanistan.

He gives Obama props for his fortitude in ordering the raid and decorum in announcing bin Laden had been taken out.

"None of us were huge fans of Obama," Bissonnette writes. "We respected him as the commander in chief of the military and for giving us the green light on the mission."

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