When the National Beer Wholesalers Association tapped Navy SEAL Robert O’Neill to speak at its annual conference this past summer, the network of distributors knew they were getting someone highly qualified to dole out wisdom on the topics of “leadership, decision-making, operating in uncertain environments and how to become the ‘best of the best.’”
That’s how the network pitched his appearance in a July press release, anyway.
Had the NBWA known what we know now, the question and answer period might have been kind of frisky. Little did the NBWA know at the time, the SEAL they booked just so happened to be the same SEAL that fired the fatal shot to the forehead of Osama bin Laden on May 2, 2011, during a raid at the al-Qaeda ringleader’s hideout in Abottabad, Pakistan.
The NBWA cited O’Neill’s tenure with the Naval Special Warfare Development Group and his leadership roles in more than 400 combat missions in four different theaters of war as “unique expertise” that he’d be able to translate as a speaker into “high-impact, actionable insights” for beer wholesalers.
The NBWA shouldn’t feel bad for leaving out what was clearly the most interesting part of O’Neill’s resume, of course, because until now, his identity as the shooter was unknown to the public.
O’Neill had been planning to make his identity known next week through interviews with Fox News and The Washington Post, the latter publication noted today. The two news outlets, however, were beat by a website run by former SEALs called SOFREP, which leaked O’Neill’s identity in protest of his decision to go public himself, the Post reported.
Other speakers at the conference, which took place in New Orleans, La., included political pundit James Carville and conservative political consultant Mary Matalin.
If you have it on good authority that either Carville or Matalin were present during any top-secret American military mission, please feel free to drop us a line.