(Bumped) Interview: SEAL Marcus Luttrell, Author of 'Lone Survivor'

BUMPED - ** In light of the approaching Fourth of July holiday, please take the time to watch this 13 minute interview. You won't regret it. **

Previous Jawa recommendation of this book here.

Listen carefully to what he says about the restrictive rules of engagement, the politicians that come onto his battlefield and tie his and his brothers' hands in the face of the enemy (he's not talking about Republicans), the deaths of 19 of his brothers in arms as a result of being handcuffed by these restrictive rules of engagement, the abysmal media coverage/reporting and lack of general knowledge the press has about the war, and how the media told his mother that he was dead before the military did.

Go ahead, libs. Call this military hero liar. I dare you. The only lies bring told are the ones you've been telling yourselves day in and day out since the war started.

Posted by: Good Lt. at 05:18 AM


1 Off Topic!! Hannity has a great interview on the radio with Voinovich (sp) and had the esteemed senator all riled up. If you can post the audio, it would be fantastic. My ampologies for going off topic.

Posted by: Rome at June 27, 2007 03:53 PM

2 hey,

that interview rules. check out http://www.pardonlibby.net

Posted by: joe at June 27, 2007 06:19 PM

3 I saw the interview the other day and am planning on getting Luttrell's book.

Posted by: mrclark at June 27, 2007 06:21 PM

4 Iranians rioting because the price of gas has jumped 25%. Must be up to 50 cents a gallon now. Shows the bullshit aboutIranians cannot to anything about the mad moolas controlling them. They are muslims. And that's their story. They are not looking for freedom. They are looking to destroy anything not muslim.

Posted by: greyrooster at June 27, 2007 07:49 PM

5 God bless those brothers you lost while fighting together, and those who died trying to save you. I can't thank you enough... or those, back home, who prayed and waited for the news. I loved the part about, where you said you were Texan! Take care "The One", and to POPS... you're number one in many hearts, mine included.Gene

Posted by: JihadGene at June 28, 2007 01:09 AM

6 I have been waiting to hear this guy's story ever since the incident happened and wondered if I ever would considering the top-secretnature of their operations and all. Now that I know that they had to weigh their decision to let the goat-herders that discovered themgo based on what the American media would do to them and not what was in the best interest of their own lives and the success of the mission, my disgust for the media (especially the American one) has reached an all-time new low.
I am truly sorry for Mr. Luttrell and for his teammates that died on that mountainbecause theywere more concerned about what the fucking media would do to them than the Taliban that eventually killed them. Its a disgrace that men like these have to die because of our own vile, obnoxious media. Next time you see a reporter, kick'em in the nuts. This shit has gone too far.

Posted by: Jack's Smirking Revenge at June 28, 2007 09:30 AM

7 Incredible interview. Marcus Luttrell is a true patriot, and a man of class.

Posted by: Rome at June 28, 2007 09:44 AM

8 Great interview. I am proud of each and everyone of our service members.

Let the military fight the war. Politicians.... STAY OUT.

I'm gonna buy his book.

Posted by: Sparky at June 28, 2007 10:17 AM

9 Good Lt. This happened 5 years ago, Jan 2002. Republicans were in strong control of both the Senate and the House and Bush was still receiving high (90%) approval rartings. How is it that the Democrats who were completely out of power can somehow be blamed for the rules of engagement ? Part of the reason that the Republican party affiliation is at 37%* comes from the arrogance that refuses to admit responsibility for mistakes. This has cost them the support of the independent voters.
* Gallup poll June 2007

Posted by: John Ryan at June 28, 2007 11:07 AM

10 This did not happen 5 years ago, dumbass.

Posted by: Jack's Smirking Revenge at June 28, 2007 11:14 AM

11 Besides, the date is irrelevant anyway. Lt. was not making a connection between the ROE and the Democrats. There is no question that Republicans have done as much to hamstring our troops with BS ROEs. I think he was refering to the Democrats lovely habit (John Murtha) of slandering our troops. I thought we had seen the last of you anyway John Ryan. Bug off dickhead.

