A few Marines and the man responsible for saving, harboring, and defending the lone surviving Navy SEAL, Marcus Luttrell, have come forward to contest the movie and book’s portrayal of the events in Afghanistan.
A Newsweek report notes that Mohammad Gulab felt betrayed by Luttrell after the release of the book and film. Gulab claims Luttrell made him many promises, including a green card and a new home, for his support Luttrell’s book.
Lutrell, no-doubted profited from the blockbuster film that earned nearly $155 million at the box office but Lutrell also made an effort to help Gulab financially.
He reportedly raised $30,000 dollars for Gulab, through a fundraiser and sent the money to Afghanistan over a period of three years. But Gulab says he only retained about half of that money because $13,000 actually went to local villagers at Luttrell’s request.
These are three of the most notable claims being contested:
1. The Navy SEALS didn’t die because they spared civilians
Gulab claims the SEALS were spotted by the Taliban as soon as they were inserted via helicopter. The Taliban reportedly went to the location of their insertion the following morning and began tracking their footprints.
“They died because they were easily tracked, quickly outmaneuvered and thoroughly outgunned,” said Gulab.
Gulab claims the locals said the Taliban already knew of the SEALs location and even watched as they interacted with the goat herders they spared.
2. They did not kill 35 Taliban
The Naval Special Warfare estimate that the SEALS killed 35 Taliban during their firefight is one that Gulab “scoffs at,” according to Newsweek.
Gulab does not believe the number was exaggerated, he thinks it was completely fabricated. He claims the local villagers and American military never found any Taliban corpses after combing the mountains.
“Andrew MacMannis, a former Marine Colonel who helped draw up the mission and was on scene during the search and recovery effort for the dead SEALs and other military personnel, says there were no reports of any enemy casualties,” according to Newsweek.
“I’ve been at the location where he was ambushed multiple times. I’ve had Marines wounded there. I’ve been in enough firefights to know that when shit hits the fan, it’s hard to know how many people are shooting at you. [But] there weren’t 35 enemy fighters in all of the Korengal Valley [that day],” said Patrick Kinser, a former Marine infantry officer who participated in Operation Red Wings.
3. Marcus Luttrell did not run out of ammo
In the book, “Lone Survivor,” Luttrell says he fired round after round until he was almost out of ammunition. Gulab contests that account, saying that when he found and rescued Luttrell he still had his combat load, 11 full magazines.
You can read the full Newsweek report here.