This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," March 4, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: The man in Guantanamo prison two years ago is now reportedly a senior commander in the Taliban. How many prisoners released from Gitmo turn around and kill Americans, and what should we and can we do about this?
Colonel Oliver North went "On the Record."
VAN SUSTEREN: Ollie, nice to see you.
OLIVER NORTH, FOX NEWS HOST: Great to be with you Greta, thank you.
VAN SUSTEREN: One of the big issues facing the nation is Gitmo and the report that 20 percent of the people released from Gitmo go back to fight us again. We have to figure out some solution for this. Your thought on this?
NORTH: Releasing them is obviously not the right answer. When you got 20 percent going back to fight, as this guy now been fingered in Helmand province leading the opposition to Americans, having told everybody at Gitmo and convinced them I'm a poor old fellow that didn't intend to do anything wrong, we've got to rethink this thing.
My hope is the administration, which has now stopped sending them back to Yemen after the Christmas day bomber, they will rethink this whole business of closing Gitmo. I don't see any solution of turning them back so they can fight not just Americans but the government in Afghanistan again.
VAN SUSTEREN: I suppose even the topic of whether to close Gitmo or not, the poster child to keep it open is this particularly man who is now rising up to we think to number two of the Taliban, which for those who want to close Gitmo this not helpful.
NORTH: In fact the success of what we've seen since the operation that began is Marjah is very much dependent on people not returning to Taliban control. This guy is obviously a proven event leader. He has risen pretty quickly up the ranks. His number two in Helmand province is also a former Gitmo detainee.
Clearly the efforts if he will re-indoctrinate people and convince them they ought not to be terrorists has failed. We also know that roughly 30 percent of those that we can identify as people who have been suicide bombers have been Gitmo detainees. So they've gone back not just to shoot and kill Americans but to kill themselves as well.
VAN SUSTEREN: The other reasons I wanted to bring you here is 65 years Iwo Jima, which is a battle that -- people study so much about the European theater in World War II. But Iwo Jima was an incredible battle.
NORTH: It was the bloodiest battle of World War II. It begins 19th of February and doesn't end until the 26th of March. Three U.S. marine divisions, the 3rd, 4th, 5th, roughly 30,000 marines pitted against 22,000 Japanese defenders.
And in that contest, you have more Americans killed and wounded than Japanese defenders. It's the only one in all of World War II, where the odds were so stacked against Americans and had you more American casualties overall than you did Japanese.
The Japanese in most cases fought to the death. But they did take nearly 1,000 prisoners, most of whom had been wounded. And right up until the last day, there's a Japanese bonsai suicide attack on the U.S. marines even at the end of the battle.
VAN SUSTEREN: Why did we want Iwo Jima so much? Why was it so important in the Pacific theatre?
NORTH: B-29's, the only word for it, the B29 super fortresses that were bombing Japan launching out of places like Saipan needed an emergency recovery field. The Japanese had already built their own fighter airfields on it.
Even while the battle was raging, there were B-29's launched, hit by Japanese fire over the main islands of Japan that had to land on that air field. It saved the lives of thousands of airmen even though it cost the lives of over 6,800 U.S. marines.
VAN SUSTEREN: So 65 years later, now there's some sort of ceremony or at least recognition. A few of the older men have gone back to Iwo Jima.
NORTH: Just a handful made it this year. It is a private enterprise. This is a Japanese self-defense force operated island. There's a memorial for both the Japanese and the American.
I was there in 1974 as part of the U.S. marine official party welcoming back those veterans. It goes on every year. And of course the 50th year anniversary like the 65 years this year is a very big one. It's a tough trip for those old fighters.
VAN SUSTEREN: We just saw the picture of the marine memorial, and I just told you someone from my home state is also depicted in that picture.
NORTH: A legendary photograph taken by Joe Rosenthal when the flag is raised over Suribachi. And one of the great things about my job, Greta, "War Stories" is I got to interview the man who carried the flag ashore that was raised up on Suribachi.
John Greely was a young marine lieutenant. And then they raised the second flag that Rosenthal captured on that remarkable photograph. He received a Pulitzer Prize for it. All those who fought on that island recognized that photograph. The American people see it as the most reproduced photograph that has ever been made.
VAN SUSTEREN: If you come to Washington you see it across the Potomac River.
NORTH: And it is beautiful. It is a great place to visit when you go to Arlington Cemetery to honor our war dead.
VAN SUSTEREN: Ollie, thank you.
NORTH: Always fun, Greta.
VAN SUSTEREN: Thank you.
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