Esquire picture becoming clearer……IVAW tie in…..

| February 12, 2013

OK, so the guy who wrote the Esquire article is from the “Center for Investigative Reporting” which is innocuous enough that it didn’t really ring any bells. So today as I researched more, I found this piece of effluvient:

VA’s disability backlog hurts Navy SEAL who killed bin Laden

The Navy SEAL who says he killed Osama bin Laden is unemployed and waiting for disability benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

In an exclusive story for Esquire by Phil Bronstein of the Center for Investigative Reporting, the Shooter adds many details to what already is known about the death of the al-Qaida leader. His name is withheld to protect his identity.

The Shooter told Bronstein, CIR’s executive chairman, that he alone killed the terrorist leader, recounting minute details of those brief seconds. As the second Navy SEAL up a staircase, he saw bin Laden inside a room.

The author of this piece, on CIR’s website? Aaron Glantz. That name rung a bell, so I went to my book shelf at work, and sure enough, he’s the editor of this piece of shit:


Really? The “Center for Investigative Reporting” has a guy defending them that couldn’t even see through the bullshit lies of IVAW?

Layers and layers of fact checkers.

UPDATE: The Esquire author actually praises Aaron Glantz on the show with the unsufferable balding dude:

Seriously. Are you kidding me? If Glantz told me bullets could hurt people, I would have to have 5 people corroborate it and I would still assume it was a hoax.

Category: Politics

Comments (52)

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  1. Owain says:

    TSO, I don’t think that is a case of not seeing through the bullshit lies of IVAW. It’s a case of working hand in hand with IVAW.

  2. The Sniper says:

    This. Is. Awesome.

    I need to make some popcorn, put on my feces-proof rain slick, sit back, and watch the shit storm hit.

  3. Ex-PH2 says:

    Is it time for me to call the local TV station and correct their misconceptions from this morning’s report?

  4. DefendUSA says:

    It appears that Glen Beck is going to set up some kind of fundraiser for this SEAL. Top secret stuff because of the nature of what he did.

    I am still bothered by the fact that he is coming across as though he won’t get what was earned. Like it’s purposeful dissing of the dude that killed Bin Laden and it’s wrong, even if the gov’t sucks at efficiency.

  5. Contin says:

    Once you leave service, you enter into the VA backlog like everyone else. While you may have training and clearances that others do not have, it in no way entitles you to jump the line of other veterans that have sacrificed just as much for far less glory. (I say glory in his case since he gave an interview about things. He my not have given his name but if he is legit, it will not take long to out him)

    In the end, all Bin Laden equaled to was an enemy killed in action, same as a low level al-queada operative.

  6. NHSparky says:

    There are none so blind as those who will not see…

    It makes me wonder if Bronstein was really so naive/deluded to think that those of us who are either in or personally know people in the Special Operations community would be so gullible as to 1–believe this, 2–not say anything.

    Amazing, really.

  7. MCPO NYC USN (Ret.) says:

    Can someone tell the idiot on the far right, that manner in which he is wearing his large medals is not authorized for civilian wear?

    Thank you!

    Wearing Decorations

    There is no federal law which describes the method of wearing military medals and decorations with civilian clothes. However, each of the military services have uniform regulations which cover this:

    Army. Army Regulation 670-1, paragraph 30-6, says that former members of the Army (including active duty, reserves, or Army National Guard), may wear medals on “appropriate” civilian clothing on Veteran’s Day, Memorial Day, and Armed Forces Day, as well as at “formal occasions of ceremony and social functions of a military nature.” “Appropriate” civilian clothes includes clothes designed for veteran and patriotic organizations, such as VFW or American Legion uniforms. You can wear either the full-size or miniture-size medals. You should place the medals and decorations in approximately the same location and in the same manner as for the Army uniform, so they look similar to medals worn on the Army uniform.

    Air Force. Air Force Instruction 36-2903, paragraph 4-4 says that honorably discharged and retired Air Force members may wear full-size or miniature medals on civilian suits on appropriate occasions such as Memorial Day and Armed Forces Day. Female members may wear full-size or miniature medals on equivalent dress. As with the Army, medals should be placed in the approximate same location and in the manner they are placed on the Air Force Uniform.

