'Somebody Is Lying'

J$P Instant Transcript! Col David Hunt on the Zawahiri tape, the Iranian student arrest, and Pat Tillman.

From The Big Story Weekend, March 4 2006:

JULIE BANDERAS [FOX NEWS]: Two London papers are reporting that British and US troops are planning to pull out as soon as spring of next year. Former US Army Colonel David Hunt joins us now, live from Watertown. Col, is this bad timing or what, pull out of Iraq after Usama Bin Laden and his number two guy keep releasing these threats on America?

COL DAVID HUNT [FOX NEWS MILITARY ANALYST]: Yeah, look, there are plans for our withdrawal every time we deploy any soldier anywhere in the world. There are plans on the books, on the shelf. There are plans to pull back, but then no one's decided that. Our government and the British government don't make a decision a year from now. But somebody's got a hold of, or somebody did another leak, and said that we're going to leave. There are plans to leave, as there are everywhere, but no decision has been made next week, or a year from now, from Iraq. There are plans--

B: What do you make of--

H: I'm sorry, go ahead.

B: Go ahead, sorry. Continue to talk.

H: There are plans to get out, not get out of, to switch, in Afghanistan. NATO's going to take our place; we're going to get 17,000 soldiers back. That's a plan and decision, but there's no decision to leave Iraq yet.

B: All right. Second to Usama Bin Laden, Al-Zawahiri is the most dangerous man alive. What do you make of these tapes?

H: I think it's bad news. Zawahiri's a 54-year old Egyptian. If Bin Laden is the heart of Al-Qaeda, this guy is the head. This guy is the planner. He should have been dead a long time ago. The issue for me is, almost half of the tapes that are released end up within 30 days of some form of attack. So it's not just PR. We can't dismiss it as just PR. Sometimes there are signals, which is very disconcerting. It's a very smart, very deadly man, who should have been killed by our forces up in Pakistan three years ago. It's not a good news story that this guy is still around threatening us.

B: All right, so if it's not just PR, then why isn't the United States raising our terror level threats, then?

H: The terror level threats, unfortunately, are a joke. The red color and blue--whatever the hell they are, the colors--don't mean anything to anybody going into Wal-Mart or K-Mart to try to buy something. It was a mistake to do it, but we're downplaying the color code system. We need to spend more time finding and killing these guys than putting up color codes that don't mean anything.

B: All right, let's move on to Patrick Tillman and this new investigation. Do you think there's new information out there? This isn't the first time that we've heard about this investigation, a criminal investigation into his death.

H: Yeah, I don't think there is new information. I think some people are lying. Tillman was a very good guy. He went in the Rangers with his brother. He died of friendly fire; it's an unfortunate fact of war. Had the family been told this--and Pat Tillman was given the third highest medal this country gives for heroism, the silver star. His uniform and flack vest were burned on the scene. Somebody is lying. They're opening up a criminal investigation to find out. There've been not just three but five separate looks at this great, good guy, who was doing his job, and was a mistake made. That should have been all that was said. Tillman's a good guy. He was a Ranger. He deserves our respect and love. The silver star, the other stuff, somebody should go to jail for lying.

B: All right, I have got under 30 seconds. I just want to move on to North Carolina. What do you think about this student, this Iranian student, making these threats and ramming his rental car into a bunch of students? And being held on five-and-a-half million dollars bond right now?

H: Yeah, this is an Iranian kid, 22 years old, who rammed into a crowd. Fortunate nobody was killed. I think he's off his meds. I don't see him as Al-Qaeda. I think he's sitting there, as an Iranian student, making claims. I don't believe this is a terrorist threat, but it will be investigated. I think this guy's off his meds.

B: Yeah, maybe so. But, certainly seems like a cocky one. All right, thank you, Colonel. Thank you very much.

posted: Sat - March 4, 2006 at 10:32 PM       j$p  send