Who is Robert O’Neill? And why is he in the news lately?
Well, simply put he is the man claiming to have shot and killed Osama Bin Laden.
According to O’Neill he shot Bin Laden 3 times at close-range in the head, killing him. But O’Neill’s team mates have disputed this saying he fired one shot at Bin Laden and other team members fired the final 2 fatal shots into his chest.
He was also apart of the SEAL 6 team who rescued the SEAL, Marcus Luttrell. Who was played by Mark Wahlberg in the 2013 film Lone Survivor. He also participated in the rescue of Captain Richard Phillips, which was also turned into the 2013 film Captain Phillips.
Why has he decided to reveal his identity now?
He has recently identified himself as “the shooter” because he is frustrated with the lack of benefits and healthcare war veterans receive.
Due to terminating his service after 16 years and not completing the full 20, he is not entitled to claim his service pension.
Medical experts in the UK have also expressed their concerns over the lack of action from the Government in the aftercare of war veterans. The Government had promised to make veterans a priority in healthcare but this has not been carried out.
What is he doing today?
Since leaving the armed forces he has become a motivational speaker. He speaks out against the injustice he feels veterans are facing.
Is he allowed to speak out about these events?
The quick answer is no.
When joining the Navy SEALs he signed a non-disclosure form which forbid him from speaking publicly about the missions and events he was involved in during his service.
His statements have caused a backlash worldwide and have lost him the respect of his former colleagues. “I do not advertise the nature of my work, nor seek recognition for my actions.” Is an important ethos the Navy SEALs are encouraged to adopt.