Ex-SEAL Who Helped Kill Bin Laden Tells ‘60 Minutes’: Capture Was Goal

Disguised author of book “No Easy Day,” with altered voice, says the story deserved to be told right.

Appearing on television disguised and with his voice altered, the author of a on the Osama bin Laden raid says in a 60 Minutes segment airing Sunday night that his squadron was told that capturing the terrorist leader was the goal of the Pakistan mission.

“He looked way younger than I thought he would be,” said Mark Owen, a pseudonym, whose real name has been reported as Matt Bissonnette. 

A child identified the Al Qaeda leader, said the sailor trained in Coronado.

The segments are posted in three parts on the CBS News site.

According to a transcript of the show:

Owen received a Silver Star for valor and a Purple Heart for a wound suffered in the raid. But, despite all that, Owen told us, in his only interview, that "No Easy Day" is not about him. He says it's a tribute to the hundreds of Americans who gathered intelligence, planned and trained in the 10-year pursuit of the world's most wanted man. SEAL Team 6, he told us, just took care of the last 40 minutes.

Owen likened the raid, which included a helicopter crash, to a basketball game.

“I think what SEALs are good at what I consider pickup basketball,” Owen said. “We all know how to play the game. You ... you hear the saying ... you shoot, move, and communicate? So we all know how to shoot. We all know how to move efficiently and tactically. And we can communicate clearly. So when something goes sideways, we’re able to play the pickup basketball and just kind of read off each other.”

He told correspondent Scott Pelley that his first meal back home in America came in a visit to Taco Bell for “two tacos and a bean burrito.”

n coble September 10, 2012 at 03:40 AM
60 minutes covered up the author appearance but did not care enough about the US appearance or honor. I am disappointed in 60 minutes for exploiting this situation to achieve fame, a quick notoriety and a leading story above character, authenticity, and protecting our country. How quickly the author, CNN and, for that matter us, sell our worth and integrity. Sensationalism or rationality above real value and character. It is appalling and the old weak character of Kiss and Tell for gain. I though better of the Seals and certainly CNN.
John Young September 10, 2012 at 03:00 PM
This SEAL needs to be Keel Hauled at a minimum!
Mr. T September 10, 2012 at 05:27 PM
This borders on sedition. In my mind, giving away information that jeapordizes our war-fighting technology and our effectiveness in future operations is treason against the United States and it's brave men and women who put themselves in harms way every day.
Steven Bartholow (Editor) September 10, 2012 at 06:09 PM
Now that you've killed Bin Laden what are you doing? I'm going to Taco Bell!
Serge Dedina September 10, 2012 at 06:33 PM
Talked to a former SEAL who said he was ashamed by Bissonnette's actions. He pointed out that the Bin Laden mission was carried out and made possible by a number of agencies and operatives who risked their lives and whose roles and heroism haven't been made public.
Doug Curlee September 10, 2012 at 06:34 PM
sorry.. i didn't see or hear one damned thing in that pieced from CBS, NOT CNN, that i didn't know before, except that more than one SEAL fired at bin laden..and i couldn't care less about that.. i seriously doubt sources and methods were jeopardized..how they did it was already pretty much in the public domain.. we went after him, we got him..end of story.. doug
Pearl September 10, 2012 at 07:19 PM
I share your feelings. One thing everyone can do is to boycott the book. Don't buy it!!!
Della Elliott September 10, 2012 at 09:57 PM
Did anyone else notice that after the four-hour makeup job that 60 Minutes did on Owen/Bissonnette, they didn't bother to cover up the tattoo he had on the inside of his forearm? Ooops...
Craig Maxwell September 10, 2012 at 10:05 PM
Maybe they added it.
Doug Curlee September 10, 2012 at 10:29 PM
della..almost every SEAL has that tattoo..there's no "oops" there.. doug
Della Elliott September 10, 2012 at 10:31 PM
Thanks, Doug...I didn't know that.
Della Elliott September 10, 2012 at 10:46 PM
it seems odd that they would have tattoos identifying themselves as SEALs....wouldn't that possibly jeopardize their safety when on secret missions? Unless, of course, they always keep them covered up ...
Doug Curlee September 10, 2012 at 11:06 PM
well, my guess would be that, if they're at the point where some enemy can see that tattoo, it's fairly likely that enemy isn't gonna be able to tell anyone about it, anyway..ever.. doug
Ken Fitzgerald September 11, 2012 at 05:59 AM
I am struck by how many people have convicted the author and American hero of treason without actually having read the book. Perhaps people could get the facts before rushing to judgment. Having seen the 60 Minutes interview, I didn't see any disclosure of anything that could be considered secret or sensitive, beyond those things the President and Adm. McMullen and Secretary Panetta already revealed publicly on NBC earlier this year. This nation owes the author a debt of gratitude for his bravery and service, and for his candor in sharing his account of such an important historic event.
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