On Monday, Phil Bronstein published an article in Esquire magazine about “the Shooter” of Osama bin Laden, his recollection of the raid, details of killing the terrorist who had been hiding since 9/11 and what his life is like now that he's retiring from service.
Retired Navy SEAL Rick Woolard has a message for "the Shooter" and others feeling compelled to share their insider stories too: show some "professional dignity." Others part of SEAL Team 6 have written books and helped with video game consulting based on their experiences.
his product image released by Electronic Arts shows action from the video game "Medal of Honor: Warfighter." Seven members of the secretive Navy SEAL Team 6, including one involved in the mission to kill Osama bin Laden, have been punished for allegedly divulging classified information to the maker of the game, senior Navy officials said Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012. (Photo: AP)
A copy of "No Easy Day", an account of the killing of Osama Bin Laden on May 2, 2011 by the Navy SEALs who executed the mission, is viewed on the shelf of the bookstore Shakespeare and Company on September 4, 2012 in New York City. The controversial book by Mark Owen, a believed pen name for former SEAL Matt Bissonnette, was criticized d by the Pentagon for breaching nondisclosure agreements. (Photo:Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Woolard, who was a SEAL captain, shared his thoughts on SOFREP.com (the Special Operations Forces Report) starting with that he is not only disappointed with the SEAL for allowing an interview -- "if in fact he did" -- but also that Esquire published "too much info about the shooter's command in the story."
Here's more of Woolard's thoughts:
But before the usual retired SEALs rush in front of cameras to opine about The Shooter and further embarass the community, they should know that The Shooter’s command bent over backward and worked for months to keep him on active duty until he could retire. This included the Commander, Command Master Chief, and others who knew him well. The Shooter could have transferred to another less rigorous job at the command or to another SEAL organization and stayed on for another few years and then received retirement benefits. The command was saddened and disappointed when he got out.
I do feel for The Shooter, but no one made him leave the Navy before retirement age. To leave at 16 years was his call. He thought he had a plan that would make his retirement pension unnecessary and it did not work out.
As TheBlaze pointed out in its coverage of the The Shooter's story in Esquire, his lack of healthcare as reported by Bronstein, who is the executive chairman of the Center for Investigative Reporting, might not be accurate. Woolard addressed this point as well writing that every Iraq and Afghanistan veteran is eligible for free healthcare from Veterans Affairs. Not only that but vocational rehabilitation is available as well.
"Did he attended his transition briefings?" Woolard wonders. "If so, he would have been told of these programs; they are no secret."
SOFREP's Brandon Webb wrote in the lead-in to Woolard's opinion that the "SEAL community could learn a few lessons from Delta when it comes to setting clear guidelines on what’s appropriate and what’s not."
Woolard ended with these words to the Shooter: "Maybe maintain some professional dignity, and stop helping to enrich people in the entertainment, book, and news businesses to the detriment of the honorable SEAL reputation many of us have bled to create."