    Navy. The Navy Uniform Regulations, Chapter 6, paragraph 61002, subparagraph 7 includes the requirements for wearing Navy decorations on civilian clothes. The regulation authorizes the wear of miniture medals and Miniature Breast Insignia on civilian evening dress (white tie) or civilian dinner dress (black tie) in the same manner as for dinner dress jackets. For non-dress-up affairs, you may wear miniature replicas of ribbons made in the form of lapel buttons, or ribbons made in rosette form, on the left lapel of civilian clothes. You may also wear miniature distinguished marksmanship and pistol shot badges as a lapel pin or as part of a tie clasp on civilian clothing.

    Marine Corps. The Marine Corps Uniform Regulation, MCO P1020.34G, says that decorations, medals, appropriate ribbon bars, or lapel buttons may be worn on civilian clothes at the individual’s discretion. Individuals should ensure that the occasion and the manner of wearing will not reflect discredit on the award. Miniature medals may be worn with civilian evening dress. For non-evening dress, miniature replicas of ribbons made in the form of enameled lapel buttons, or ribbons made in rosette form, may be worn on the left lapel of civilian clothes.

    Coast Guard. The Coast Guard Uniform Regulation, Table 3.G.1, allows the wear of mineature medals with civilian evening dress (white tie). You should wear them in the same manner as prescribed for Formal Dress uniform, and with civilian dinner dress (black tie) in the same manner as prescribed for Dinner Dress uniforms. Meneature ribbon replicas may be wornn the left lapel of other civilian clothes.

  8. Andy says:

    I don’t think “Investigative Reporting” means what he thinks it means.

    Nice work, TSO.

  9. melle1228 says:

    A VA backlog makes complete sense. Not having benefits or not knowing about the VA benefits didn’t. If these lefties want to fix it go after Shinseki or Obama who was going to clean up the system, but have only made it worse. And I am sure retirees and Veterans will feel sequestration somehow as well.

  10. USMCE8Ret says:

    Go figure. Heck, most young servicemen/women whom I’ve known who have left military service after their first hitch knew what their post-EAS entitlements were (and weren’t) – and this article is supposed to lead the American public to believe that a special operator with 16 years of highly specialized service didn’t, and had no exit plan set up prior to his EAS? Not buying it.

  11. NHSparky says:

    Crap, I got out in 1999 and while the vast majority of TAP was a huge waste, I still knew what I was and wasn’t eligible for by the time I got out. Very strange that a 16-year operator wouldn’t know.

  12. melle1228 says:

    @10 I love the fact that Esquire is making big hay over the fact that his FAMILY doesn’t have benefits. The government keeps screwing over retirees who did the full 20 and yet somehow lefties expect them to cough up monies for servicemember’s families who didn’t even do the 20 years. I absolutely love the selective indignation, and of course this is all probably Bush’s fault somehow.

  13. Green Thumb says:


    That maggot Hart Viges is third from the right in the bottom picture.

    These pics just ooze of non-IN toughness.

    I also love the fat chick in the stripes.


  14. Twist says:

    @13, Maybe Viges should use some of that “money” he got from your posts to get a friggin haircut.

  15. USMCE8Ret says:

    I guess the only thing left to do is sit back and watch the MSM eat crow once the actual details come out.

    How embarrassing!

  16. BohicaTwentyTwo says:

    This story is swirling down the drain very quickly. At first, I thought this was a case of a Tier 1 operator having to put up with bureaucratic bullsh*t for the first time in his military career. Something tells me DEVGRU doesn’t have to wait in line at the TMC when they are feeling under the weather. Now, I doubt the whole story. How could “teh shoota” get hooked up with someone with such a shady past? Esquire needs to do some serious fact checking real quick or print a retraction.

  17. Green Thumb says:


    I never got the wearing of the medals thing. I understand they can be authorized to wear after service,etc but who wears them?

    I put mine in a box. I still wear my Ranger Tab and CIB lapel pin(s) on occasion if the function dictates it, but otherwise….no.

    I love to see folks walking around with their ARCOM or AAM for shiny boots and three days of sobriety.

