tv The Man Who Killed Usama Bin Laden FOX News May 1, 2016 6:00pm-7:01pm PDT
>> the following is a special presentation of fox news. ♪ >> i learned as a sniper on recon and surveillance missions that it gets very boring for 72 hours watching something. so, i would learn to count to keep my mind occupied. so, i'm counting from 0 to 1,000 and 1,000 to 0. eighty minutes into the
90-minute flight, we bank to the south, and i'm counting 556, 557, 558. as i'm counting, for some reason, i remembered a quote from george w. bush on 9/11. "freedom itself was attacked this morning by a faceless coward." >> and freedom will be defended. >> and i kind of got goose bumps. and first off, like, "how in the world did i just remember that?" and then i thought, "you know what? forget counting." i started saying that over and over. "freedom itself was attacked this morning by a faceless coward. freedom will be defended." and then it kind of hit me, then. so, after weeks of training, 82 minutes into a flight, i'm like, "i'm on this mission. and we're gonna kill him." >> for god and country, geronimo. >> good evening. i'm peter doocy. over the next two nights, you
will meet one of america's bravest warriors. for more than a decade, he served through multiple wars and through dangerous missions too numerous to count. he served as a navy seal, a member of the famed seal team 6. and on the night of may 1, 2011, he was a part of "operation neptune spear." as the second man through the door into the room where the world's most wanted terrorist was hiding, he fired the fateful shots that brought the biggest manhunt in world history to an end. his name is robert o'neill, and he is the man who killed usama bin laden. the face we are looking at is the last face that usama bin laden saw on earth. >> yeah, i mean, if it was light enough, i was definitely the last person he saw. >> you trained on targets with his face on them. >> mm-hmm. yeah. >> what was it like to kill the
actual guy? >> it wasn't real. it was another guy in a house that we shot. it didn't sink in. it didn't sink in for a while. >> has it sunk in now? >> yeah, it has now. i've thought about it every day for a number of years. i'm still trying to figure out if it's the best thing i've ever done or the worst thing i've ever done. >> how could it be the best? >> we accomplished our mission, and i was a big part of it. i was a part of it. >> and how could it be the worst? >> i don't know what's gonna happen. and it's something i have to live with every day. >> before the war on terror and the hunt for usama bin laden took rob to the farthest reaches of the globe, the quiet mining town of butte, montana, was home. this is where his story begins. rob o'neill had a normal childhood. he played basketball for butte central catholic high school, worked odd jobs around
town, and was always surrounded by family and friends. what's it like coming back to butte? >> it's always great coming back to butte, just the scenic view of the city up on the hill, the big "m," the locals. it's a great home feeling. this is home. it's where i grew up, and everything's so familiar. it hasn't really changed in 20 years. >> and so, where are you taking me? >> we're going into the freeway for what's called a wop chop. and this is the first stop. every time i fly in -- if i fly into butte, we come right here. if i fly into bozeman, we drive from bozeman, and on the way over, i text everyone saying, "we're going to get chops." and they know what we mean. see? here they are. >> there we go. >> this is exactly what we need. thank you. >> and this is your favorite sandwich in the world? >> in the world, yeah. this is the reason to come home to butte is to get one of these, yeah. cheers. >> [ laughs ] >> mm-hmm! >> butte was a copper boom town in the late 1800s and later grew
into montana's fifth-largest city. >> it's a really good town. it's a blue-collar town. it's got a lot of history with the mines -- people working hard, people playing hard, people eating hard, lot of good food here. it's great people, great attitudes. >> like many montana natives, much of rob's childhood was spent outdoors. >> a lot of skiing, a lot of snowboarding, hunting when it's time to hunt. when it gets nice, fishing, really good mountains for hiking. a lot of outdoor-type stuff -- shooting. >> how old were you when you first fired a gun? >> i was probably about 13, maybe 12 or 13. right around the time my dad and i started hunting, i was too young to hunt. you have to be a certain age. but i could go hunting. >> once he was old enough, hunting trips with his father became a favorite pastime. >> we really got into it. we'd go out every chance we had. obviously, every weekend and then, if permission was given, during the week. >> after high school graduation,
rob didn't really know what was next. >> i had a job at mcdonald's. it was my first job. i worked at a place called the vu villa, which is a pizza place uptown butte and bar -- awesome. best taco pizza in the world. i moved furniture for a little while, worked in a mine for a few months. >> but rather than follow the path of many who have turned jobs in the mines into a lifelong career, rob wanted something different. it was here that he learned to drive a car. it was here that he learned to fire a gun. and it was here that fate intervened and led him through the doors of a military-recruiting office. >> i was in a relationship with a young lady, and that went sideways, and that was kind of the tipping-point time to leave town. and it was funny. when i got to the navy, 95% of the guys there were there for the same reason. that was a point where i was in "i need to get out of town" mode. that was the easiest way to get out of town, and i went in to join the marine corps.
