Navy SEAL book on bin Laden raid contradicts White House accounts (+video)
Osama bin Laden was not armed, and posed no threat when the Al Qaeda leader was fatally shot by Navy SEALs, says the first-hand account by a Navy SEAL on the raid. The book goes on sale Sept. 4.
(Page 2 of 2)
The Associated Press purchased a copy of the book Tuesday.Skip to next paragraph
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
In another possibly uncomfortable revelation for U.S. officials who say bin Laden's body was treated with dignity before being given a full Muslim burial at sea, the author reveals that in the cramped helicopter flight out of the compound, one of the SEALs named "Walt" was sitting on bin Laden's chest as the body lay at the author's feet in the middle of the cabin.
Bissonnette also writes disparagingly that none of the SEALs were fans of President Barack Obama and knew that his administration would take credit for ordering the May 2011 raid. One of the SEALs said after the mission that they had just gotten Obama re-elected by carrying out the raid.
But he says they respected him as commander in chief and for giving the operation the go-ahead.
Bissonnette writes less flatteringly of meeting Obama and Vice President Joe Biden at the headquarters of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment after the raid. He says Biden told "lame jokes" no one understood, reminding him of "someone's drunken uncle at Christmas dinner."
Beyond such embarrassing observations, U.S. officials fear the book may include classified information, as it did not undergo the formal review required by the Pentagon for works published by former or current Defense Department employees.
Officials from the Pentagon and the CIA, which commanded the mission, are examining the manuscript for possible disclosure of classified information and could take legal action against the author.
n a statement provided to The Associated Press, the author says he does "not disclose confidential or sensitive information that would compromise national security in any way."
Bissonnette's real name was first revealed by Fox News and confirmed to The Associated Press.
Jihadists on al-Qaida websites have posted purported photos of the author, calling for his murder.