But Bissonnette is hardly the only man who’s sought to capitalize on his life as an elite warrior. Other SEALs have given paid speeches and consulted for filmmakers and video game designers. O’Neill himself is a paid motivational speaker who talks about his experiences in the SEALs, although he’s never been known to have revealed details of the raid.
Sources who know and worked with O’Neill, who was first identified by the special operations blog SOFREP, said his version of events showed cracks almost from the night of the raid itself. One former special operations official said that O’Neill didn’t identify himself as the main shooter in the “hot wash” debriefing that operators conducted immediately after the raid at an air base in Afghanistan. But upon his return stateside, O’Neill identified himself as the trigger-man to members of the public while drinking in some favorite SEAL bars in Virginia Beach, VA. (This account was independently verified by a second source.) O’Neill’s behavior prompted his superiors to counsel him that the operation was classified, the former official said.
This much seems beyond dispute. O’Neill was one of three men who fired at the fugitive terrorist in the moments before he died. The two others SEALs were Bissonnette and a third shooter whom multiple sources referred to as the “point man,” because he was standing at the front of the team of SEALs as they climbed a staircase and approached bin Laden’s bedroom on the upper floor of his safe house.