i wanted to just talk to the marines, 'cause marines are just cool, and they're really good at marketing. and they have the best uniforms. it's cool. and so, i walked in, and he wasn't there, and the navy guy was there. and i talked to him. basically, i went to ask him where the marine was. and he told me, asked me why. and he told me about seals. >> did they ask you if you knew how to swim? >> well, no, because being a recruiter, turns out they're not always truthful. he just wanted the billets filled, his quota. so, he did tell me, "yeah, you're going to need to do this, this, and this." and me, not doing my research, i figured it would just be easy to swim that distance in that time. how hard can swimming be? it was pretty hard, yeah. swimming's not that easy, especially when you don't know how to do it. >> and when you say that you didn't know how to do it? >> no, i didn't know any technique at all. i could keep myself alive in a pool, but there was no technique involved. >> talked into signing up to be a navy seal, rob suddenly realized he needed to learn how to swim -- fast. so, he headed to the pool at the
local college and basically moved in. >> and i would swim every day. i had some help with some friends from high school who knew how to swim really well. >> when you got to seal training, where were you in terms of ability? >> as far as swimming? >> yes. >> oh, the bottom. we had guys in there that swam four years of college, a lot of water-polo players. i mean, mainly all high school swimmers, competitive, and then me. so, yeah, it was eye-opening. >> still to come tonight on "the man who killed usama bin laden"... >> it was infuriating to see the symbol of the greatest nation gone. we wanted to go. we really wanted to do this. this is why we're all here now. >> after 17 years, i think it's over for him. >> "it's bin laden. they found him. we're gonna get him." more "sit" per roll.
he faces an uphill climb to the democratic nomination. most of the party insiders who can vote for either candidate are backing hillary clinton. a car bomb strikes the entrance of a police station in southern turkey. the blast kills two officers and wounded 22 others. four of whom were civilians. there's been no claim of responsibility for the deadly attack but in recent months kurdish militants and isis fighters have carried out multiple bombings. and emergency crews have contained a dangerous chemical spill after a train derailed in washington d.c. the car, which was leaking sodium hi sodium hydroxide has been sealed. crews are inspecting the tracks. no one was injured and no evacuations were ordered.
>> rob o'neill had one year of college under his belt, a job delivering pizzas, and only a basic grasp of swimming when a recruiter convinced him to enlist and become a navy seal. by january 1996, after five months of intensive swim training, rob found himself in great lakes, illinois, for navy boot camp. but boot camp was nothing compared to what came next. "buds," or basic underwater demolition seal training, puts recruits through some of the most grueling physical punishment anyone can endure. >> 1, 2, 3... >> most recruits don't even pass the first phase, physical conditioning. >> general workouts every day eventually wear into a 1,000 push-ups a day, 1,000 sit-ups a day, 1,000 flare kicks a day, hundreds of pull-ups, a bunch of times around the big, scary obstacle course. there's obstacles there -- the first time you do it, if you fall off, you're gonna break your neck. miles and miles of soft sand you're running in all the time.