Posted by: Jack's Smirking Revenge at June 28, 2007 11:18 AM

12 Great post...... Great man, Thank God America has men like that still.

Posted by: Howie at June 28, 2007 11:35 AM

13 to John "Ahole" Ryan,
1. "This happened 5 years ago, Jan 2002"
WRONG, It took place in July 2005

2. "Republicans were in strong control of both the Senate and the House"
WRONG, In January 2002, The 107th congress was comprised of 221 Rep. / 212 Dem. in the House, and 49 Rep. / 50 Dem. in the Senate (+ 1 Independent Siding with the Dems).

Good Lt was pointing out the support the Donks have given our troops, like trying to shut down the wiretapping of terrorists, Hairy Reed's comment about the surge being a failure before all the troops were even in Iraq, blaming Bush for Abu Ghraib, using Cindy "Ima nut" Sheehan as their unofficial mascot, the "I support the troops" cut and run campaign, etc.. I could go on for days. Bottom line is the Dems will take any and all negative events in this war to further their political cause, and the direct effect of their actions iscausing the military to be over cautious in their Rules of Engagement.

Until you get your facts right, I suggest you shutyour "cack garage".

Posted by: Barry at June 28, 2007 12:21 PM

14 What specific ROE that endangered him and his team members are we addressing here? I hope it isn't the one where they decided not to kill unharmed civilians who could have possibly alerted the enemy to their presence?
It's a known problem when you're inserted behind enemy lines -- the same thing happened to Andy McNab's 'Bravo Two Zero' SAS team in the Gulf War when they let civilians leave unharmed that discovered their presence. They were also engaged afterwards by a heavy armed Iraqi force.
They were right to let them leave then, as was the SEAL team this time.

Posted by: davec at June 28, 2007 02:18 PM

15 davec, as the man said, they had the option to detain the "goatherders," especially since the "goatherders" refused to answer any questions. Of course, once the "goatherders" were questioned and determined to be actually enemy combatants, they would be sent to Gitmo...where assnuggets like Dick Durbin could whine about them.

Posted by: The Dread Pundit Bluto at June 28, 2007 02:40 PM

16 davec,
These "innocent" goat-herders were also the ones who ran right down to their local mud-hut village and informed the Taliban commander of the SEALs position. Just because they are unarmed doesn't make them"innocent".It would have been totally prudent to havekilled or at the very least detained them inorder tosave their own lives and the mission at hand. These warriors were killed by PC-ness or the fear of it from their own country, make no mistake.

Posted by: Jack's Smirking Revenge at June 28, 2007 02:45 PM

17 let's not pretend that the decision they feared would put them in jeopardy was anything to do with "detaining" them. Here's the exact quote:
..The four Seals zigzagged all night and through the morning until they reached a wooded slope. An Afghan man wearing a turban suddenly appeared, then a farmer and a teenage boy. Luttrell gave a PowerBar to the boy while the Seals debated whether the Afghans would live or die.
If the Seals killed the unarmed civilians, they would violate military rules of engagement; if they let them go, they risked alerting the Taliban. According to Luttrell, one Seal voted to kill them, one voted to spare them and one abstained. It was up to Luttrell.

Jack: I never said 'innocent' I said unharmed civilians. Big difference. That is a protected status. One that is not tested by the loyalty of the civilian to a particular force.

An Afghani national was one of the persons who protected Luttrell: I'm not sure its 'prudent' to go around killing them to protect missions. It is frustrating that this happens, but operators have made the same choice more than once.

