Former Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell doesn’t typically follow politics, joking that he prefers to see his enemy in front of him on the battlefield. But after the Obama administration released five senior Taliban leaders from the prison at Guantanamo Bay in exchange for the return of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was held captive by the Taliban for nearly five years, many have been asking for his insight.
The lone survivor of Operation Redwing in Afghanistan, Luttrell told Glenn Beck Wednesday that the Taliban did all they could not only to kill him, but to “cut [his] head off.”
“They were doing everything they could to get to me to kill me,” he said.
“That’s the part that kind of got me off-guard, was the fact that they held him,” Luttrell continued, expressing surprise that Bergdahl was kept alive this long. “They don’t normally do that.”
Luttrell said he fought to the death each day, and when he left, there weren’t “any sweet goodbyes. … It was an all-out gunfight.”
Many of those who served with Bergdahl, or whose loved ones were killed searching for him, have spoken out since the exchange, labeling Bergdahl everything from a “deserter” to a “traitor.” They said he regularly expressed anti-American views, abandoned his post, and that there was a marked increase in strategic attacks after he left.
Luttrell said when he was being held by the Taliban, the thought “never even crossed [his] mind” that he would be freed because of a prisoner exchange, and he wouldn’t have wanted it.
“The thing that I held on to was that my teammates would come get me, or I was going to die out there, not turn over some of the guys that were responsible for some of the worst atrocities that we’ve seen so far,” he remarked.
Luttrell added that he’s spoken with a couple of buddies who were in Afghanistan at the time Bergdahl left, and they’re “pretty upset … that this went down the way it did.”
Asked about the VA scandal, Luttrell said he never speaks poorly of the president, but “it was a good job on the politicians, shucking off the VA scandal by doing the whole Bergdahl thing.”
“That provides plenty of top cover, even if it did backfire,” he added. “And releasing those [Taliban leaders] is a bad move.”
Luttrell said America is “playing with the dangerous end of the knife” with what we’ve done, saying those who believe the Taliban has been “eradicated” need to remember that organizations like the Taliban are built from the “top down, not from the bottom up.”
“So you put the brain trust in there and they recruit, build. The brains of the organization, that’s the dangerous part of it,” Luttrell said. “I can’t stress this enough – there’s going to be some bloodshed here in the future. You don’t get that passive, peaceful soul sitting in Gitmo.”
Watch the complete interview, below.
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