it's a mile from where we work out to the galley. so, you're running six miles a day just to eat and then the other 12 miles on top of that. lots of swimming, lots of pool drills, and then just the instructors messing with you the whole time. you have to run everywhere. you can't walk anywhere. if you're gonna do stuff, you're running. and the instructors will find you and drop you. and every time you drop, it's like 25 push-ups, at first, then it goes to 35, then 50, as the phases go on. there's tests every single day, pass or fail, like the drown-proofing, which is pretty famous, where they tie your hands behind your back and your feet together and throw you in the water for 45 minutes at a time, probably, where you're exhaling all the air so you can sink, kick at the bottom, come up, and breathe. you have 10-minute swim the length of the pool. floating's hard when you're tied up. they make you float for five minutes, and you can't touch the bottom. swim down and grab a mask with your teeth and do flips and then come up and show them, and then they let you out and untie you. and that's where a lot of people lose it because for some reason, i guess, it's not natural to be tied up and thrown in a pool. there's a 5 1/2-nautical-mile ocean swim for completion,
14-mile run at one point. we actually did the 5 1/2-mile swim twice in four days. there's a friday that we did it, and the instructors didn't like us very much, and they said, "as opposed to swimming with the current, we're gonna go down to mexico and swim back to coronado, because the tides are going that way, even though for the past 2,000 years, they haven't been." so, we swam against the current, and we hit the time limit, where hypothermia would set in no matter you're wearing -- 5 1/2 hours or whatever -- and they pulled guys maybe 50 meters from the end. so, we technically didn't finish it. so, we came in monday, and they were like, "hey, we were gonna have the dive physics class today, but instead, since we didn't finish the 5 1/2-mile swim, we're just gonna do that. so, go grab your fins." and that's probably the meanest thing anyone's ever done to me. every week, you have a tested 2-mile ocean swim for time, a tested 4-mile run for time, and the time decreases as you go on. and then in between these tests, you're doing calisthenics and getting your butt kicked. >> part of the way through
physical conditioning comes "hell week," 5 1/2 days of nonstop training, 20 hours a day, with at most 4 hours of sleep at night. during hell week, recruits run more than 200 miles. >> the way that i remember feeling was i know i have a past. i know i came from somewhere. but that's gone, and i have no future. i'm gonna be in hell for the rest of my life. that's what it felt like. this is the worst place i've ever been. until you get a day off -- then it's best thing you're doing. 'cause they give you weekends off 'cause you need it to heal. so, the saying is "everybody wants to be a frogman on friday, especially when the sun's still out." and sunday night, like, "oh, boy, here we go again." yeah, it was just a miserable experience. >> the next phase of seal training includes combat diving and scuba, where recruits learn to operate above water and deep beneath the surface. after that comes land warfare, explosives and weapons training
and small-unit tactics, followed by 26 weeks of more advanced seal-qualification training. >> there never really was a "i'm sure i can do it." it's just "i'm sure i'm not gonna quit." and i don't know if that's part of the attitude here. i knew there was no chance of me quitting. they're gonna throw me out, or i'm gonna get hurt, but i'm not gonna just say, "you got the better of me." and some good advice that was given to me, just little things, like i had an instructor once tell me, "i'm never gonna ask you to do anything impossible. it'll be really hard, but it's not impossible. you can do it. just don't quit." and then another guy said to me, "i don't understand how you can quit" because when you quit, they take your helmet off, and your name's on it. and you ring the bell. you put the helmet down. the helmets are in line. and someone said to me, "how can you quit and put a helmet with your father's name in the quitter's line?" it's like that's just good advice. twenty-six weeks into it, it's graduation week. it's like, "holy crap, i'm gonna make it." >> and he did. but the training didn't end at graduation. then, it was off to parachute school and even more advanced
predeployment courses. you survived seal training. you become a navy seal, officially. >> mm-hmm. >> what was your first job? >> my first job, i was assigned to a platoon, bravo platoon, seal team 2. we went to the range, and we were shooting navy qualifications. and i was a pretty good shot. and i did so well, my boss said, "well, this new guy's a good shooter. let's send him to sniper school." so, during that first -- they called it a work-up, which is the training cycle a platoon does before it deploys. they sent me to camp atterbury, indiana, for naval special warfare scout sniper school, and i became a sniper. >> and soon, the boy from butte, montana, who one year before had been delivering taco pizzas, was a navy seal sniper. coming up next on "the man who killed usama bin laden"... >> the world trade center tower number one is on fire. the whole outside of the building -- there was just a huge explosion. >> we said the words "usama bin laden" within 30 seconds. go ahead... leave the competition behind. lexus gs 350 and 200 turbo. there's no going back. trugreen presents the yardley's.