Posted by: davec at June 28, 2007 03:38 PM

18 To davec:

For those Ignorant Douchebags who don't understand.War is not a game, there are no "time outs" or "do overs". You either win or lose. All who are involved in awar, directly or indirectly, are on your side or your enemy's side. Although there are some who play both sides for personal gain, they are not your ally. It doesn't matter whether your enemy is carrying a weapon or not. They are your enemy. An unarmed person can do as much (or more) damage as an armed person can.As was proven when these "unarmed civilians" informed the enemy of the location of our military. In hindsight, these "civilians" were actually the "un-uniformed enemy".The problem is that America and it's allies are too afraid to make a decision on whether we are at war or not. They are also afraid of bad publicity. It may come as a surprise to all you ID's, but the enemy has exploited these weaknesses to their advantage. I nor anyone else has any right to comment on the decision our men made, we were not there. However, I can assure you, if they chose to silence the "unarmed civilians" the world press along with our enemies would have hung these men out to dry, regardless of the outcome. The ROE are outdated, the enemy does not adhere to them, this IS a war, different than any war we have fought. When America and it's allies decide to treat this "war on terror" seriously, we will win it, it will be over and our hero's will be home.

Posted by: Barry at June 28, 2007 04:00 PM

19 I have no doubt that there have been changes to the ROE that have endangered soldiers. One that comes to mind was the decision to not allow breaching teams to throw flashbangs into houses, for fear they would harm Iraqi children. Several soldiers have been killed breaching houses where arguably a flashbang would have immobilized the enemy inside.
I can however find no fault in an ROE that protects unharmed civilians from being killed. The U.S has spent a great amount of money to make accurate weapons to try and ensure civilians are not harmed. The ROE protecting civilians is no different in this regard.

Posted by: davec at June 28, 2007 04:18 PM

20 Why is it that civilian casualties arethe direct results of our actions and not the results of the enemy using them? In Somalia, our soldiers were confronted with a woman, with a baby in her arms, shooting at them. A man laying in the street shooting at our men with children on him. The enemy knows we will think twice before harming civilians, so they put them directly in harms way and blame us. Why are we responsible fortheir deaths? Because we are weak willed on getting the job done. War is ugly, get over it.

Posted by: Barry at June 28, 2007 04:40 PM

21 Barry:
I'll assume then you'll be shutting your mouth when terrorists kill civilians whilst killing our soldiers then including situations like:
"Mohammad, one of at least 34 children killed when a car bomb exploded as they gathered around U.S. soldiers handing out candy and cakes in a southern Baghdad neighborhood."
Our Soldiers willingness to protect civilians, while our enemy uses them as meatshields is one of the things that completely sets us apart from the animals we are fighting. We also treat the wounded insurgents and terrorists and promise humane treatment - any soldier caught is not given the same.
I'm sorry, I just don't share your point of view.

Posted by: davec at June 28, 2007 05:06 PM

22 My friend davec, you ingnorant misguided hosebag. (and I mean that in a nice way). During the revolutionary war in America, the colonists were considered cowards, because they fought from behind cover, while the British army fought out in the open. Thats they way battles were fought back then in europe, they would line up accross from each other and shoot back and forth till one side finally lost or retreated.If the British had adjusted their tactics to adapt to colonial warfare, we might all be having afternoon tea time. But they didn't, and they lost. (yes, and there were other factors involved, but I'm trying to make a point)Today we think of the terrorists as cowards, because we choose not to shoot thru "civilians" to get to them. They know that.Whatcan we do to deprive them of this tactic? Everyone knows the answer to this one. It's an ugly answer. But in the end the question that needs to be asked is how many liveswill this ugliness save. President Lincoln had to make that choice in dealing with the Confederates. He knew that the only way to end the war would be to completely destroy the enemy. He won. President Roosevelt made thatchoice with the invasion of France. He won. President Truman made that choice by bombing Japan. He won. (I amnot advocating the use of nuclear weapons) The United States is a superpower, if we wanted to, we could fight adecisive war, and be done. None of the presidents I mentioned made their decisions lightly, I can only believe that they weighed the lives being lost against the lives being spared. War is ugly and disgusting, but it exists. We can fight the "war on terror" on the enemy's terms or on our terms. As for your comment regarding the bombing of the children, what is your point? That "if we don't value life who will" bullshit? The United States does more than any other country on this planet, sending money, supplies and aid to help people all around the world. We are involved in a war where the world will benefit if we win, but I don't see the world contributing. Instead I see China, Russia, the majority ofArab nations, the UN, and the EUsitting on their asses or supplying our enemies. And no I won't be shutting my mouth anytime some ID decides to referee the war in the enemy's favor. The only thing these terrorists understand is power. I would rather we haveit than them. They have proven what the will do with a little power, New York, London, Madrid, etc. It is time for someone on our side to make the choice, fight towinor lose.

