Navy SEALS Call Controversial New Book About Bin Laden Killing 'Not True'
In a rare public comment, a spokesman for Navy SEAL Admiral Bill McRaven called the account of the killing of Osama Bin Laden in the new book SEAL Target Geronimo by Chuck Pfarrer “not true.”
The U.S. Special Operations Command is calling the former Navy SEAL’s book wrong over its claims to describe the “real” version of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden.
The book attracted attention in Hollywood when agents shopped the manuscript to producers in the weeks before publication.
SEAL Target Geronimo is the latest in a series of book and film projects about the elite Navy special operations forces generally and the Bin Laden raid specifically. SEAL Team Six: Memoirs of an Elite Navy SEAL Sniper by Howard Wasdin and Stephen Templin, which fortuitously came out just weeks after Bin Laden’s death, landed on The New York Times best-seller list.
The Hurt Locker team of director Kathryn Bigelow and writer Mark Boal are making a movie about the raid for Sony.
Another Navy SEALs movie, Act of Valor, is scheduled to hit theaters in February from Relativity Media. That film, made with the cooperation of the military and featuring actual soldiers, doesn't specifically deal with the Bin Laden killing.
In SEAL Target Geronimo: The Inside Story of the Mission to Kill Osama bin Laden, Pfarrer, a former SEAL, offers an alternative version of the raid arguing the SEAL team shot bin Laden within 90 seconds of arriving at the Pakistan compound where the al-Qaida mastermind was holed up.
Pfarrer claims the White House issued a fictional and damaging account of the raid that made the SEALs look inept. He says President Barack Obama’s speedy acknowledgement of the raid was a political move that rendered much of the intelligence gathered on the raid useless.
Pfarrer also called the White House version of bin Laden’s shooting — that he was unarmed but trying to evade them — “murder.” He said his version, which has bin Laden reaching for a gun, makes the killing legal.
“It’s just not true,” U.S. Special Operations Command spokesman Col. Tim Nye said on behalf of Admiral McRaven. “It’s not how it happened.”
Pfarrer has appeared on Fox News, CNN and in other venues to promote the new book. It broke into Amazon’s top 20 book sales list last week and currently sits at no. 49.
“I have truth on my side,” Pfarrer said in an interview with The Associated Press. “I spoke to the guys on the ground and in the secondary bird,” he said, referring to the aircraft full of a second SEAL team that was there to rescue the first if it came under attack so far inside Pakistan’s borders.
“We have never come forward and gone after an author and say, ‘that is a lie,’” Nye said. “That tells you how far off the mark we believe this book is.”
Nye says Pfarrer had no access to any troops connected to the mission. He said there will be no investigation into whether individual SEALs spoke to Pfarrer.
The Associated Press contributed to the report.