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>> by the time rob was 21 years old, he was a navy seal sniper deployed overseas. it was a fairly quiet time to serve in the united states military. but then, in an instant, everything changed. >> the world trade center tower number one is on fire. the whole outside of the building -- there was just a huge explosion. >> it looked like the plane was aiming towards the building. >> you have a second plane into the other tower, the tower, of the trade center -- major fire. >> one of the buildings is partially collapsed.
the other tower just collapsed! ready to collapse, ready to collapse. >> i was in the operations office at naval special warfare group 2, which is in stuttgart, germany. and i was catching up on e-mails and sitting there with a couple of the operations officers, things like that, and they went to breaking news. >> we have a very tragic alert for you right now. an incredible plane crash into the world trade center here at the lower tip of manhattan. >> the first reports were a small plane had hit. and they showed it. and it's like, "wow, that's the entire building. that wasn't a small plane." and we started saying, "look how clear it is. this is something else." and we're actually not quite ahead of it. >> another plane just flew into the second tower. >> we saw the second plane hit and instantly we're like, "that's it." and we said the words "usama bin laden" within 30 seconds. we knew everything had just changed. we didn't know what was gonna
happen. it was a shot in the gut. it was surreal. it was painful. and it was infuriating to see the symbol of the greatest nation gone. and then you got people dancing in the streets overseas. you got the footage of usama bin laden in a cave, laughing about it. and it's just one of those like, "okay, i guess it's on. and we're gonna get you." >> rob and his teammates were itching to get into the fight. but as the invasion of afghanistan began, they would have to wait. >> they were gonna send the tier-1 guys in from the army and seal team 6. as the war started, tactics were trickling down from seal team 6 because all we knew at that time, anyone knew, were vietnam tactics, because we hadn't been to war seriously since vietnam. there was granada, panama, desert storm, which was a couple hours. so, we only knew what we knew. we only knew vietnam, but then
there's the guys coming back saying, "okay, this is what guys are doing in gunfights." >> so, they honed their craft and continued to train, while in the middle east another storm was brewing. >> at this hour, american and coalition forces are in the early stages of military operations to disarm iraq, to free its people, and to defend the world from grave danger. >> now this is 2003, and the invasion in iraq is happening. so, we're like, "well, we're definitely gonna be a part of that." and so, we were actually in the mediterranean sea on an amphibious ship, and we were gonna go in with the marines as they invaded. >> but as they headed towards iraq, another crisis was flaring up. liberia's civil war had made the country extremely dangerous. so, president bush ordered the seals and a group of marines to evacuate all americans to safety. >> so, we ended up turning around and going to liberia, while everyone else went to war. and we swam into liberia and did
a survey of the beach, so marines can go in and grab the americans out. so, we missed the war, that deployment, too, and then that was when i figured it was time to go seal team 6, 'cause they're fighting everywhere, and that was the decision i made. >> being a member of seal team 6 is the ultimate goal of many navy seals. officially known as the united states naval special warfare development group, or devgru, they're the best of the best, the proverbial tip of the spear. becoming a member, however, is no easy feat. >> to get into seal team 6, now they're training navy seals to be part of a no-fail team. 50% of the navy seals that try out for seal team 6 don't make it. and that's saying something, 'cause these are serious dudes. >> things heated up quickly, with seal team 6 tasked with hunting down insurgents and high-value targets in iraq and afghanistan. >> there was probably six out of seven nights a week that we would go out. and that's really where we
learned how to fight. that's where we got as good as we did because we learned from the enemy. the enemy knew our tactics before we started fighting them in iraq, and they used them against us. >> what would a night where you're working be like? >> the intelligence people worked around the clock, so we'd generally go in there, find out what they had been watching all day, and based on what they were watching and what they found, we would pick a place to go, come up with a plan, brief the plan, get on the helicopters that were parked right outside, fly away, and then go into a house, find the bad guys, take them and their stuff, bring them back, and find more targets based on what they tell you. and then the next night's the same thing. >> how much concern was there that the houses were booby-trapped? >> there's concern. that became one of their tactics, where they would rig the house and wait for people to enter and blow it up. you just kind of need to look for what doesn't belong here. but yeah, it's spooky. i've walked in houses where there were bombs. we went in. we were face-to-face with a big drum of homemade explosives right in the middle of the room wired. you'd say the code word for what means "get out of here" quietly
