Read a ton of accounts of this last night and this morning, and it seems now that the book says as the SEALS came up the stairs to the top-floor bedroom, a man stuck his head out the doorway above them, and the SEAL point man shot him -- double-tap to the head.
They didn't know it was Bin Laden until they got into the room and saw him on the floor with two women weeping over his body.
Sorry for the confusion from the original Huffington Post account. There are nearly 16,000 comments on that story and many of them say, "Wait, who shot him?"
(Graphic quote coming)
"Blood and brains spilled out of the side of his skull” and he was still twitching and convulsing (when we walked into the bedroom), Owen writes. While bin Laden was in his death throes, Owen writes that he and another SEAL "trained our lasers on his chest and fired several rounds. The bullets tore into him, slamming his body into the floor until he was motionless." Huffington PostThe book says as the SEALS were coming up the stairs, a man's head appeared briefly in a doorway above them.
"We were less than five steps from getting to the top when I heard suppressed shots. BOP. BOP," writes Owen. "I couldn't tell from my position if the rounds hit the target or not. The man disappeared into the dark room."The SEALS made their way up the stairs and into the bedroom. They find two women wailing over Bin Laden's still twitching body. They fire into his chest until he stops moving.
(Okay, so they believed the head wound was a fatal one and... I wouldn't say put him out of his misery. But they wouldn't leave him twitching, half-dead on the floor. They're taught to control the scene. They needed to question the women, search the room, get in there and get out quickly. This part makes sense to me.)
He notes that they found two weapons in the room with empty chambers.
And then we get to the criticism of Obama. If this is all there is, I think it's pretty weak.
“None of us were huge fans of Obama. We respected him as the commander in chief of the military and for giving us the green light on the mission.” When one SEAL jokes again that they got Obama reelected, Owen asks, “Well, would you rather not have done this?”And then the guy notes that Joe Biden tells lame jokes and the President said they'd all have to have a beer later, but seems offended that the SEALS were never invited for the beer.
He writes: “We all knew the deal. We were tools in the toolbox, and when things go well they promote it. They inflate their roles. But we should have done it. It was the right call to make. Regardless of the politics that would come along with it, the end result was what we all wanted.”
If this is swiftboating, it seems like a remarkably weak effort to me.
Again, sorry for the confusion. I really thought last night and many other people did that Bin Laden had either shot himself or one of the women inside the room had shot him before the SEALS could capture him.