Report: Hero who killed bin Laden out of work

Published Monday, February 11, 2013 / The Five

This is a rush transcript from "The Five," February 11, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

ERIC BOLLING, CO-HOST: The shooter who killed Usama bin Laden has spoken, but what he is saying may surprise you. Look, bin Laden is dead and America is safer. The guy who deep-sixed him is out of work and struggling to feed his family. He's cautious and careful not to leak secrets, careful to put the country at risk. For that, he is broke. The shooter served 16 years in the Navy, not 20 years to earn a pension and he is thrown out of the military healthcare system because his 180 days ran out.

But some people can cash in on the kill. For example, "Zero Dark Thirty" for example.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JESSICA CHASTAIN AS 'MAYA': It's a hundred percent.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You will never find him. He is one of the disappeared ones.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BOLLING: Well, that film is grossing 100 million bucks. But is it fair that the guy with 100 combat missions, twelve deployments, 30-plus kills, including bin Laden, is struggling to put food and healthcare on the table for his wife and kids?

Should this be America treat our heroes?

And, Greg, you're shaking your head. It's crazy, isn't it?

GREG GUTFELD, CO-HOST: What really has he done? I mean, come on. You got to be kidding me.

No, this is exciting. If "Zero Dark Thirty" wins, I think this is the best solution. Kathryn Bigelow should have him accept the award in disguise and let him be the guy that gets the accolades. And give him a cut of the money.

The problem with this, he has had one of the greatest achievements of all time, but he can't tell anyone about it, which means that there are people that can. I could conceivably go to a restaurant and say I'm the guy that killed bin Laden and get free dessert, which is what's going to happen in 30 years.

BOLLING: You know what the promise? Kimberly, this is -- by the way, this is in Esquire magazine. It's 27 pages. It's fascinating read.

But here it is, 25 million bucks. There's a bounty on bin Laden's head. These guys don't get to touch a dime of it. This guy is trying to put food on the table.

KIMBERLY GUILFOYLE, CO-HOST: Isn't there something terribly wrong about this? Isn't this one of the most unjust stories that you heard about?

When you think about people who sacrifice every day, putting their life on the line to make this country and, quite frankly, the world a safer place, if they are treated like this, almost marginalized, not able to get a job, although as Dana mentioned before, they are great organizations that do work with veterans. This is a very unique group. And they are programmed and trained to kill. So, what do you do when you get out?

And they don't get paid very much. Some of them make $50,000. If you're lucky and you stay in and you're enlisted, maybe you make $100,000, something like that. That's not a lot to support a wife and kids, especially with the work that the wives are doing at home, keeping -- you know, holding down the home front with these guys with multiple deployments.

And in order to retire and get the money, you have to do 20 years of sacrifice.

BOLLING: President Obama took victory lap after victory lap after victory lap, but the shooter can't afford to feed his kids. The system seems to be broken.

BOB BECKEL, CO-HOST: Well, I mean, it certainly is broken if that's the case. I mean, according to the Defense Department, he is entitled to 35 percent of his pay for now until the rest of his life. I just checked that with the Defense Department.

Now, it may be that the --

GUILFOYLE: Based on the number of years then?

BECKEL: Yes.

BOLLING: In this article, he says no.

BECKEL: Maybe he is not aware of it. Look, the guy did an extraordinary job. He should be taken care of. The fact that they dropped him off health care after 180 days is ridiculous, until he gets it worked out.

As for the $25 million, that should be shared up and down the line with the woman who did a lot of intelligence and other people involved in it, including the other members of the Six force. So, I suspect he will probably get some of that money.

BOLLING: Dana, so many people -- so many different people making money on various aspect of this, commerce, whatever, film, video games. Shouldn't we at least as a culture take care of him?

DANA PERINO, CO-HOST: Well, I -- yes, though I have a little different view. He chose to go to Navy. He became an amazing SEAL. He trained. There are standards and regulations that the military has. It says you have to serve "X" number of years to get "Y" number of benefits. They don't necessarily change it because of heroism.

And I don't really remember this in history where heroes like he is would come forward and then do an article like this. Well, he's not -- I don't think he's asking for charity. What he is looking for is a job.

Now, I can't understand why someone would not want to hire him. You can put him for example, in a sales job. Who wouldn't want him at a board meeting to say well, actually, that's what happened? Even if you are just having him tell the story about leadership or something like that. That to me is something he could do.

On the bonus money, I'm uncomfortable with it. This was the job. This was the mission. You sign up for a certain type of thing.

I agree on the Kathryn Bigelow thing. Her giving him something out of this would make a lot of sense. But should the government do it for the heroes? I don't think so.

BOLLING: Yes, think about this. If someone in Pakistani turned him in or shot him, he'd be walking around with 25 million bucks.

PERINO: I don't know if the $25 million, that might have been something that originated in the Bush administration. I don't remember who the money was supposed to -- what we were hoping for. Maybe it was supposed to go to the military.

GUTFELD: It creates -- what it does is it creates a really interesting comparison against a guy who risks his life for his country and a typical bureaucrat that uses his country to pad his lifestyle. That is the person that gets rewarded long-term through pensions and whatnot. One is a warrior. The other is a barnacle. And the barnacle gets a better life. That's the injustice.

BECKEL: The person who captured Hussein, there was a bounty on Hussein. But those military guys who found did not get that reward money.

Dana is exactly right. It's part of your job.

The other is I cannot imagine --

BOLLING: Why do you go like this? I quit. Bang.

BECKEL: No, no, all I'm saying is -- I suppose you could do that.

