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El hombre que mató a Ben Laden en 2011 no tiene pensión ni trabajo y no sabe cómo dar de comer a su mujer y a sus hijos en 2013

LIBERTAD DIGITAL 2013-02-12

El SEAL que mató a Osama Ben Laden no es ningún héroe nacional. De hecho, ahora su mayor triunfo es conseguir llegar a fin de mes. Lo cuenta él mismo a la revista Squire, a quien ha concedido una entrevista bajo condición de anonimato.

El hombre, a quien identifican en todo momento como The Shooter, fue el encargado de apretar el gatillo en la Operación Gerónimo que acabó con la vida del enemigo número uno de EEUU. Tras 16 años, el pasado septiembre de 2012 decidió dejar el Ejército, y desde entonces busca a qué dedicarse, sin mucho éxito. "El hombre que disparó y mató a Osama Ben Laden se sentaba en una silla de mimbre en mi patio trasero, preguntándose cómo iba a alimentar a su mujer y a sus hijos o pagar por sus cuidados médicos", arranca el artículo. El Ejército de EEUU da una pensión y un seguro a sus militares, pero sólo si abandonan habiendo cumplido 20 años de servicio

Y es que, como él mismo explica, su caso pone de relieve la complicada situación de los veteranos, ya que el Ejército de EEUU ofrece un seguro médico sólo durante los 180 primeros días tras dejar el Pentágono, y siempre que acceda a mantenerse como reservista. El problema es que The Shooter no quiere volver a tocar un arma. "No hay pensión, ni seguro médico, ni protección para mí o mi familia", explica.

Además, arrastra daños físicos tras casi dos décadas en las fuerzas especiales, las cuales requieren caros cuidados médicos. "Ya no estás activo, la cobertura ha acabado, gracias por tus 16 años, que te jodan", cuenta que le respondieron cuando preguntó si al menos esto lo cubriría el Ejército. 

The Shooter conluye así su relación con el Ejército, al que se unió con 19 años para recuperarse de un desengaño amoroso, sobre lo que bromea: "Al Qaeda está descabezada porque me rompieron el corazón".

Sin futuro y temiendo la venganza

Pero The Shooter tiene una preocupación mayor aún: la seguridad de su familia. Tras pasarse la vida entrando en casas de terroristas, ahora teme por su vida. Aunque la Casa Blanca no divulgó su nombre tras la operación, sí que se hizo público que había sido el Equipo 6 de los SEAL, y las televisiones aparecieron en su barrio para tomar imágenes. Su mujer -de la que se está separando, además- comparte su preocupación y teme "una venganza terrorista", según explica a la revista.

Por ello, la familia está tratando de salir adelante "borrándole" de sus vidas "por razones de seguridad, porque seguimos queriéndonos", aclara la mujer. Ahora, intentan cambiar su nombre, el de los niños, y quitar a The Shooter de la escritura de la casa. Mientras, él entrena a sus hijos para que se escondan en el lavabo al menor signo de peligro.

Tampoco el Ejército se mostró comprensivo cuando el exSEAL les explicó sus temores. "Me dijeron que me podrían encontrar un trabajo de llevar cerveza en un camión en Milwaukee"  cuenta. "Lo perderíamos todo" porque tendría una identidad falsa y jamás podría volver a hablar con su familia o amigos. Por todo ello, rechazó el plan. 

Detalles de la misión

Además de hablar sobre su situación personal, también ahonda en algunos de los detalles de la misión que acabó con la vida de Ben Laden. "Le disparé dos veces en la frente. La segunda cuando se estaba cayendo. Se encogió frente a su cama y le volví a disparar en el mismo sitio", explica. Todo duró 15 segundos

Además, desvela que el líder de Al Qaeda tenía abrazada a la más joven de sus esposas como protección. Al alcance de su mano tenía un arma, pero no podía ver ya que estaba todo oscuro. "Tiene un arma cerca, es una amenaza. Tengo que dispararle en la cabeza para que no tenga la oportunidad de pegarse un tiro", agrega el soldado, quien relata cómo uno de los hijos de Ben Laden rompió a llorar al ver muerto a su padre.

