Pfarrer: Bissonnette did not shoot Bin Laden

NED accounts of helo crash, firefights during the raid on bin Laden’s compound impossible

The retired Navy SEAL officer, and author of “SEAL Target Geronimo: The Inside Story of the Mission to Kill Osama bin Laden,” in an exclusive interview with Human Events, said inconsistencies in Matt Bissonnette’s memoirs of the raid on Bin Laden tell him Bisonette was not part of the entry team that shot Bin Laden.

In connection with the release of his book, Bissonnette, writing under the name Mark Owen, gave a lengthy interview on the CBS “60 Minutes” program, complete with a scale model of the Abbottabad compound.

After watching the “60 Minutes” interview and reading “No Easy Day,” Chuck Pfarrer, a former commander of the Naval Special Warfare Development Group, known as SEAL Team 6, the same team credited with the May 2 raid on Bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, said he is unconvinced and confused.

Bisonette’s description of coming up the stairs to the third floor and killing Bin Laden’s son Kalid Laden and then reaching Bin Laden himself does not make sense, he said.

The Pakistanis say Kalid was shot from a higher position, he said. Two bullets hit him above the eyes that came out at the bottom of the back of his head. “There were no foot prints in the blood on the stairs,” he said. No one came up the stairs past Kalid on to the third floor.

“I am convinced he was not part of the entry team,” he said.

An equally glaring falsehood in Bissonnette’s book, “No Easy Day,” involved how and when the entry team reached Bin Laden and the book’s bizarre account of the helicopter crash, Pfarrer said.

Bissonnette claims the Black Hawk carrying the insertion team crashed upon its approach on one of the interior walls in the compound, he said. There is no way the Black Hawk landed with its tail on the wall with front and back rotors continuing to spin as the assault team members and flight crew egressed for the mission without rotors hitting the ground or personnel.

“An object 77 feet, six inches perched on a 15-foot wall would certainly have a rotor strike,” he said.

“It is simple trigonometry.”

“Saying that this thing landed with its tail on the wall and its nose in the dirt and that miraculously — and he uses that word, didn’t have a rotor strike, that is completely implausible,” he said.

Pfarrer said he cannot understand why Bissonnette would make up key parts of the story.

“I honestly don’t know what the motivation could be,” he said.

“Let’s not even talk about my sources, Mohamed Bashir, Bin Laden’s closest neighbor, said he saw the helicopter land on the roof and he saw people jump out of the helicopter off the roof into the third floor terrace,” he said.  “Bissonnette’s story differs from every from every single person I have spoken to, and every person the Pakistanis spoke to.”

In addition to speaking to members of SEAL Team 6, who were on the raid, Pfarrer, a retired SEAL officer, had accessed to the 150-page report produced by Pakistani security forces, he said. The White Paper by a very well-respected Pakistani Army general is the basis for much of the new information he included in the soon to be released edition of “SEAL Target Geronimo.”

Urban warfare doctrine calls for taking a building from the top down when possible, he said.

“Everyone I talk to, the assaulters, they all say the same thing,” he said. “Successful insertion on the roof, and bin Laden’s business was over in 90 to 120 seconds.”

Instead of fast roping, the Black Hawk landed the assaulters directly on the roof, he said. The assaulters then crashed through a two windows onto the Bin Laden’s compartments on the third floor.

“The helicopter remained on the roof for 10, 12, 18 minutes — it was on there,” he said. Then once the shooting was over, the helicopter was supposed to then move park in the compound yard, staged to pick people up and take them out.

It was moving from the roof to the staging position that the helicopter crashed, he said.

The only possible explanation for Bissonnette’s narrative is that out of respect for the Task Force 160 pilots and flight crew, Bissonnette concocted his version of the crash, putting the crash as part of the insertion, so as to deflect from the obvious pilot error that cost the mission one of its aircraft, he said.

“The Task Force 160 guys are the best,” he said. “Even in my own book, I tried to treat the crash as gently as possible.”

“Here’s the other outstanding thing in Bissonnette’s story, he’s trying to say it was 15 minutes before they got to the third floor,” he said.

“How is possible that Bin Laden would wait in his room 15 minutes for the attackers to come get him,” he said. “It can’t happen that way”

“Are we really supposed to think that his shots are the ones that got Bin Laden, and it was 15 minutes after his boots hit the ground that he finally made it to the third floor and engaged?” he said.

Pfarrer said he agrees with Bissonnette’s account that Bin Laden had a pistol and rifle in his room, but it is bizarre that after a helicopter crash, three explosive breeches and a firefight coming up the stairs, Bin Laden had not yet reached for his firearms.

“That’s where the whole thing falls apart,” he said.

“I have a hard time explaining any of this,” he said. “I’ve been on missions, and I don’t talk about where I was and when I engaged people, I don’t know, it’s unfathomable.  He is now making himself the biggest target in the world.”

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