PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Rob O’Neill, the Navy SEAL who killed Osama Bin Laden and author of the new book, The Operator, discussed the raid on the compound in Pakistan and how the political environment has changed since then, telling Chris Stigall on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT that he and his team were just doing their jobs to carry out justice.
“It’s an incredible group of guys that happened to be in the right place at the right time. We just did what our country asked us to do and, even going up the stairs with other operators, I just happened to be the guy that turned right into bin Laden’s bedroom and tactics just took me there. It’s not like one of the Hollywood movies where we crashed through the skylight. It was really great tactics invented by really great people. It was just a team of brothers that went after him. The nation asked us to do it and we did it for the victims of 9/11.”
O’Neill said he remembers the action really bridging the partisan divide, if only for a fleeting moment.
“Any president would’ve said go after bin Laden. But that was an interesting time because we were able to see both the right and the left come together. It wasn’t a partisan thing. We had Republicans in there in the cabinet at the Pentagon. We had Democrats in the White House. Everyone came together and agreed this needs to happen. They had very good advice given to the president, he made the ultimate call. It was nice, for a change, to see unity.”
He also compared the differences between serving under administrations of different political parties.
“No one is in there to try to do bad for the country, they just have different views. There’s more funding with Republicans because they’re big into deterrence, make a big military to pressure people. Strength is through deterrence. Under Democrats, they use special operations more… There was more drone strikes in Yemen under President Obama than there was under President Bush. I got more work under President Obama, there was more funding under President Bush. It depends on which way you’re looking at it.”