38-year-old O’Neill, a native of Butte, Montana, is identified as the former Seal Team 6 member who is believed to have killed Osama Bin Laden. He decided to speak out after losing some of his military benefits due to retiring from the SEALs after 16 years, rather than staying for 20 years. He was deployed on more than a dozen tours of duty in four active warzones including Iraq and Afghanistan, and has taken part in over 400 combat missions. His father, Tom, talks about why he became a SEAL:
We were going hunting and a friend asked us to take a guy who was a Navy SEAL with us. We were expecting someone who was 6 ft. 8 in. who could lift a house with his bare hands, but he was this normal guy. And Rob said if this guy could be a SEAL, then so could he.
The Pentagon says the Navy SEAL known as The Shooter is still under an NDA regarding the operation that killed Bin Laden, indicating that he may be subject to a criminal investigation if he reveals his identity on Fox News. Pentagon spokeswoman:
NDAs are voluntarily executed by Service Members. After a thorough briefing on the NDA and what each paragraph contains, the service member is aware that his/her signature signifies their understanding and intent to comply with the life-long obligation for protecting National Defense Information.
The Shooter will proceed with a Fox News interview that may reveal his identity despite warnings from the Pentagon and refusal by the Department of Defense to confirm that he is the person who fired the fatal shot. Fox:
The two-night presentation will feature an exclusive interview with the Navy SEAL who says he fired the shots that killed terrorist leader Osama Bin Laden