    Makes my day, let me tell you.

    Hooah! Hardcore.

  18. SJ says:

    Rush just said this was phony.

  19. Tony says:

    It does not surprise me that Esquire fell for this. It plays right into the mentality that assumes veterans are either a) psychotic or b) victims of the system, destroyed by physical and mental problems. I’m going to have a blast watching their “story” fall apart.

  20. Ex-PH2 says:

    I sent an e-mail to the reporter at WGN who brought up this story this morning (copy to JL), stating that the information about veterans’ benefits for the ‘shooter’ was incorrect, asking that he do a better job of investigating the facts before he does a story like this.

    I also used the word “please”.

  21. Pecos says:

    When I first saw this story this morning, I contacted some Team friends and threw the BS flag. Haven’t heard back from them yet, but I must say the so-called SEAL’s account of the UBL shooting is way too similar with the first WH account of the mission (which was found to be quite inaccurate).

    Not only is his claimed story screaming BS, but his claims about the VA fail as well. Even most people who live in news bubbles know a lot about how the VA works today.

  22. Green Thumb says:

    The pictures look more like theatre troop or better yet, a weak ass boy band.

    Probably not to far off the mark.

    They are great actors and they can definitely sing and dance.

  23. Twist says:

    I read on CNN that the “reporter” that reported this stated that he had seen the blood stain on the roof of UBL’s room and it backs shooter’s story. Not only is he an expert in Military health benifits, but is an expert in forensics.

  24. Rob Crawford says:

    “I also love the fat chick in the stripes.”

    Which one? I see three; four if you count a knit cap.

  25. PintoNag says:

    @19 Esquire, and everybody (MSM) else. They believe what they want to believe.

    It’s a pipe dream, but it would be incredible if the real shooter contacted Jonn somehow, and either verified or denied this story.

  26. Rob Crawford says:

    “I read on CNN that the “reporter” that reported this stated that he had seen the blood stain on the roof of UBL’s room and it backs shooter’s story”

    Ah. The rare speaking blood stain. Multi-lingual, too, unless the reporter speaks Arabic Blood.

  27. BK says:

    Heck, reservists getting back and filtering through these “Yellow Ribbon” programs could have handed dude copious amounts of brochures telling him everything he was entitled to, and then some.

    I’d like to believe this is the real guy, even if his circumstances are exagerrated, than have it be a fakey fakerton shill for the White House agenda. For crying out loud, after 16 years, you’d think the guy would have an impressive enough resume that he’d never have to mention UBL to get a leg in the door anywhere.

  28. B Woodman says:

    If you kick this jackwagon in the nuts several times, would that give him/her/it a severe case of swollen Glantz??

  29. MGySgtRet. says:

    I am amazed that there is no investigating done. Just take this guy’s story at face value. Veterans get free healthcare from the VA. But the media is doing their usual great job. Bunch of sensationalist bullshit.

    Oh, and as a side note, fuck the IVAW. That is a team photo of sick, lame and lazy if I ever saw it.

  30. MCPO NYC USN (Ret.) says:

    I counted 3 woman wearing stripes and one I believe to be at least partially male person wearing an after market boonie hat and an almost authentic camo neckerchief.

  31. kp32 says:

    Didn’t Bronstein introduce Manti Te’o to his girlfriend? Maybe she is the sister of this SEAL.

  32. Geoff says:

    Actually, if you read the various articles, I think it’s (1) Bunch of SEALs shining this dufus author on, and (2) an effort by them to special treatment…early retirement, special consideration, increased retirement pay, ect.

    Note the meme going down “these Tier 1 Operators should get special treatment…”

  33. MCPO NYC USN (Ret.) says:

    @ 32 … ain’t going to happen. They do an OUTSTANDING job, however when the game is over, everyone hops in line.

  34. VanZorge says:

    definitely a “hit job” on the military

  35. Mike says:

    Told ya

  36. Rock8 says:

    On Thursday morning between 0900-1200 PT, KGO radio host Ronn Owens will have one whole hour with Bronstein to discuss this story. You can listen live on the Internet from their website. Hell, you could even call in!! 😉

  37. PBenn says:

    I just wanted to check in to say that I want to thank you all for your work on the stolen valor (aka fraud) issue.