The Shooter confirma muchos de los datos que desveló el también exSEAL Matt Bissonnette, que escribió No Easy Day, relatando los pormenores de la operación que acabó con Ben Laden, y que posteriormente inspiró la película Zero Dark Thirty. Aunque él se muestra contrario a desvelar ciertos detalles, lo cierto es que las versiones concuerdan. 

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The Man Who Killed Osama bin Laden... Is Screwed

Esquire. February 11, 2013, 6:00 AM http://www.esquire.com/features/man-who-shot-osama-bin-laden-0313-2

For the first time, the Navy SEAL who killed Osama bin Laden tells his story — speaking not just about the raid and the three shots that changed history, but about the personal aftermath for himself and his family. And the startling failure of the United States government to help its most experienced and skilled warriors carry on with their lives.

By Phil Bronstein

1 APRIL 2011: THE MISSION

The reason we knew this was a special mission, the Shooter said as our interviews about the bin Laden operation began, is because we'd just finished an Afghanistan deployment and were on a training trip, diving in Miami, when a few of us got recalled to the Command in Virginia Beach. Another ST6 team was on official standby — normally that's the team that blows out for a contingency operation. But they were not chosen, to better cloak what was going to happen.

There was so much going on — the Libya thing, the Arab Spring. We knew something good was going to go down. We didn't know how good.

The first day's briefing, they actually kind of lied to us, being very vague. They mentioned underwater cables because of the earthquake in Japan or some craziness. They hinted at Libya. They said it was a compound somewhere in a bowl and we were going to have two aircraft get us there and we don't know how many are inside but we have to get something out. You won't have any air support.

I assumed it was WMD, a nuke, because why else are they sending us to Libya?

Every question the Red Squadron ST6 members asked was answered with, "Well, we can't tell you that." Or: "We don't know."

It was also weird that the entire Red Squadron was in town, but they kicked everyone out of the briefing except those guys who were going, twenty-three and four backups. We'd leave the room to get coffee and stuff, and the other guys were like, "Well, what are you guys doing?" We were telling them, "I have no idea."

The Shooter was a mission team leader. Almost everyone chosen had a one or two ranking in the squadron, the most experienced guys. The group was split into four tactical teams, with the Shooter as leader of the external-security group — the dog, Cairo, two snipers, and a CIA interpreter to keep whoever might show up in the area out of the internal action.

The group left Virginia on a Sunday morning, April 10, to drive to the CIA's Harvey Point, North Carolina, center for another briefing and the start of training. The Master Chief was saying JSOC [Joint Special Operations Command] would be there, the Secretary of Defense might be there, the Pak/Afghan CIA desk, too. That's when the wheels started spinning for me: This is big.

I've had some close calls with death, bullets flying past my head. Even just driving, weird stuff. Every time, I would tell my mother, "There's no way I'm going to die, because I'm here to do something." I've been saying that for twenty years. I don't know what it is, but it's something important.

By Monday the team was assembled in a big classroom inside a one-story building. They actually had security sitting outside. No one else was allowed in. A JSOC general, Pak/Afghan and other D.C. officials, and the ST6 commanding officer were there. The SEAL commander, cool as ever, said, "Okay, we're as close as we've ever been to UBL." And that was it. He kind of looked at us and we looked at him and nodded. There was none of that cheering bullshit. We were thinking, Yeah, okay, good. It's about time that we kill this motherfucker. It was simple.

This is what I came for. Jealousies aside, one of us is going to have the best chance of killing this guy.

During the daylong briefing, the SEALs heard how the government found the compound in Abbottabad, how they were watching it, analyzing it, why they believed bin Laden might be there. He, UBL, had become known as the Pacer, the tall guy in satellite imagery who neither left nor mixed with the others.

It was the CIA woman, now immortalized in books and movies, who gave the briefing. "Yeah," she told us. "We got him. This is him. This is my life's work. I'm positive."

By then, government and military officials had been considering four options. They were either going to bomb the piss out of the compound with two-thousand-pound ordnance, they were going to send us in, do some kind of joint thing with the Pakis, or try what was called a "hammer throw," where a drone flies by and chucks one fucking bomb at the guy. But they didn't want any collateral damage. And they wanted to make sure he was dead and not in a cave or a safe room.

