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在线翻译:
szdaily -> Person of the week
Rob O’Neill — the last person Osama bin Laden saw
     2014-November-14  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

    “I was the last person he saw,” Navy SEAL Rob O’Neill tells how Osama bin Laden looked him straight in the eyes before he shot him dead and “‘ended the war.”

    FORMER Navy SEAL Robert O’Neill appeared in his first television interview Tuesday night to detail the historic raid in which he shot dead Osama bin Laden, and told how he was the last person that the elusive al-Qaida leader ever saw.

    In a two-part interview with Fox News, which concluded Wednesday night, O’Neill said, “If it was light enough, I was the last person he saw.”

    He revealed that he looked bin Laden straight in the eyes before he shot him dead.

    O’Neill said: “He was standing there two feet (0.6 meters) in front of me, hand on his wife, the face I’ve seen thousands of times. I thought, ‘We got him, we just ended the war.”’

    The 38-year-old recalled his last phone call to his father, and the emotional letters he wrote to his then-wife and children, certain that he would either be killed or taken prisoner in the risky raid ordered by U.S. President Barack Obama on May 2, 2011.

    While his three bullets helped bring closure to the many Americans who lost loved ones at the World Trade Centers, the Pentagon, and Shanksville, Pennsylvania, that moment continues to torment O’Neill every day.

    “I’m still trying to figure out if it’s the best thing I ever did or the worst thing I ever did,” O’Neill said.

    While O’Neill was proud that he was a “big part” of the successful mission that brought bin Laden’s reign of terror to an end, he remained hesitant on how that monumental action will impact his life in the long term.

    “I don’t know what’s going to happen,” he said. “I did something I’m going to have to live with every day.”

    Last year, a still-anonymous O’Neill gave his first interview to Esquire, telling how the event of that night led to his marriage unraveling and his early retirement from the SEALs.

    But O’Neill spoke with nothing but pride Tuesday when he detailed the rigorous training that went into joining the elite amphibious Navy squad and the immense sense of satisfaction he got when he was chosen to participate in Operation Neptune’s Spear.

    O’Neill was with his team in Miami for diving training in 2011 when he and a several other senior SEALs got the call to deploy for a special mission.

    At first, military officials only gave the team a vague understanding of the mission, leading them to believe they were going to Libya to capture Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi since it was around the time of the Arab Spring.

    But eventually it dawned on the team that they could be after a much bigger target, someone who had evaded capture for nearly a decade.

    The team was trained for the mission on a replica of the Abbottabad compound where it was believed bin Laden was hiding.

    The plan was to split the group up, with some SEALs being dropped off inside the walls of the compound, another team outside and others on the roof so that they could raid the house from top to bottom and ensure security from the neighboring community.

    According to initial assignments, O’Neill was to be the team leader for the group stationed outside the compound for security.

    But when he learned from the CIA agent who discovered the compound that bin Laden would most likely be on the top floor, he volunteered to give up his leadership position and take up the riskiest part of the raid — being dropped on the roof to engage in a shootout with the notorious terrorist from the third-floor balcony.

    O’Neill called the team the “Martyr’s brigade” and that nearly everyone wrote letters home to their family, believing they wouldn’t be coming home.

    “The more we trained on it, the more we realized this was going to be a one-way mission,” O’Neill said.

    However, he says he and the team looked at the situation positively, believing it was a worthy last act to bring down bin Laden with them.

    “It was more of a we’re going to die eventually and this is a good way to go....we’re at war because of this guy and now we’re going to go get him.”

    In his letters home to his wife and children, O’Neill apologized for dying in what he called the most important military operation “since Washington crossed the Delaware.”

    The first thing he did when he got home after the raid was shred those letters. He says he’s still not sure if he’s happy about the decision to destroy the heartfelt last words, but says they are irrelevant since he survived.

    “I didn’t want to read them. I didn’t want anyone reading them,” he said.

    One of the last things he did before boarding a helicopter into Pakistan to carry out the raid on the Abbottabad compound was call his father.

    He says he told his father he was just checking in on him, but added how nice it was to get to know him. During the call, O’Neill says he wasn’t sad, but more excited about the coming action.

    His father on the other hand, was driving to Walmart at the time of the call and realized something was off when he hung up. He couldn’t get out of his truck for 20 minutes after the strange call, and was paralyzed with fear as he entered the store. Hours later, the first news reports came in about the raid, and he knew his son was involved.

    O’Neill says he had attended just one year of college in the mid-1990s when he broke up with a girlfriend and wanted to find a way out of town fast.

    In January 1996, he finally arrived at Navy basic training camp and then went on to SEALs training with it’s notoriously hellish conditioning exercises — including a swimming test in which candidates’ feet and arms are bound.

    O’Neill was one of the hardened candidates to graduate from SEAL school, and he then went on with his first assignment to SEAL Team Two where he was trained as a sniper.

    But O’Neill is facing a deepening backlash from former comrades angered both by his disputed version of events inside bin Laden’s compound and his decision to go public.

    There are now different versions circulating of who delivered the fatal shot that took down American’s public enemy number one during the raid conducted by more than 20 commandos.

    Jonathan Gilliam, a former SEAL, condemned the actions and motives of O’Neill, who draws on his special forces experiences in his well-paid appearances as a motivational speaker.

    “It’s ridiculous for O’Neill to claim the credit for the fatal shot as we probably never will know and don’t need to know,” said Gilliam, a security consultant, noting that his views reflected the views of many SEALs with whom he had spoken.

    Two other SEALs and military chiefs insisted that it was the unidentified “pointman” who fired the fatal shot and that when O’Neill and another SEALs burst into the bedroom, they merely shot more bullets into the already mortally wounded al-Qaida chief as he lay stricken.

    Gilliam also expressed fears that O’Neill had made himself and his family — and possibly even those who attend his talks — targets for attacks by Islamic extremists seeking revenge for the death of bin Laden.

    “He’s put a bulls-eye not just on his back but on those around him by identifying himself. I would not want to be anywhere around him, I’m afraid. If I heard he was coming to give a speech at my workplace, I’d call in sick,” Gilliam said.

    O’Neill’s home address is not public and it is not known if he has taken extra security arrangements or will be provided with protection. (SD-Agencies)

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