but abruptly, and then people jumping off the roof. >> did you ever think there was a chance you were gonna pull the sheets down to see if somebody had a vest, and when you look, it's bin laden? >> no. during those raids, it was all low-level thugs that were making bombs and killing americans. every one of these guys we'd take off the street, we're saving someone's life because there are people in every branch of the military that had a much more dangerous job than we did, 'cause we were able to fight on our terms. we got people out there -- marines, army -- we had navy guys out there driving around in vehicles wondering when they're gonna blow up. it was better to target i.e.d. makers because you're taking them off the battlefield. >> coming up next, before the bin laden mission, rob was on the frontline of another crisis that would end up as a hollywood blockbuster, the rescue of captain richard phillips. that story and never-before-seen video from that mission when "the man who killed usama bin laden" continues. ♪ ♪
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>> missions executed by naval special warfare group are classified, and the american people will never hear about most of them. but sometimes their actions make headlines back home, and the public gets a small glimpse into the lives of seals. april 2009, seal team 6 was home in the states, when 8,000 miles away, the massive container ship maersk alabamawas hijacked by pirates off the coast of somalia. the dramatic events were portrayed in the tom hanks movie "captain phillips." >> look at me. >> sure. >> look at me. i'm the captain now. >> themaerskcrew fought back against the pirates, but the pirates took a lifeboat and escaped with their hostage, captain richard phillips. soon, news reached the united states an american was being held captive on a tiny lifeboat in the middle of the indian ocean. >> we knew we had a system in place. that's kind of our specialty is
to rescue people in the ocean. the thing unfolded, and people were spinning up, and we kind of knew that something's gonna happen. the negotiations aren't going well, and these guys are doing this. it's getting kind of rugged. >> american navy ships and helicopters were able to block the lifeboat carrying captain phillips and his somali pirate kidnappers from reaching somalia, even as the pirates opened fire. >> shot fired! shot fired! >> at the same time, the call was made -- send in the seals. >> good friday, april 10, which is my birthday. and i was at a tea party for easter at my kid's preschool. and we were actually sitting the kids down, getting them stuff to eat, when we got the message, "we're going." so, i had to leave from a preschool classroom to jump into the indian ocean to rescue captain richard phillips. there's a 7-eleven outside the base, and i stopped there to get some items i would want to jump
with -- tobacco and money and stuff like that. and i stopped in. there was a guy in front of me who was in no hurry whatsoever, and i'm in kind of a hurry. and i have a set amount of time to be there. one of the things he was buying was ausa today. and he all patriotic, and he was like, "i sure wish someone would do something about this." it's kind of funny. it's like, "you know what, buddy? if you hurry up and pay for your stuff, we will." >> by that time, the lifeboat had run out of fuel, and the pirates agreed to have it towed behind theuss bainbridge. but they kept captain phillips at gunpoint, demanding safe passage to somalia, where they could hold him for ransom. >> we thought we thought of everything, how to rescue people. but no one ever thought of a fully encompassed lifeboat being towed by a navy cruiser. >> how long from the time at the tea party that the pager went off did you have to get to base? >> we had a full head count in the indian ocean, everyone accounted for, 15 hours and 46 minutes after the page.
>> the seals flew to the indian ocean in a c-17 transport plane. once on sight, the back of the c-17 opened, and they dropped their boats. >> we have the capability of putting boats out of a plane into the water. then we jump behind it. we find the boat, we get in the boat, and then we drive the boat somewhere. >> then, one after another, dozens of seals parachuted from the plane to the ocean below, including one support staffer who had never jumped from a plane before. >> regardless of the wars we were fighting, we were always training back home on the hostage rescue at sea, trying to maintain our heritage of being proficient in the water, which we were. >> meanwhile, in the lifeboat, tension grew. with another team of seal snipers positioned on the back of thebainbridgeand captain phillips' life in danger, the order came down. "take the shot." >> execute! >> the movie made it look cool, but that wasn't the plan. we weren't going there to kill people. we were just gonna try and get
our guy back. >> the fact that you guys had a full head count 15 hours and 46 minutes after first getting the page -- what does that say about the guys you work with? >> they're incredible. everything from who's flying the airplanes, who packed the boats up, who rigged the parachutes, who trained the tandem masters to jump a guy that's never jumped before, simply getting all the stuff to the aircraft in time. it's a moment of pride, just the efficiency of the u.s. military when it needs to be. it makes you realize that if we wanted to take the gloves off and really hurt people, that wouldn't be a problem. >> but you have rules. >> we're the good guys. >> coming up next, rob and seal team 6 prepare for the mission of a lifetime. >> "it's bin laden. they found him. we're gonna go get him." this is brad. his day of coaching begins with knee pain, when... hey brad, wanna trade the all day relief of two aleve for six tylenol? what's the catch? there's no catch. you want me to give up my two aleve for six tylenol?