    I’m not someone who agrees with all (or most) of the political views here, but I do keep you bookmarked for your great work on making sure that those that deserve honor and respect aren’t undermined (probably the wrong word) by those who seek but a moment of glory without sacrifice.

    Which is a long way around to me saying that as soon as I saw the Esquire article, it felt fishy to me, so I came here to see what you all had to say about it. I’m still not sure where the story is going, but my antenna went up immediately when I read it.

    And, my antenna went up because of the great work that you do in this area and I wanted you to know that.

    I just wanted to let you you’ve caught the eye and the ear of someone not remotely involved in the military, but who has become vigilant in making sure that those that are are treated with the utmost respect; including by making sure frauds are revealed.

    Thank you for this service.

  38. Rerun0369 says:

    Everything about this story is bs, notice how he hits all the major wickets of poserism:
    1.confirmed kills
    3.tormented veteran
    4.made up unit names (Red Squadron)
    5.consistently calls themselves Seal Team 6
    6.has buddies who were killed in a highly publicized event (Benghazi)
    7.operators conducting wholly unrealistic tactics and TTP’s (upside down sniper shot? WTF?)
    8.just stumbled into the recruiters office with no life direction
    9.being lied to during the mission briefing by the CIA (pretty sure these guys have clearances and need to know)
    10.Putting together a random team, you know, the guys with No. 1 and 2 ratings(?)instead of using an established one that has worked together for years.

    Complete and utter bullshit, no truth to this whatsoever, in fact it almost sounds like the “reporter” just made it all up, based on Call of Duty and Steven Seagal movies.

  39. Anonymous says:

    Here’s an update on this Esquire article, from the Navy’s viewpoint:

    This is not over yet.

  40. Ex-PH2 says:

    #39 was me.

  41. MCPO NYC USN (Ret.) says:

    Pinch of salt here … BAM … pinch of pepper there … BAM … pinch of COM NSW RADM Pybus by way of NSW PAO … DOUBLE FU*KIN’ SLAM DUNK BAM!

    LCDR McKinney NSW PAO … Thank you!

  42. Green Thumb says:

    Those pictures reek of gay sex.

  43. Green Thumb says:

    Can you count the AWOLs and Deserters in the pic?

  44. MCPO NYC USN (Ret.) says:

    @ EX-PH2 … thanks for the link .. that should clear things up abit!

    I have a back story on this but … it this my little secret!

  45. MCPO NYC USN (Ret.) says:

    @ 42 … LOL!

  46. Ex-PH2 says:

    Nod, nod, wink, wink, say no more!!!

  47. MCPO NYC USN (Ret.) says:

    From the Navy Times:

    2-star: SEAL shooter knew he’d lose benefits

    By Tony Lombardo – Staff writer
    Posted : Thursday Feb 14, 2013 19:07:57 EST

    The “man who killed Osama bin Laden,” featured in the March issue of Esquire, knew full-well he was leaving the service short of a retirement and without benefits, the commander of Naval Special Warfare Command has said.

    The so-called bin Laden “shooter” made world headlines this week after the story posted online and asserted that the former SEAL was “screwed” by losing his military health insurance benefits when he left service in September 2012.

    Related reading

    Report: Uncertain future for bin Laden shooter (2/11)

    But, in a newly issued statement, Rear Adm. Sean Pybus said the SEAL in the article knew what he was giving up in leaving service with 16 years, shy of the 20-year retirement mark.

    “Concerning recent writing and reporting on ‘The Shooter’ and his alleged situation, this former SEAL made a deliberate and informed decision to leave the NAVY several years short of Retirement status,” Pybus said. “Months ahead of his separation, he was counseled on status and benefits, and provided with options to continue his career until Retirement eligible. Claims to the contrary in these matters are false.”

    Even so, Pybus adds, “Naval Special Warfare and the Navy are prepared to help this former service member address health or transition issues, as we would with other former members.”

    Lt. Cmdr. David McKinney, a spokesman for Naval Speical Warfare Command, would not confirm if the subject of the Esquire article was indeed the SEAL who killed bin Laden.