Posted by: Barry at June 28, 2007 09:02 PM

23 davec, I do see your point, but these men were in fact killed by the very people (albeit and indirect manner) they let go. I for one wouldn't regard these men any less had they chosen to eliminate the herders. Innocent people die everyday - kind of like they did on September 11th.There is no room for PCness in war, especially against Islamic radicals. I see your point, but this IS war.

Posted by: Jack's Smirking Revenge at June 28, 2007 10:48 PM

24 One American soldier is worth how many muslims? That is the question. Insurgents, terrorists, Taliban, civilian, moderate muslim, St Louis cab driver. All the same to me. If their muslims. Frig em.

Posted by: Greyrooster at June 28, 2007 10:50 PM

25 The Taliban and alQaida know that our troops will not shoot unarmed people, and they use that to their advantage.

If you haven't read the book, yet, get it! It is awesome!

Posted by: pivalleygirl at June 28, 2007 11:04 PM

26 Barry:
I'm sorry you could not comprehend a very simple point; When terrorists kill Iraqi civilians while attacking U.S Soldiers no one should be outraged. It's just 'business' right?

"You're not going to kill your way out of an insurgency."
-- Petraeus.
Civilian cooperation is a cornerstone to breaking the back of an insurgency. The new COIN operations focus on securing civilian areas that have been taken over by insurgents and terrorists. Gathering and exploiting HUMINT from local leaders (only possible if they trust us) and further denying an AO for terrorists.

You cannot wanton kill civilians in an insurgency, and win it.

Posted by: davec at June 29, 2007 03:52 AM

27 davec, you are blinded by your ignorance. You insist on reiterating your point that if I accept civilian casualties causedby our side that I should accept civilian casualtiescaused by theterrorists. The "can't have it both ways" and "whats good for the goose, is good for the gander" philosophy. The terrorists kill civilians fortwo reasons, they place zero value on human life (ie. suicide bombers, honor killings, pushing people in wheelchairs off of ships, using children as shields, etc.) and to intimidate the population into submission, hence the word terrorist. In contrast our military is trained to use discretion where civilians are involved, aka the Rules of Engagement. You feel these rules protect our humanity,they make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside becauseyour a humanity kind of guy.The fact thatall rules have exceptions seems to escape you. Assuming you live in the United States, does it bother you that Native Americans were killed so you can live here? Does it bother you that British people were killed so you could live in a Democracy? Does it bother you that unarmed Japanese civilians were killed so that you can live in peace? Yeah, reality sucks sometimes. Thru all of this destruction, we have maintained our value and respect for human life. Imagine if the Islamists succeed in their goal to globalize their values. And you can quote the statements made by todays military leaders till your blue in the face. By this time next year (if not sooner) someone else will be in charge with all kinds of nice politicaly sanitizedwords to say. I despise war, but there are two choices to make when confronted with war, win or lose.Sorry if I'ma reality kind of guy.