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headquarters, good evening. donald trump says he can become the republican nominee with or without the gop's support. very public front runner is urging his party to unite behind him but tells a crowd of supporters in indiana that it won't make a difference and that he'll "win" anyway. meantime, vermont senator bernie sanders admitting he faces an uphill climb, too. t he's asking unbound superdelegates to vote in line with their state but most of the party insiders are backing hillary clinton. isis taking responsibility for a pair of car bombings in southern iraq. explosives killing more than 30 people and injuring more than dozens of others. the attacks come as anti-government protesters rallied inside a green zone in baghdad. protesters since started to leave the heavily guarded area but they're calling for government reform as the country struggles to combat isis. and prince's personal chef
says the singer wasn't himself in the months leading up to his death. ray roberts that spent three years cooking for him claims prince had waves of sore throats and stomach aches. investigators are looking into whether the star suffered a drug overdose. it was easy to think that the world's most wanted terrorist might never be found. >> it even got to the point during the wars, i would tactically question people on target, suspects, and we would ask them almost because out of boredom. "whose house is this? who's the man of the house? who lives here?" and then we would say, "where's usama bin laden?" and they would laugh. and we would laugh. it's like, "who?" like, "you're never gonna find him." >> the cia was trying to track down usama bin laden through a variety of different avenues. >> mark bowden is the author of "black hawk down" and
"the finish: the killing of osama bin laden." >> one of the primary threads was thought to be his courier system and an individual who was known, was called "al-kuwaiti." and they followed him as his vehicle returned to this house in abbottabad. as they watched more and more, they realized that there was this man called the pacer, who walked around in the garden outside. and a lot of the people watching, who had seen images of bin laden from above in the past believed that that was him. >> the big question was, how to proceed? >> one of the first options they considered was to bomb the compound, which would have killed everyone in it and probably some people living nearby. >> the neighbors were gonna die. everyone in the house was gonna die. and then we'll never know if we got him. >> they also prepared the option of a very small missile or bullet, if you wish, shot from a
drone that would target an individual. but that was an untested weapon. they weren't sure they wanted to risk shooting and missing, because if they shot and missed, it would tip off bin laden if that was him, and he'd vanish again. >> they briefly considered a joint effort with the pakistanis and some american forces, and they quickly got rid of that one because the pakistanis will tell the people in the house we're coming, and he won't be there. then there was us. >> sending in a seal team was by far the riskiest option, and it wasn't just a risk of losing those men or of collateral damage on the ground. there was also the possibility that the intrusion into pakistan's air space would be noticed. >> after much deliberation, the call was made. >> we had just gotten back from deployment number 11 for me. we went to miami to dive.
