Marcus Luttrell on Afghan chaos: ‘Tell the guy in the White House to pay attention’
Former Navy Seal and ‘Lone Survivor’ author reacts to the Taliban takeover on ‘Hannity’
Retired Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell, the author and subject of “Lone Survivor”, joined “Hannity” on Tuesday to react to the worsening crisis in Afghanistan, as tens of thousands of Americans and U.S.-allied interpreters and other individuals are now trapped at the mercy of the Taliban.
Luttrell — who was the only surviving member of a group from SEAL Team 10 following a violent 2005 clash with Taliban militants in Kunar, Afghanistan — told host Sean Hannity that President Biden continues to bungle the extraction effort – going on to praise Lt. Col. Oliver North, Ret., for his pointed remarks on that account earlier in the hour.
“We fought so hard in there for so long… We got done fighting about the time bin Laden came down to his kitchen and found Rob O’Neill in there and the rest of the boys and got a bullet right between his eyes – other than that, we went to the nation-building, to pass that over,” he said.
“I heard Colonel North fired up, and he made a great point: When you see the Taliban walking down the streets with all of our equipment and the way they walked, I know what it is when I am looking at it. When you see someone trained up in the way they carry themselves, a lot of that is the [Afghan] Army. And how fast that fell, to fall in 11 days, that takes the will of the people, as well.”
Luttrell predicted that the sudden incremental collapse of the country’s provinces to the Taliban is partially a product of some Afghans simply getting tired of the 20-year conflict and “just wanted something to change.”
Pivoting to Biden and his administration’s handling of the withdrawal effort, the Houston native dismissed claims by U.S. officials there are “contingencies lined out” about what to do if the worst happened at Hamid Karzai International Airport – the only site where American forces are left.
“Man, there was already a contingency written up. Tell that guy at the White House to pay attention: you deliver this to the president; you walk in; there’s a big binder that says ‘contingencies for airports’ — You open it up, there is one page in there, [which] has a crest in there and a gold letters that say ‘Rangers’.”
“That is what they do. That is their profession, and they do it so well, words can’t even describe. They’d shut that down and secure in a matter of minutes if you turn them loose,” Luttrell added.
He noted that Biden has thus far failed in his strategy as the U.S. Army Rangers he alluded to are currently stateside — while State Department officials and other U.S. troops help screen and admit people to the airport, if they are able to get past Taliban checkpoints.
“The fact they are not even over there is surprising to me,” he said of the Rangers. “I’ve been over there in a hole buried, waiting for them to come get me — I know how important it is, just to see that American flag… Just to get back here, people are falling off the sides of airplanes just to come over here to meet our people. The whole time I was over there, all I wanted to do is get back here to you all. And as long as I kept standing, I knew that flag was standing, and someone was willing to stand for that flag, that’s the hope.”
Luttrell further criticized the White House for claiming there are ongoing substantive “negotiations” with the Taliban:
“[Y]ou don’t have to ask permission from the Taliban: Anyone who says they’re in coordination or talks with the Taliban at the airport, that just means some dude out there talking to a gate guard — they don’t care what we think,” he said.
“They’re worried about securing what they took over. They are going to be focused on that. We need to focus on getting our people back. That is what America is: Every time you stand for the flag to be acknowledged as an American, every time you look at the flag, it is for this reason right here. If you get in trouble, somewhere where you are away from home, we will come get you. That is the deal.”
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