“I started to wipe the blood away from his face using a blanket from the bed,” Bissonnette tells readers. “With each swipe, the face became more familiar. He was younger than I expected.”
Rather than grey, bin Laden’s beard was black. Bissonnette reports later finding a box of “Just for Men” hair dye in bin Laden’s bathroom.
The SEALs took photos with two different cameras, and collected duplicate samples of blood and saliva. They tried to use “a spring-loaded syringe the CIA gave us to get a blood-marrow sample,” he recalls, but the spring-load mechanism didn't work.
Copies of the photos and samples went to two SEALs traveling on two different helicopters, so that if one was shot down, Bissonnette explains, the evidence of bin Laden’s death would survive.
So, are all of these details plausible?
While fellow Navy SEALs have taken issue with Bissonnette’s decision to publish the details of the raid in his memoirs, few have taken issue with the details themselves.
A group of former US Special Operations Forces and intelligence operatives offer their own take on Bissonnette’s memoir in their own account, “No Easy Op: The Unclassified Analysis of the Book Detailing the Killing of OBL.” Their conclusion: The book is “very significant.”
The authors, who are contributing editors for the Special Operations Forces Situation Report (SOFREP), an internet publication, add that the book is “written by someone who experienced the event first-hand.”