we got the call from there that they were calling back a couple of us, not all of us. and other guys from other trips had been recalled, and they were all senior guys. and they sat us in a room, and they said, "hey, we found a thing, and the thing's in a house, and the house is in a bowl, and the bowl's in a country, and you're gonna go to that house, and you're gonna get a thing, and you're gonna bring it back to us." and that was it. we assumed it was gaddafi, 'cause it was the arab spring. "how are we getting there?" "can't tell you." "where's the country?" "can't tell you." "what's the thing?" "can't tell you." so, we assumed we would be flying off a navy ship from the mediterranean into libya, and then we'd go in there, grab gaddafi, and bring him out. they told us a couple of things, like "we're gonna read you in eventually, and here's who's gonna be there," and they said a few names that didn't make sense. you know, a few of us were talking a couple days later about this person, this person, why would they be there? "it's bin laden. they found him. we're gonna go get him." >> the cia had been doing extensive surveillance on the mysterious compound and built a
scale model that was an exact replica. >> we knew it was gonna be a house. we were gonna separate into four teams. so, we were able to get an idea of what the external part of the target looked like. we knew every single part of the exterior, every opening, every garden, every path, how high the walls were. we'd practice flying in and then assaulting. the plan was to fast-roll. we were gonna fast-roll all the guys from dash 1, the first helicopter, right in front of the main house out of both sides. dash 2 would, at the same time, drop some guys outside of the north end for external security, then put the rest of us on the roof. once we were on the roof, we could take it from the top and bottom simultaneously. we practiced the hit, and then we practiced leaving, and then we'd do it all again. we had the plan down. we could have launched the day they told us, no problem. >> what did the cia analyst, who's now famous for being the subject of "zero dark thirty," tell you? >> "if you want to kill him, he's on the third floor -- 100%." >> were you 100%? >> i believed her.
>> when you're drawing up the plan in the united states, where were you supposed to be? >> initially, i was going to be the team leader for external security. there was a couple of snipers and a medic, and i was gonna be the team leader outside. so, we were gonna get off our helicopter. he was gonna drop us off, and the rest of the guys were gonna go to the rooftop. the analyst told me, "if you want to get a shot at bin laden, he's on the third floor." so, i actually talked myself out of a team-leader spot so i could stay on the helicopter and then go to the roof. and then, that was what we called the martyrs' brigade. so, we volunteered to get on the roof, and we were gonna jump into the balcony and then gonna have a shootout with bin laden from the balcony inside. the more we trained on it, the more we realized this is gonna be a one-way mission. we're gonna go, and we're not gonna come back. we're gonna die when the house blows up. we're gonna die when he blows up. or we're gonna be there too long, and we're gonna get arrested by the pakistanis and we're gonna spend the rest of our short lives in pakistan
prison. >> what's it like training for something so hard, so intensely, when you don't think that you're going to survive the mission? >> well, it was worth it because this is it. we would have moments. we'd joke around and laugh, but then all of a sudden it kind of hits you again. it's like, "all right, let's get serious again, 'cause this is gonna happen, and we're not coming home." >> was that a sad... >> no. >> ...feeling? >> no, it was more of a "we're gonna die eventually. this is a good way to go, and it's worth it to kill him, 'cause he's gonna die with us." >> when you heard that there were some other options, did any part of you hope that the president picked one that did not require sending you to possibly... >> die. >> ...die? >> the thought was there, but we wanted to go. we really wanted to do this. this is why we're all here now. and just to be part of something so historic, you can't ask for more. would there have been some sort of relief? maybe. you know, "okay, we didn't go,
>> tell me about the letters that you wrote your kids. >> i wrote one to pretty much everybody. it was more of an explanation of why we went, why it was noble, and why i'm not afraid. "i'm with the best people in the world. we're going on the most important mission since washington crossed the delaware. and it's worth it. i'm sorry that you're upset, but i died with the people i should have died with." it was sad. there were a few times when tears were hitting the pages.
it's weird to -- i mean, i'm gonna call people, but this is a letter they're gonna get from me, explaining why it had to happen. >> did you think they wouldn't understand? >> no, they'd all understand. the kids probably wouldn't, but i think eventually they would. >> and that's a piece of paper they would have for their whole lives. >> yeah. >> that piece of paper would be the last advice they ever got... >> yes. >> ...from their dad. >> yes. >> what did you say? >> i talked about their weddings, wishing them happiness, take care of their mom. i think there's some apologies in there for "sorry i'm not around." the first thing i did when i got home was shred them. and i don't know if i'm happy about that, but, you know, they're gone. >> why'd you shred them? >> i didn't want to read them again. i didn't want anybody reading them. >> why not? >> it didn't happen. and i thought -- instead of something horrible happening, something great happened
instead. >> before you left, you also called your dad. >> i did. he was the last person i called. i was actually in my gear, getting ready to launch on something i couldn't tell him. and i called him to say goodbye and thanks for everything. >> the interesting part of our conversation -- i don't know what he's doing. as i look back on it, i get choked up. going into it, you know, they might be heading to some deserted island to do something fairly benign, if that's ever possible with seal team 6 guys. so, i really don't know what he's up to, but he's calling me last. i know that he's telling me that he's boarding the bird. i'm the last one he calls. and he's checking in, kind of thanking me for a lot of things, but just checking in. >> i couldn't say what's going on. i was like, "hey," something along the lines of "it's nice that we got to know each other" or something like that, something that really got to him.