After the group settled into "motel-like" rooms, with common areas that had TVs and a kitchen, the team started strategizing with a model of the compound on a large table. Then they drove to a full-scale mock-up for a walk-through. The next day the helos came and we started doing iteration training based on how we wanted to hit it.

Once I realized what was going on, I actually moved myself to one of the assault teams, even if I was no longer a team leader. We didn't need that many guys on the exterior team, and I'll go fast-rope on the roof with what I started calling the Martyrs Brigade, because as soon as we landed, I figured the house was going to blow up. But we were also going to be the guys in there first to kill him.

One sniper would also be on the roof to lean over and try to take a shot upside down. The rest of the team would rope again down to the third-floor windows and get your gun up fast because he's probably standing there with his gun. If you fell, it would suck.

If the group made it inside, there were other issues. I've been in houses before with IEDs in them designed to blow everything up. They'd hang them in the middle of the room so it's a bigger explosion.

I was usually the guy to joke around when we were planning these things — we all dick around a lot. But I was like, "Hey guys, we have to take this fucking serious. There's a 90 percent chance this is a one-way mission. We're gonna die, so let's do this right."

The discussions went on, almost a luxury. We're used to going on the fly, five, six nights a week on deployment. Here's your target, we're leaving in twenty minutes. Come up with a plan. This compound was pretty easy, though we had no clue about the inside layout.

The group reviewed contingencies: How do we handle cars? What if a helo went down? What do we do if the helo doors don't open? Shit like that.

The first helicopter was going to land in front of the house. We were going to put our external security out and our bird was going to go back up and we'd fast-rope onto the roof. So we'd have one assault team from the other chopper coming up the stairs, and we'd be going down.

It was March 2012, a blossoming time of year in the capital of the free world. The intimate dinner party was already under way at a stylish split-level apartment one block from the Washington Hilton. The hostess was a military contractor, and there was a lobbyist there, along with another young woman, a Capitol Hill veteran.

The Shooter's mentor was behind the kitchen counter, putting a final grill-sauce flair on some huge slabs of red meat when four men, all of them imposing and fit, came through the front door.

The Shooter is thick, like a power lifter, with an audacious set of tattoos. He can be curt and dismissive as his default, but also wickedly funny. It's instantly easy to see why he's considered both a rebellious, pushy pain in the ass by his command and even some of his colleagues, but also a natural leader. An outgoing, charismatic, and determined alpha male in the ultimate alpha crowd.

He and his three friends were all active ST6 members that night, though none of the others present had been on the bin Laden mission.

This was my first face-to-face meeting with the Shooter, following several phone conversations and much checking on my journalism background, especially in war zones. In a corner, pouring drinks, he and I established some rules. He would consider talking to me only after his last, upcoming four-month deployment to Afghanistan had ended and he had exited the Navy. And he would not go public; he would not be named. That would be counter to the team's code, and it would also put a huge "kill me" target on his back.

During the dinner, he told mostly personal stories and took care not to talk in terms of operational security: the deal about the gun magazine and the CIA analyst, the experience of eyeballing bin Laden.

"Three of us were driving to our first briefing on the mission," he said. "We were thinking maybe it was Libya, but we knew there would be very high-level brass there. One of my guys says, 'I bet it's bin Laden.'" Another guy told the Shooter, "If it's Osama bin Laden, dude, I will suck yo' dick."

"So after I shoot UBL, I bring him over to see his body. 'Okay,' I told him, 'now is as good a time as any.'"

The group talked about hairy moments during other missions, stories soldiers and foreign correspondents enjoy swapping. But from the start something was obvious, not just about the Shooter but about his fellow SEALs, too: These men who had heroically faced death and exercised extraordinary violence in almost continuous battle for years on end were fearful of life after war.

