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Interviews

Dakota Meyer on the state of the Afghan war

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," September 25, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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O'REILLY: "Personal Story" segment tonight. Many remember 24-year- old Marine Corporal, Dakota Meyer, receiving the Medal of Honor for Gallantry in Afghanistan.

That was last year for action in 2009. Now, the corporal has a new book out entitled "Into The Fire," a firsthand account of the most extraordinary battle in the Afghan War.

And here he is. Before we get to the book and what you did and what you were honored for, recently, the U.S. Command in Afghanistan forbade American and NATO troops from patrolling with our Afghan allies.

That is just stunning to me after 11 years in the theater. What do you think about that.

DAKOTA MEYER, VETERAN AND MEDAL OF HONOR AWARDEE, U.S. MARINE CORPS: You know, I couldn't imagine, you know. I was living with these guys, these Afghans. And I trusted them with my life, you know.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

I was so close to them that I was as close to them as I was the marines and --

O'REILLY: So, you -- and you were out in the forward bases, so you had the elite Afghan troops with you, right.

MEYER: I mean, they're just like a regular platoon. They weren't elite, not special forces. I mean, they're just regular guys.

O'REILLY: So, they were regular guys, they were out with you and you say that you trusted them as much as you trusted Americans.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MEYER: I did. There was never any time I was worried about them going against me or anything like that. So, you know, I'm seeing the recent, you know -- the media here lately and it's just -- I don't know what's going on.

O'REILLY: So, you don't know why there have been a recent -- in the past 12 months, you were out of the theater when this started. Afghan soldiers and police, uniformed, have been killing NATO and Americans. And you don't know why.

MEYER: I don't know why. I mean, I can speculate on it that, you know, we're getting ready to leave these guys and, you know, they still have to stay there. So, you know, I don't know. I don't know why.

O'REILLY: For some reason, I think the Taliban have been able to infiltrate.

MEYER: Well, they see, they feel that the Taliban has the power now. They see we're leaving, we're leaving, you know.

And within a year, you know, a year or two, the Taliban are still going to be there. So the Taliban will just sit back, wait until we leave, and --

O'REILLY: So, you think that some Afghan troops are being influenced by them.

MEYER: I do.

O'REILLY: But, usually, the ones that attack Americans are killed right away. So they have to be pretty devoted to the Taliban to give up their lives.

I mean, they take out two or three NATO forces and they themselves are killed.

MEYER: Well, look at suicide bombers.

O'REILLY: Right. But it would be more than, well, a calculation that, "Maybe, I'll go over to the Taliban." These are people who really want.

Now, is it so chaotic that any Taliban can get a uniform, an Afghan army uniform.

MEYER: Oh, yes. These guys take their gear to the market down the road all the time and sell at the market, you know --

O'REILLY: All right. So, that's no problem.

MEYER: -- there's no accountability problem, you know.

O'REILLY: And the police also are different from the Afghan army, right.

MEYER: I've worked with the Afghan army. I wouldn't trust the police in any way, shape, or form.

O'REILLY: Why.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MEYER: I just, you know -- but also, I was going Afghans talking about Afghans. You know what I mean, like the Afghan National Army didn't like the Afghan police.

O'REILLY: What's wrong with the Afghan police. What's the problem there.

MEYER: Where I was at, up north, they were always setting up posts and they were always, you know, checkpoints and they're corrupt.

They seem to be more corrupt than the Afghan National Army was.

O'REILLY: What do you mean corrupt. Were they taking money, shaking down the people.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MEYER: Shaking down the people around, you know, flip-flopping. You know, I was told by an Afghan when I first got there that you can't buy an Afghan but you can rent one.

O'REILLY: And you think corruption among the police force is pervasive from what you saw.

MEYER: I do, from what I saw. I mean, you know, I'm just speaking of what I'd seen.

O'REILLY: Right. In the book, you described -- and we want people to read your book, "Into The Fire", you know, the fire fight and how intense it was.

And I'm going to leave the details -- because I know you don't like to talk about yourself, but you're a hero, a Medal of Honor winner.

Was it worth it for you, though, as an American soldier. What you did in Afghanistan, was that worth it?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MEYER: You know, was it worth it --

O'REILLY: You saw a lot of your friends get killed and hurt.

MEYER: -- yes, it was worth it, you know, because I get to come home. And I get to live in the greatest country on the face of the earth.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

And I know that it's guys like that who went over and sacrificed. The men and women are still going over and sacrificing for us, for me to be able to live here and live in a free country.

O'REILLY: Do you think most Afghans appreciated your sacrifices.

MEYER: Yes, I do. You know, I was so close to the guys, you know. And they told me, I mean, they said -- you know, there's good and bad in every group --

O'REILLY: Sure. Absolutely.

MEYER: -- you know, I had some guys that, you know, five of them were real close to me and they were, you know, they're sergeants and they said, you know, "We're not going to let you die for our country without us dying for it." And guess what --

O'REILLY: So, it's almost like Vietnam. There were a lot of South Vietnamese who were very loyal to the U.S.A. and appreciated our sacrifice there.

But then there is an element that isn't. And you did the best you could and you won the Medal of Honor. So, the book again is "Into The Fire". Corporal, thanks a lot, a pleasure to meet you.

MEYER: My pleasure. Appreciate it.

O'REILLY: Thank you very much.

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