As if things were not already bad enough for suspended NBC News anchor Brian Williams, he now finds himself being called a liar by a former U.S. Navy SEAL.
Just two days after it was announced that SEAL Team Six had killed Osama bin Laden during a raid on the terrorist’s compound in Pakistan, Williams claimed on air that he shared a chopper ride with the elite unit.
“Now, people might be hearing about SEAL Team Six,” Williams said at the time. “I happen to have had the great honor of flying into Baghdad with them at the start of the war.”
In an interview with David Letterman the day after the raid, Williams also mentioned his encounter with the unit.
“It happens to be a team I flew into Baghdad with, on the condition that I would never speak of what I saw on the aircraft, what aircraft we were on, what we were carrying, or who we were after,” he told Letterman.
But Donn Mann, a former member of SEAL Team Six, told CNN that Williams is not telling the truth.
“It’s unheard of,” Mann said. “What Brian Williams is saying, none of it can be true. For a reporter to be embedded with SEAL Team Six or any Tier One unit, that just doesn’t happen.”
Mann explained that the objective of these elite units is to conceal their identity and their tactics.
“The last thing in the world we’d want is having a reporter sitting in a helicopter, embedded with one of these units,” he added.
The sentiment was echoed by former Navy SEAL sniper Brandon Webb in an interview with Huffington Post.
“My initial reaction is it sounds completely preposterous,” Webb said. “There’s a healthy dislike towards embedded journalists within the SEAL community. I can’t even remember an embed with a SEAL unit. And especially at SEAL Team Six? Those guys don’t take journalists with them on missions.”
Williams also made the dubious claim he received from “one of my friends” an unsigned thank you note, attached to a piece of the fuselage from the Blackhawk helicopter that crashed during the bin Laden raid.
That helicopter was blown up before the SEALs left bin Laden’s lair in Abbottobad.
Watch the full interview with Donn Mann here, via CNN:
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