Posted by: Barry at June 29, 2007 12:30 PM

28 Barry,
Unfortunately you continue to spin that the United States is now engaged in a conventional war -- There is no more Iraqi soldiers to kill, no more CNN grainy night vision footage of C&C structures being destroyed. The U.S forces are now involved in counter-insurgency operations.
Mao once said "Guerrillas are the fish, and the population is the sea in which they swim" which lead to a counter-insurgency tactic "draining the swamp" (the forced re-location of a civilian population) the British termed the use of the word "Concentration Camps" with this tactic during the Boar War, the U.S used it in Vietnam with the "strategic hamlet program" this was a direct response to the ability of guerrillas to exploit and gain popular support from civilians. Civilian support for the insurgency is a key problem; it allows the insurgency to move among the population, and also be re-supplied. The current counter-insurgency strategy is aimed at removing support for insurgents & terrorists, attacking and holding strongholds, rebuilding civilian infrastructure and creating relationships with tribal leaders. Once the civilian support for insurgents, and their ability to live amongst them is destroyed it forces them to either go underground, or be exposed -- civilians provide key intelligence to attack safehouses, and who was involved in the insurgency. Every insurgency where the civilian population feels unsafe; or the occupiers are more brutal than the insurgents has been lost (see:Algiers) successful COIN is 70% political and 30% force - this is why General Petraeus said you're not going to kill your way out of it.
Your reference to General Petraeus as a 'leader' really exposes your own ignorance - Petraeus was the co-author of FM 3-24 the counterinsurgency field manual, created from history of Guerrilla war from Lebanon to the Malay emergency. He is much more than the current 'point man' in the field.
It's unfortunate that your 'reality' does not recognize the problem of killing unharmed civilians as a problem in fueling an insurgency -- let alone from a humanitarian aspect. Fortunately we have people who know what they're talking about running counterinsurgency operations.

Posted by: davec at June 29, 2007 04:14 PM

29 davec, yada yada yada, (You quote Mao, interesting.) Then you assume I endorse relocating the population like the Americans did during Vietnam. In fact, when I read back, I notice you have translated my opinions to what you think they should be. Who's doing the spinning. I've been quite clear on my stand. Your point is that this is not a conventional war it is counter-insurgency operations. My point is we are fighting it as a counter-insurgency operation when we should be fighting it as a conventional war. You bring up Vietnam as an example, you go to great lengths to impress me with you military history (yawn), and in fact prove my point. Vietnam was was not fought as a war, in fact the US government went to great lengths to not fight it as a war. Why? Because as in Korea, the Chinese were backing the enemy. They sent supplies, amunition, and even soldiers toprevent us from gaining a foothold in their part of the world. If Vietnam and Korea were fought as real wars, we would have ended up going to war with China. The US wasn't prepared to do that for a bunch of reasons. So instead they tried all these bullshit programs to win the peoples hearts and minds. (gee that sounds familiar doesn't it). So we got half of Korea, and lost Vietnam. I didn't mention General Petraeus, you did. I said, "And you can quote the statements made by todays military leaders till your blue in the face." Again you are twisting what I said. I could care less who is in charge, todays military leaders are not war Generals, they are statiticians. They take out their calculators and use their classroom taught formulas to figure out ratio losses and gainsthen decidewhether or not to engage the enemy.Addthe teachingsof military elitists, who write policy and theoretical books on military strategy, topped with a nice helping of "don't rock the boat or you won't get promoted" ideaology, and you get a "leader". I have the utmost respect for the soldiers, sailors, marines, airmen (and puddle jumpers too) who are fighting this war. I strongly disagree with the US's strategy to win this war. Save the social experiments for areas where our soldiers are not deployed, and kick the enemy's ass(es).

Posted by: Barry at June 29, 2007 09:45 PM

30 Your assertion that Vietnam wasn't fought as a War is laughable at best.
Do you even know what 'conventional war' means? here's a clue straight from wikipedia:

"Conventional warfare is a form of warfare conducted by using conventional military weapons and battlefield tactics between two or more states in open confrontation. The forces on each side are well-defined, and fight using weapons that primarily target the opposing army."

So tell us how we're going to do that in Iraq, you know fight a conventional warfare with no opposing army, or defined enemy?

The current 4GW strategy is 'theoretical'? Its based on fighting principles taken from actual insurgencies, from numerous military tactics, from numerous countries, and environments.

Your scorched earth policy is ridiculous, and seems based out of movies like Rambo: let's crack out the Napalm and kill em' all!

Posted by: davec at June 29, 2007 10:27 PM

31 "scorched earth policy" and "let's crack out the Napalm and kill em' all!" ooooooo scary talk. Funny how my wikpedia somehow wasn't edited.

