The (Fictional) Story of the Mission to Kill Osama bin Laden

I read SEAL Target Geronimo last night on Kindle after browsing Amazon.com for an interesting read. Despite its billing as the “true story of the killing of bin Laden,” the book is mostly fictional as I learned shortly after purchasing it. I read it thinking that even if inaccurate, I would learn something about a world I knew little about.

The book starts with an account of the harsh Navy SEAL training complete with stories about a Goon Squad, injuries, Hell Week and other phases/events in SEAL training. It also goes into some SEAL history and more largely an account of the formation of special forces in the United States. In order to “provide context” for the Osama Bin Laden kill, Pfarrer writes what he claims are account of previous SEAL missions such as the killing of Musab al-Zarqawi and a standoff with Somali Pirates. It ends with Pfarrer’s account of the kill, complete with accounts of private meetings as the operation was planned.

Pfarrer repeatedly claims that SEALs will not speak with the press or anyone else about their missions. He repeatedly notes their training to keep everything secret — he claims that they do not easily trust non-SEALs. If so, how did Pfarrer learn so many intimate details about so many of their missions directly from the SEALs themselves, as he claimed?

The book was written from the standpoint of one who apparently thinks the world of the SEALs but has no use for the power structure above them and has no respect for civilian intelligence community. Full of cheap shots, the book lacks credibility. While parts of it may be true, the author’s accounts of missions and meetings have little credence.

At least it was an interesting (fictional) read.

Have you read it? What did you think of it?

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