and i wasn't trying to be sad, and i wasn't sad at the time. i was more excited, just saying, "hey," 'cause he knew i'd gone somewhere. he didn't have any idea where i was. and he just -- he knew something was up. >> and so... i think for a while, and i have a very busy mind. even though i'm out here in a wal-mart parking lot, where the biggest hazard is parallel parking for me, all of a sudden, things are hitting me. >> he told me later that he was in his truck at the wal-mart right down the street here, and after i hung up the phone, he couldn't get out of his car for 20 minutes. >> there was... there was something in the tone that got me. >> and then he was walking around the wal-mart, and he ran into his sister, who is a nurse. >> boy, what a better time to run into my sister, a practicing
registered nurse, who knows, of course, everything. she sees me, and i look like -- there's two words i love to mispronounce. they're called "apoplectic" and "catatonic." i'm probably a combination of both. and she kind of just takes me to the side. "what's wrong?" looking back now, i really do know what's wrong. at the time, i'm guessing. my mind is all over the place. but it's... you know, after 17 years, i think it's over for him. what we typically say in every phone call is, i tell rob how proud of him i am, to this day, and that i love him.
in this call, i remember i said, "i wish i could go with you." just what he needs. you know? some 60-plus-year-old guy tagging along on an adventure that he can't even tell me about. but it's just the emotion now of what i know to be the importance then. you know, after 3 years and 4 months, it should get better. [ voice breaking ] and it will. >> and then, i guess he went home, and a few hours later, it's more of a "you got to be kidding me" type stuff. then, he's watching the press conference. i remember he said he remembers watching geraldo, and they were speculating. then there's more of a "is everyone okay?" followed by a pride. and he knows the story better than i do.
i just remember making that call and then getting on a helicopter to leave. we walked outside. there was a bonfire going. the boss on both sides, the admiral and the sergeant major, were there, as was the other seals. there was a couple proud words from our bosses, and instead of the usual handshake to the other seals -- like, you go on a mission, give them a handshake and like, "hey, all right, see you in a couple minutes. have a good fight." now it was hugging everyone. we all knew that the chances of dying were really high. so, just hugging the other guys, looking at my brothers from the other squadron, it was just -- you know, i can only imagine it's like a feeling in the tunnel for an nfl player before he's about to run on the field in front of 100,000 people. it's like, "it is time to do my job." and we drove to the helicopters, and then we had a minute around there. we were sitting there, talking. guys did their last things they needed to do before we get on for a long ride. then, we got in the helicopters, and we launched. we were the end. we were the fist. we were the fdny. we were the nypd. we were the american people.
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>> still to come tonight on "the man who killed usama bin laden"... >> two minutes out, the doors open, and it's not a training site in the mountains in the united states. i knew there would be a hallway. i knew there would be rooms off to the side. i knew there would be a stairwell at the end. standing on two feet in front of me with his hands on his wife was the face that i'd seen thousands of times. it was u.b.l. my first thought was, "we got him. we got him. we just ended the war." it would be irresponsible of me not to give everyone else closure. and i remember a guy standing up in front of me, telling me, explaining to his friend's
daughter why did god do this every single day. and he said, "god didn't do this. the devil did this." >> [ voice breaking ] you killed the devil, and i salute you for that, sir!" >> we kind of piled in. there was another seal that i knew well, a seal team 6 guy, that i happened to sit next to. and it's still kind of sinking in, what just happened. and this seal was from new york city. and he yelled at me over the whine of the engines, as we're taking off, "who shot him? who got him?" i said, "i think i did." and he said, "on behalf of my family, thank you." and that was just cool. it's like, "here's this seal team 6 guy, and this super-badass operator, thanking me for what the team and i just did. that was kind of a point where it's like, "wow, thiswasa big deal."