O' Boy, Robert O'Neill Enters the 'No Spin Zone' with Bill O'Reilly
O'Neill Takes O'Reilly Back to Infamous Raid with "Greatest Team Ever Assembled."
Following the airing of the FOX News' 2-part special, "The Man Who Killed Usama bin Laden," which Bill O'Reilly calls "fascinating," he invites the man himself, ex-Navy SEAL Robert O'Neill, to shed some light and face the spotlight.
Risk and reward of speaking up…
O'Reilly wastes no time addressing controversy, making viewers aware: "Rear Admiral Brian Losey, commander of the SEALs, has strong opposition to O'Neill's actions by violating SEAL code by talking about the operation." With that said, he presses O'Neill for answers.
O'Reilly: "First of all, why did you go public? You knew what the protocol was. You knew the admiral was saying we have a tradition, we don't talk about it. Why go public?"
O'Neill: "I wasn't planning on going public with this…until this summer when I went to the 9/11 Memorial with the intention of donating the shirt and the flag I wore on my shirt when I entered the room where bin Laden was living." O'Neill explains how an impromptu talk with 9/11 families really opened his eyes. "One woman in particular told me I didn't close a chapter on the worst thing that's ever happened, I closed the entire book and she was not afraid anymore."
The interview moves from talk of "talking about it" to highlights of the SEALs' ultra-covert, exhaustively planned mission in May 2011 to invade the Pakistani compound where they were "certain" bin Laden was living.
Inside the compound: the hunt is on.
O'Reilly sets the stage… "90 minutes in the helicopter. You go from Afghanistan to Pakistan. You know what you're going there for. You land in the compound. You get off the helicopter. What's the first thing you saw?"
O'Neill: First thing I saw in the compound is looking up at the actual house I'd been studying for so long. The first thought is, wow, this is some Navy SEAL stuff. This is so cool that I'm here." O'Neill describes sights and sounds the SEALS encountered. Everything from barricaded entries, long hallways and rooms that needed to be "cleared," to women and children that needed to be rounded up for everyone's security. All so that they could advance to their ultimate destination: the third floor, bin Laden's lair.
More potential threats and "last line of defense."
O'Neill describes that on the second floor, they encountered what the CIA analyst warned would be "bin Laden's last line of defense," his son Khalid, who was armed and "deemed a threat."
Finally, they reach the third floor.
It was there that O'Neill watches the SEAL in front of him clear more potential threats: a few women moving around behind a curtain. Certain they would be wearing suicide vests, he pushes them down a hallway and falls on top of them to absorb potential bomb blast — and provide the SEAL behind him with a clear shot at their target.
As it turns out, the SEAL positioned to take that shot was Robert O'Neill. He's now face to face with the criminal mastermind of the 9/11 attacks: bin Laden. The target is not surrendering. Three shots to the head. Threat removed.
Before O'Reilly wraps up the interview, he asks O'Neill: "You look back on it, any thoughts?"
O'Neill: "My thought is I'm just proud to have been invited to be part of the greatest team I've ever seen assembled. That our government picked that team for that job is an honor."