As new details about Osama bin Laden's death emerge, there appears to be a discrepancy between U.S. SEAL Team 6 members’ accounts of what happened on May 1, 2011.
CNN's Peter Bergen spoke with a SEAL Team 6 member who said the highly publicized account of bin Laden being shot while he was going for a gun is "complete B.S." Bergen said his report is of a much less "heroic" raid on the compound.
Bergen insists the new version of events is more in line with the SEAL Matt Bisonette's account of the killing. Bisonette published his account on the bin Laden's takedown in his book No Easy Day, which was published under the pseudonym Mark Owen in October of 2012.
The new account is at odds with Phil Bronstein's investigative report “The Man Who Shot Osama bin Laden” from the February issue of Esquire, in which his source, known only as “The Shooter,” claims bin Laden was shot while reaching for his weapon. Bergen’s source says there was no firearm in the room in which bin Laden was found.
Bergen’s source, Bisonette’s account and former Navy SEAL Brandon Webb, who runs the blog SOFREP, contend that The Shooter is, in fact, not that man who initially shot bin Laden. Webb blogged that Esquire was “duped.”
While Bronstein said several sources put The Shooter as “number two” up the stairs in bin Laden’s compound, just behind the raid’s point man, both Bergen's source and Webb said the point man was the actual shooter.
“To be clear, he wasn’t the point man that put the well placed rounds into UBL’s head that ended the terrorist leaders life,” Webb wrote. “Sure, he was there and deserves credit, but he wasn’t the man who shot UBL and ended his life. And this is an important fact that must be clarified.”
Esquire issued the following statement to CNN:
The Esquire article, The Shooter: The Man Who Killed Osama Bin Laden, in the March 2013 issue, is based on information from numerous sources, including members of Seal Team 6 and the Shooter himself, as well as detailed descriptions of mission debriefs. We stand by our story.