WASHINGTON – A member of U.S. special operations forces who worked on the project to kill Osama bin Laden is now working on the project to kill the Keystone XL pipeline.
Dave Cooper is a former member of the Navy SEALs squad, known informally as SEAL Team Six, who supervised and helped train the soldiers who killed bin Laden in 2011.
The now-retired military man was hired by opponents of Keystone XL to conduct a threat assessment against the possible pipeline.
The group that commissioned his report is headed by anti-pipeline billionaire Tom Steyer.
Cooper says he wasn’t paid much for the project, joking that it wasn’t until they agreed on his fee that he learned Steyer was a billionaire.
Cooper’s 13-page report, released today, says given the project’s size and visibility, Keystone XL would be a prime terrorist target and difficult to protect.
A former head of the Navy SEAL foundation, Cooper also discussed some of the problems faced by his former colleagues.
He says team members haven’t suffered the same rates of post-traumatic stress as other soldiers, but many have concussion problems from being exposed to crashes and explosions.