I respect and admire for what Rob O'Neill did for the country in his 16 years as a
Navy SEAL. He earned two silver stars and five bronze medals as part of a unit that
performed high-risk rescue missions and fought terrorists half-a-world away.
I don't respect or admire O'Neill for what he is doing now. O'Neill is pimping himself
as the man who killed Osama bin Laden during a raid on his compound in 2011.
He's been on all the major networks and Saturday night, he talked with the Washington
Redskins in preparation for their game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Killing the most dangerous terrorist in the world and the one responsible for
the 9/11 attacks is something O'Neill apparently feels he should get credit and
It was his Bobby Thompson moment, the shot heard round the world the
former New York Giants outfielder has cashed in on since 1951.
He must want to be recognized forever like Mike Eruzione who became a legend after
scoring the game-winning goal against the Soviets in the 1980 Olympics.
It's the thing O'Neill must want to hang his hat for the rest of his life much
like Gerard Phelan has done as the man who caught the 'Hail Mary' pass from
And that's OK---if O'Neill were an athlete, but he is not.
O'Neill was one of 24 Navy SEALS sworn to secrecy about the dangerous mission,
part of lifelong pledge taken by all members of the elite force. A portion of the SEAL
code says "loyalty to country and team is beyond reproach." O'Neill isn't exactly
being a team player by breaking his silence. It also states that SEAL's will "not
advertise the nature of [their] work, nor seek recognition for [their] actions.
[They] voluntarily accept the inherent hazards of [their] profession, placing the
welfare and security of others before [their] own."
When asked during his interview with CBS News if he was seeking glory, O'Neill
stated, "I'm not trying to make this about me," which is akin to an athlete saying,
"it's not about the money," because in the beginning, middle, and end, it's always
about the money.
O'Neill went on to say that American's have the right to know about the raid that
killed bin Laden. No we don't. Besides, we've read the reports and have seen
how it played out in several movies. It's not important. Bin Laden is dead and
that's all that matters.
Navy SEAL's have always been faceless, nameless, and united but that sure changed
with the bin Laden assassination. Matt Bissonnette, a "teammate" of O'Neill went
on '60 Minutes' last year and broke the code. He said he killed bin Laden too
and detailed the events of the raid. He, like O'Neill, could be prosecuted by the
government for spilling classified information to the world.
Why now? Why did O'Neill and Bissonnette break the code and defy government
orders at this time? Why did they choose to sellout their fellow SEAL's and talk
about the mission they were not supposed to talk about?
They signed up for being SEAL's and knew everything that did or didn't come
with it. Like offensive lineman in football, they knew they'd have to do all the dirty
and dangerous work and not get rewarded for it.
It was never about the glory and now, all of sudden, it appears to be all about it.
Perhaps, it's because we live in this selfie-obsessed, "look at me" world where people
have to document every five seconds of their lives and post it on Facebook, seemingly
obsessed with getting "likes". Maybe they just wanted to get noticed for their courage,
toughness, and heroics.
Maybe it's just because we live in a world that where "getting ours" is paramount and
O'Neill and Bissonnette wanted to get theirs. But that is not what any of the SEAL's
signed up for. It wasn't about the fame, fortune, or book deal at the end of the road.
The killing of bin Laden was a team effort, a mission that took months of preparation,
carefully choreographed, and employed to near perfection. O'Neill and Bissonnette are
taking their bows and being glorified. Their teammates? Nobody knows anything
about them and that's the way it was supposed to be. O'Neill and Bissonnette made
sure they "got theirs."
The government should reward all the SEAL's financially for their bravery and sacrifice
so they don't have to worry about any member of the special forces going rouge and
putting the safety of any other SEAL's in jeopardy. Or jeopardizing our national security.
If terrorists can come into this country, hijacks planes, and destroy the World Trade
Center and part of the Pentagon, how tough do you think it will be seek and find out
O'Neill during one of his speaking engagements? There could be collateral damage and
it could be severe.
And what good is it to be sworn to secrecy and having codes if nobody is going to
abide by them? Somebody will pay the price. It could be O'Neill, his family, or our
national security. But rest assured, somebody will pay a stiff price for breaking
I'm not sure if O'Neill thought about that before going rouge.