Rob O’Neill angered me some months ago when he stepped forward to take credit for killing Osama bin Laden in May 2011.
Why? Because as a member of an elite Navy SEAL team that killed the notorious terrorist, he violated what I’ve always understood was an unwritten code: that the team came first and the men involved with the team didn’t seek publicity.
He broke the code.
Now he’s standing up for the commander in chief’s version of what happened on that dark night in Pakistan, refuting the claims made by journalist Seymour Hersh, who says President Obama “lied” to Americans when he announced bin Laden’s death.
Yahoo News reports: “O’Neill took particular issue with Hersh’s allegation that there was no firefight during the nighttime raid on bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
“’Well I’m sure that my friends who got shot at and almost took a few bullets in the face through the doors would disagree,’ O’Neill said. ‘I saw Osama bin Laden standing on two feet, there were no [Inter-Services Intelligence] up there. I shot him in the head twice, and then I shot him again in the face while he was on the ground.’”
Who do you believe? Someone who took the word of a single, unnamed source or someone who actually was there, drawing down on Osama bin Laden?
Hersh’s account has been roundly criticized. He said Pakistan’s ISI spy network had been tipped off prior to the raid. The White House says it acted without notifying Pakistani officials.
I am inclined to take the White House account over Hersh’s version.
One of the SEALs who was there backs up the White House.
Until proven otherwise, that’s good enough for me.