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‘Ghost’ hunter

Dan Aykroyd not included.

Gazette staff May 11th, 2011

CFN readers may remember state Rep. John Bennett, the Sallisaw Republican noted for authoring a failed bill that  would have allowed open carry of guns without a permit.

The freshman lawmaker also introduced legislation to allow for drug testing for state aid recipients, increased scrutiny of Transportation Security Administration employees and stiffer penalties for dog attacks on police.

The patriotic Bennett, known for waving his flag tie, reportedly said he dropped to his knee and gave praise when he learned of the killing of 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden last week in Pakistan. The Oklahoma lawmaker spent 2003 and 2004 hunting the al- Qaida leader as a Marine, blending in by growing a beard and wearing appropriate clothing.

“I was deployed to Afghanistan and one of those who hunted this monster for a year,” Bennett told the Sequoyah County Times. “We lost quite a few men trying to capture him. I am very proud to see the mission to catch him succeed and believe we have achieved a great success for all Americans by destroying this enemy.”

Bennett, who traveled in Afghanistan with an interpreter and mostly out of uniform, told the publication that finding intel on Osama (referred to as “The Ghost”) was tricky.

“Some people were pretty friendly, but most of the time we had to buy information,” Bennett told the paper. “We paid money for a lot of information, some good, some not. … We’d talk to one or two sources, and they say one thing, and information from one or two others would be totally false.

“We chased that Ghost all over those mountains,” he said.

Bennett, who admitted to being jealous for not witnessing the killing firsthand, told the Sequoyah County Times that bin Laden’s death probably won’t end terrorism.

He commended President Barack Obama’s courageous leadership and the decision to bury the terrorist at sea and not leave a shrine.

“The Navy SEALs did the trigger work, but they had a lot of support behind the scenes,” he said. “There are many who helped who the American people will not know about. I am very proud of them, all of them.”

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