Conventional warfare is a form of warfare conducted by using conventional military weapons and battlefield tactics between two or more states in open confrontation. The forces on each side are well-defined, and fight using weapons that primarily target the opposing army. It is normally fought using conventional weapons, not chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons.
The general purpose of conventional warfare is to weaken or destroy the opponent's military force, thereby negating its ability to engage in conventional warfare. In forcing capitulation, however, one or both sides may eventually resort to unconventional warfare tactics.
See, I translate "primarily target" as in yes there will be colateral losses. you write...."So tell us how we're going to do that in Iraq, you know fight a conventional warfare with no opposing army, or defined enemy?"
Alas my mistake, maybe I should have been more careful with my choice of words. I use the words "conventional war" so I wouldn't be accused of advocating nukes, bios, and chems. So I will adjust to "modified conventional warfare" (aka MCW). (That way I get to define it, not you.) In my world of MCW, we would NOT give the enemy advanced notice of our intentions to attack them. It seems to me that letting the enemy fortify themselves, melt into the population, or take their weapons and retreat is a bad idea. (Sorry, but that to me is a no brainer.) How hard would it be to lure the enemy into an area then surround the area and annhilate them. It's been done, problem is, they have been doing it to us. Why do we insist on trying to takemurderers like Muqtada al-Sadr and put them in the government when we could easily havethem taken out permanently.(ThisAhole hasbeen the cause ofenough murders to warrant it.) I have no doubt that in some of the calmer areas, infrastructure is being rebuilt, people have a lot more opportunity for education, and they get a real taste of freedom that we hope will motivate them to take control of their destiny. But in the areas where the terrorists are flourishing, instead of making deals with the insurgents, we should be making life so unbearable that their only choice is to give up. Cut them off from the rest of the country, harass them with nightly bombings (ala Bosnia?), make them realize that anytime they harbor insurgents or terrorists, that we will be a lot harder on them than the insurgents or terrorists will be. We should motivate the Iraqi government to get off their asses and govern. (Myansweris to get them their very own offices in the slums of Baghdad outside the green zone, but that is just a fantasy of mine.) You can apply the same rules to Afghanistan. As for the poppy growers, now you can use your naplam. Now while we are cleaning house in these two countries, why not go after the Iranian arms smuggling. The shipments can be tracked, how hard would it be to have an accident at these factories, transfer points, owners houses, etc. Hey if the Russians can get away with assassinations, why can't we? To be honest, I feel this should have been done from the beginning. Instead, we continue to placate the terrorists instead of confronting them. You tell me that, "Once the civilian support for insurgents, and their ability to live amongst them is destroyed it forces them to either go underground, or be exposed". Do you really think that they will choose us over their brothers? I'm sorry, but from what I've seen from the expansion of Islamic extremists accross the globe, I seriously doubt they will stay the course of democracy. So what is your solution?

Posted by: Barry at June 30, 2007 03:27 AM

32 Barry:
Do you really think that they will choose us over their brothers?
Read Micheal Yon's report from "Operation ArrowRipper" the residents in Diyala Province themselves pointed out all of the people involved in attacking and torturing them.
Your whole idea of what should be done about isolating the insurgents is exactly what is the motive behind the surge is : "take and hold" strategy. As you are aware, one of the worst mistakes in Iraq warfare was cleaning areas like Fallujah, Ramadi, Tikrit etc and then then following the insurgents / terrorists to their new residence. The increased forces allows the U.S forces to spread their presence into areas that have been conquered. We will no longer allow the enemy to create AO's by attacking the ISI anywhere they are found rather than letting them create fortesses like Fallujah and Baqubah again. It's a hard slog to root them out of places they have months to secure and prepare for warfare.
Muqtada al-Sadr has to much fan appeal unfortunately, due to who is father was. The time for his death would be back in 2003-2004.
We are not making deals with the ISI, we're making deals with the former Baathist's that are involved in the insurgency pushing them into reconciliation with the Government. No one involved in killing U.S Soldiers will be given this option they are all detained by the coalition.
In regards to democracy the best outcome would be a state like Jordan, Kuwait, UAE or Qatar.

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