MILITARY

Disclosure by SEAL who says he fatally shot bin Laden sparks debate in special ops community

In this photo taken on Dec. 20, 2013, Robert O’Neill a former Navy Seal team member, poses for a photo in Butte, Mont. O'Neill, a retired Navy SEAL who says he shot bin Laden in the head, publicly identified himself Thursday, Nov. 6, 2014, amid debate over whether special operators should be recounting their secret missions. One current and one former SEAL confirmed to The Associated Press that O'Neill was long known to have fired the fatal shots at the al-Qaida leader. (AP Photo/The Montana Standard, Walter Hinick)

In this photo taken on Dec. 20, 2013, Robert O’Neill a former Navy Seal team member, poses for a photo in Butte, Mont. O'Neill, a retired Navy SEAL who says he shot bin Laden in the head, publicly identified himself Thursday, Nov. 6, 2014, amid debate over whether special operators should be recounting their secret missions. One current and one former SEAL confirmed to The Associated Press that O'Neill was long known to have fired the fatal shots at the al-Qaida leader. (AP Photo/The Montana Standard, Walter Hinick)  (The Associated Press)

Some special operations service members and veterans are unhappy that one of their own has taken credit publicly for killing Osama bin Laden. Others say they have gotten used to the idea that their brethren might break the code of silence and seek to profit from their exploits.

That internal debate gained intensity this week when retired Navy SEAL Robert O'Neill acknowledged that he had fired two rounds into the forehead of the al-Qaida leader during the 2011 raid on his secret compound in Pakistan.

A former SEAL team commander who has urged his comrades to avoid discussing recent operations, Rick Woolard, says active-duty SEALs are disappointed and angry with those who have used their deeds and those of their companions for personal gain.