This is a problem that is becoming more critical as the "best of the best" start leaving the most extended wartime careers in the history of the United States. And it is a problem not just for these men and their families but for the American government, which has come to rely heavily on a steady stream of Tier One special operators (including the Army's Delta Force and the Air Force's 24th Special Tactics Squadron) — men of rarefied toughness and training like these — to maintain a sense of international security in an asymmetrical battlefield. The American way of war has changed radically in the past decade, so that in the future, "boots on the ground" will more and more mean special operators. Which means that there will be increasing numbers of vets in the Shooter's circumstance: abandoned, with limited choices.

That night, one of the Shooter's comrades, lantern-jawed, articulate, with a serious academic pedigree, told me: "I've seen a lot of combat, been in some pretty grisly circumstances. But the thing that scares me the most after fifteen years in the SEALs?

"Civilian life."

Read more: Man Who Killed Osama Bin Laden - Treatment of Veteran Who Shot bin Laden - Esquire http://www.esquire.com/features/man-who-shot-osama-bin-laden-0313-2#ixzz2Kgy0Kfu1

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Operación Gerónimo

Los EEUU matan a Ben Laden

Barack Obama ha confirmado que el terrorista Osama Ben Laden ha muerto tras un ataque de EEUU en el norte de Pakistán

2011-05-02 MHH / Libertad Digital

Poco después de que todos los medios de comunicación en Estados Unidos lo adelantaran, el presidente Barack Obama ha confirmado a través de una alocución desde la Casa Blanca que el líder del grupo terrorista Al Qaeda, Osama Ben Laden, ha muerto tras un ataque de EEUU.

Obama afirmó que, tras haber recibido informaciones de inteligencia fiables sobre el lugar donde se encontraba Ben Laden en Pakistán, la semana pasada dio la orden de atacar y hoy "un pequeño grupo" estadounidense condujo la operación, en la que, tras un intercambio de fuego, se hizo con el cuerpo del terrorista.

El presidente estadounidense precisó que Ben Laden fue localizado en la localidad de Abottabad, en el norte de Pakistán. Previamente, la cadena CNN había citado a fuentes gubernamentales para afirmar que se encontraba en una mansión en las afueras de Islamabad. "Esta noche, EEUU ha lanzado un mensaje inequívoco: no importa cuánto tiempo haga falta, se hará justicia", declaró el presidente estadounidense en su breve declaración.

Según reveló CNN, la operación -que apenas habría durado unos 40 minutos- se realizó con un pequeño grupo de militares de élite que se movilizó a través de un helicóptero. Otros medios han agregado que la muerte del terrorista se produjo por un disparo en su cabeza, aunque por el momento esta información no ha sido confirmada por fuentes oficiales. Lo que sí parece seguro es que EEUU tiene el cuerpo de Ben Laden.

Poco después de que varias cadenas de televisión adelantaran la noticia, decenas de personas comenzaron a movilizarse en varias ciudades de EEUU para celebrar la noticia de la muerte del terrorista responsable de los ataques del 11-S. Cuando Obama hacía su alocución ya se contaban cientos de personas a las afueras de la Casa Blanca, muchas de ellas portando banderas de EEUU.

Alerta desde Washington

El Departamento de Estado de EEUU ha alertado de la posibilidad de ataques violentos en todo el mundo contra objetivos estadounidenses tras el operativo militar en Pakistán que ha conducido a la muerte del líder terrorista Osama Ben Laden.

En una alerta de viaje, el Departamento de Estado advierte de la posibilidad de ataques con "violencia contra objetivos estadounidenses", y que pueden registrarse en todo el mundo.

Estados Unidos aconseja a sus ciudadanos en el exterior, y especialmente a los que vivan en las zonas más susceptibles de reaccionar a estos acontecimientos, que eviten en lo posible "salir de sus casas y hoteles, así como las reuniones públicas y manifestaciones. EEUU ha puesto a sus embajadas bajo la máxima alerta, y les ha recomendado cerrar sus instalaciones temporalmente o al menos hasta que puedan reforzar su seguridad.

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Obama nunca buscó capturar vivo a Ben Laden sino matarlo

Obama hizo matar a Bin Laden para no desprestigiarse, porque en julio de 2011 comienza la retirada de las tropas estadounidenses de Afganistán sin ganar la guerra

Obama dio la orden firmada de matar a Bin Laden