    Pybus had more strong words to say in the wake of the Esquire article.

    “I am very disappointed with the few people who use their SEAL cachet for self-serving purposes, particularly through falsehoods and certainly when the safety and security of themselves and their active-duty teammates and families are put at risk,” he said. “Most of our former or retired NSW members find a suitable second career without compromising the ideals of their active service — honor, courage and commitment. Most of our veterans with physical or mental health issues get some degree of health care, and we are actively pursuing even better options in this realm. I think we’re doing the things that you would expect from a dedicated, disciplined and trusted force.”

    Because “the Shooter,” as he is referred to in the story, is never identified, it’s led some to question the article’s accuracy. But Bronstein reported he properly vetted the SEAL.

    “Enough people connected to the SEALs and the bin Laden mission have confirmed for me that the Shooter was the ‘number two’ behind the raid’s point man going up the stairs to bin Laden’s third-floor residence,” the article reads. Bronstein adds, “The point man is the only one besides the Shooter who could verify the kill shots firsthand, and he did just that to another SEAL I spoke with.”

    “The Shooter,” according to Esquire, had 12 long-term deployments and 30-plus kills.

    “My health care for me and my family stopped at midnight Friday night,” he said in the story, referring to his end of service. “I asked if there was some transition from my Tricare to Blue Cross Blue Shield. They said no. You’re out of the service, your coverage is over. Thanks for your sixteen years.”

    He told Bronstein he has lost some vision and was planning to buy private insurance for $486 a month but will have to pay out of pocket for some chiropractic care.

    Newspaper Stars and Stripes refuted the SEAL’s claim in a report also released Feb. 11. All combat veterans, including the SEAL, are eligible for five years of free health care through the Veterans Affairs Department. And no service member who does less than 20 years gets a pension, unless he has to medically retire.

    Bronstein told Stripes his story is fair because the SEAL was unaware of the VA benefits at the time of the interview.

    Esquire later revised its story, adding a correction that reads, “A previous version of this story misstated the extent of the five-year health care benefits offered to cover veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

    Sailors and veterans on Navy Times’ Scoop Deck blog and Facebook page generally showed little sympathy for the Shooter.

    “I just don’t understand why you would get out after 16 years without a plan,” one commenter said. Another wrote, “We all know you have to serve 20 to get retirement!”

    Since the article, the SEAL has visited with lawmakers to discuss veterans benefits.

    His meetings included a sit-down with Sen. Bernie Sanders, the Vermont independent who chairs the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee.

    Sanders was interested in gaining perspective on how long it takes VA to process disability claims, said Michael Briggs, the senator’s press spokesman.

    Associates of the Shooter set up the meeting, Briggs said. He declined to say whether the SEAL revealed his true identity.

  48. K-9 says:

    I am so happy to read that everyone else thinks the story is B.S. If this was in the very early days in the war I might believe his whining, but not after 11 years of war. Note “whining,” SEALS don’t whine. There are tons of organizations out there that help w/transisition. I would think the Shooter would know how to do an internet search. The SEALS are a tight group, do you really believe that in down time or whenever, this guy didn’t have conversations w/the others on what they were going to do when they got out? And information on the in’s and out’s of getting out weren’t shared from the others that have gone through the process? Or that command just blew this guy off and didn’t help him at all w/anything? Not buying it.

    I don’t have the direct quote, but my favorite part is when in the story they made reference to barry calling the SEALS “my guys”. I just can’t see barry saying such a thing. He could care less about our military. And this Shooter was going to vote for barry? How convenient that tid-bit was mentioned. Joe Biden would be the one to negotiate if they got caught? That is downright frightening.

    And maybe I am wrong, but would the person that shot Bin Laden really do an interview and put himself out there publicly risking his identity being blown? Especially w/what happened to the SEAL that wrote No Easy Day. And if he did would he really pick Esquire to be the first? SEALS aren’t stupid people. I don’t believe any of it.

  49. Hart Viges says:

    Wow, y’all are really reaching to take swipes at IVAW.

  50. Hondo says:

    Benjamin (@49): not really. There’s an old saying: “Consider the source.” That’s apropos here – and is a damn good idea in general.