GUILFOYLE: They would prosecute you or something.

BECKEL: I would be shocked if this guy could -- just on the speakers circuit alone make hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars.

GUILFOYLE: Assuming he is a great public speaker, Bob --

BOLLING: Can we do this? Take a listen to President Obama. Listen to President Obama on Veterans Day. Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: So, long after the battles end, long after our heroes come home, we stay by their side.

That's who we are, because no one fights for this country overseas should ever have to fight for a job or a roof over their head or the care that they have earned when they come home.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BOLLING: But that doesn't happen, Bob.

BECKEL: Well, I can tell you very simply, there is nothing changed under Obama in terms of retirement and health in the military service at all. So putting that SOT up there is nice to do to try to hook Obama in this. Obama has nothing to do with this. These are military rules of retirement.

BOLLING: Did I selectively edit anything? Did I do something wrong? Aren't those his words Veterans Day saying we'll take care of the people who are fighting for us overseas?

GUTFELD: You disgust me, Eric, with what you said. Actually, Bob might have a point there.

But there is an interesting -- a little thing that no one ever talks about. The left talks about waste when it comes to defense. They like big government unless it has to do with the military. And it tells you that for them, it's not really about big government. It's about a weaken America.

If this wasn't the case, then the left would want the military every bit as big as social programs in America, which they don't. That's weird.

BOLLING: Can imagine how much money -- I'm sorry, Dana -- how much money we're wasting, tens of billions of dollars? And this poor guy, I keep going back to him. Who cares? When you win a Super Bowl, they give you $100,000 or $150,000 extra dollars on top of salary to reward these guys.

GUILFOYLE: What about a merit system? When you get to the ranks where they are developing group to be what was formally called SEAL Team 6, that takes so much dedication and skill and training, all of it. If it was something based on, you know, merit, right, why shouldn't they be paid more for the jobs that they're doing? Why not compensate? Like the future jobs are important. Pay them what they're worth. And it's a lot.

BECKEL: Well, maybe -- I'm sorry. Go ahead.

PERINO: The merit based pay thing is an issue I think that the Republican Party should take up.

GUILFOYLE: Thank you, Dana.

PERINO: I've been rolling something around in my mind. I think that that the Republican Party should come out and say that they are for an increase in the base pay for enlisted military.

I would imagine because of Phil Bronstein doing this piece for "Esquire" magazine, sometimes you'll get advocacy journalism. So -- which means tomorrow, you'll probably have a few members of Congress who get together to be bipartisan and they'll try to pass something that says hold on a second. Let's see if we can something on this benefit piece.

So, he's going through a lot of pain and agony and especially because of his family and the breakup of his family. Though his wife -- and he sounds like they are trying to work it out as best they can.

But maybe that's what the Republican Party should do is say they deserve better base pay.

BECKEL: But who makes the determination about who gets merit, who doesn't get merit?

BOLLING: But can I show you something? Pull up this full screen.

Dana, along in lines of what you're exactly saying. Watch this full screen. Look at this, the TSA, the top level of pay for regular TSA agent, 155,000 bucks. The DMV, 72 grand. United Postal Service, the average employee of the United Postal Service, 82,000 bucks.

And this guy, the shooter, 60 grand because he put in 16 years. That is fair?

BECKEL: Listen, this guy --

BOLLING: Can I get, Dana, weigh in?

PERINO: Well, no, it doesn't seem like it. However, can I go back to choosing to become a Navy SEAL and actually achieving that, there might be something -- I'm not saying you shouldn't get compensated for it, but there is some sort of -- there's a personal commitment there.

When I had a chance to go to that Navy SEALs training center and see all those young men, they had really long beards, they were -- they are for a higher purpose than money. I'm not saying we shouldn't take care of them financially.

GUILFOYLE: Love of country.

PERINO: But there is a passion that is in their hearts that they care for in America. Yes, we should do something. Maybe now, Congress will want to change it. But I don't -- there is something strange about this one guy --

GUILFOYLE: You know what it is? I think he is trying to speak on behalf of all of them who are suffering. Do you know how many guys I know like this? And he wasn't trying to go out and sell the book. He's trying to get the word out. So, maybe something happens like you suggested.

BECKEL: He knew what his retirement plans where when he went into the Navy when he signed up.

PERINO: Yes.

BECKEL: But for a guy like this, I would be you, it would be impossible not to make a million bucks over the next years.

BOLLING: OK. Bob, why should Congress, if you spent five years in Congress, you're your pension for the rest of your life, or one term in the Senate six years, you earn the pension for the rest of your life? But a Navy SEAL guy who takes out bin Laden doesn't get a chance?

GUTFELD: I think there should be affirmative action for military when hiring. We have affirmative action for everything else. Why not -- I mean, the best thing you can do is hire a vet. They are usually the most even-keeled sensible people in the room. They're the first guy on time.

They are the least bored in the room because they are excited to be there. If there are no chocolate sprinkles on their mocha latte, it doesn't really matter. Two years ago, they were shot at.

GUILFOYLE: Right.

BECKEL: There are hundreds of companies right now who would hire him --

GUILFOYLE: That's why people like to hire them. Perhaps there needs to be some better communication to have an awareness so they have an idea of what these options are, because these guys that go in, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20 years, they even have to leave school. Some of them started out going to college and how to drop out because they were so successful and so good at what they did and they care so deeply about this country, that they sacrifice their education, too, which makes it hard to get a job after you get out. It does.

BOLLING: We're going to leave it there.

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