Colonel David Hunt is a FOX News Contributor and author of “Terror Red: How a Terror Attack Could Plunge America Into World War III.” Colonel Hunt discusses the current capabilities of terrorist organizations and how might they strike the U.S. Colonel Hunt tell us about his own experiences fighting insurgencies and what he learned from his battles. He shares his position on America’s current military status, particularly the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Sequester affects America’s military. Colonel Hunt also talks about Military Codes and the type of behavior that is unacceptable or unbecoming of an officer.
Colonel David Hunt has over 29 years of military experience including extensive operational experience in special operations, counter terrorism and intelligence operations. Most recently, Colonel Hunt served as tactical adviser in Bosnia where he facilitated all national intelligence matters for the Commander in Chief. Prior to this, he served as counter terrorism coordinator to the Summer Olympic Games in Seoul, Korea. In this capacity, Colonel Hunt planned, choreographed and implemented the first United States national response for an Olympic event in Korea in conjunction with Korean National Intelligence and the Korean Crisis Response Agency. He has served as a security adviser for the Federal Bureau of Investigation as well as state and local police officials. A graduate of Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, Colonel Hunt holds a Master’s degree in English from Norwich University.
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Start of Interview with Colonel David Hunt
Jason Hartman: It’s my pleasure to welcome Colonel David Hunt to the show. He is a Fox News contributor, and author of Terror Red: How a Terror Attack Could Plunge America into World War III. Colonel Hunt, welcome. How are you?
Colonel David Hunt: I’m good, thank you. How are you doing?
Jason Hartman: Well, good. It’s a pleasure to have you on the show. And obviously and unfortunately, this topic is very timely in the wake of what happened in Boston last week. I don’t want to make the show about that, but if you have any comments on it, we can weave that into the interview as well. But tell us a little bit about the book if you would.
Colonel David Hunt: Sure. The book is called Terror Red. It was co-authored by myself and a woman named Christine Hunsinger, who’s currently the communications director for the governor of Long Island. She helped me write a couple of the books. And it’s a book that has two points of view, two main characters who look at the same incident. And it’s based in New England, starts in Boston, even has a terrorist incident in Watertown. We wrote it five years ago and it’s about a major terrorist attack that begins in Boston and spreads, and how the government reacts and how surviving citizens react. It came out the day after the bombing, even though it was written five years ago, it came out the day after. And it was picked months ago, and the book will be on the shelves now for purchase. It’s a novel based on reality.
Jason Hartman: And give us a basic, what are the two different points of view essentially?
Colonel David Hunt: One is a retired special forces colonel, whose name is David Gibson as myself. And his point of view is of him fighting terrorism his whole life, as I have. And the other is from a political consultant’s point of view, who’s character’s name is Cristina Moretti, but it’s the co-author Christine Hunsinger’s political point of view and how we get forced together. We both dropped family members off at Logan Airport, the family members get on the same plane. We do not know each other. The plane gets high jacked and we get pushed together because of that. And then the story unfolds.
Jason Hartman: Very interesting. So, when we look around the globe and we look at different terrorist organizations, some believe that terrorism is this ever present, very serious threat. I take it that’s your belief, although I don’t know yet. And some believe that it’s being overplayed as a way to restrict freedoms and invade our privacies. Maybe it4 ’s a little bit of both. I guess nobody totally knows for sure. But what are some of the capabilities of some of these terrorist organizations around the world?
Colonel David Hunt: Well, we’re in the middle of a war on terror. Europe has been seeing it for tens of years, 40-50 years. We’ve just been in it since 9-11. The capabilities are as dramatic as what happened on 9-11. Using our own airplanes against us, using our own lack of intelligence sharing against us, to something as simple as homemade bombs that made Boston and the surrounding area a combat zone and then followed by almost 18 hours of unquestioned marshal law. People were told to stay in homes and military police forces went door to door, no knock searches, no warrants, we’re coming into your house. That’s pretty much unprecedented.
The terrorist trading is as simple as that or as advanced as the Quds Force, which is a special operations force that the Iranians have to Hezbollah and Hamas and the Tamil Tigers and a bunch of others who have training, they have money, and political backing. They’re supported by a nation like North Korea, like Syria, like Iran, like Venezuela, like Russia at times, like Pakistan at times. And so the state’s [0:07:33.0] because the states provide their national intelligence services to help them. In some cases like the Taliban, they’re actually supported by both the military in Pakistan and their intelligence service. And some argue that if you witness where Bin Laden was kept for ten years, still do.
Jason Hartman: And you mentioned with 9-11 the capabilities of using our weaknesses in our intelligence sharing between our agencies and our own airplanes against us. Have we corrected that problem now? Anybody who has traveled lately and has been through the hassle of TSA would probably think well, that hole has been closed. But what are your thoughts?
Colonel David Hunt: No. We’ve made it a little more difficult to take a passenger jet, but there are other aircraft lines that aren’t nearly as well protected. There are any means of causing mass destruction. That in Boston was simply last week, which was pressure cooker bombs. Simple devices that maimed close to 200 people, 30 amputees and made it a manual combat zone, to things as expensive as IEDs, that’s explosive devices that we see in Afghanistan and Iraq that have penetrated the best tank in the world, the M1A1Abrams tank, so that the capability of the enemy, in this case a terrorist organization is extensive and has to be considered as a very real threat.
The problem is we are an open country, and we should be. We have rights, which we need to have. But we have to balance all that with security when you look at what just happened in Boston. Things like maybe more cameras, we may have to restrict things like backpacks at public events. Or not; we have to have the discussion. And we do some of that in the book Terror Red.
Jason Hartman: Okay, I want to move on from there a little bit. So restricting items at public events, that would probably go a long way in making it more difficult, but you see these suicide bombers and so forth in Israel and they, would we say someone can’t wear a jacket? How do we do that? It seems like these bombs can be so small, that maybe it’s impossible.
Colonel David Hunt: I think perfect security is impossible. For example, if we set we’re going to secure the Boston Marathon, it’s 26.2 miles. It’s not possible. We couldn’t even… we don’t have enough bomb dogs to secure a 26.2 mile route. So we can’t say okay, if you’re going to show up at the Red Sox Baseball game next week, you have to wear a bathing suit. No, the answer is no. You can’t. The best protection in the world security wise provided is the President of the United States. It’s hands down, the best. And that has its imperfections. We have to be right 100% percent of the time when you’re doing security, bad guys, terrorists have to just be right once. And that’s what happened last week. For twelve years we said it could happen.
I wrote the book five years ago about a massive terrorist organization that could happen in Boston. Of course it wanted to happen and it happened on a smaller scale. So, we’ve stopped terrorists in instances but we’ve also had them be successful but the bomb didn’t go off. The shoe bomber, the underwear bomber, in New York city here where I am now, a car got into the Time Square, didn’t go off, but this one because it was successful unfortunately. They only have to be right once. They are still coming at us, we’re still in a war on terror and it’s moved into Africa and other places, and it’s still either sponsored by countries, and/or supported with money like Saudi Arabia did 10-20 years ago where they gave Al-Qaida 900 million dollars not to attack them. So it’s either faith sponsorship or support.
Jason Hartman: So what are some of the other ways in which they might strike us? It just sort of begs the question when it comes to Al-Qaida, are they only interested in some big major strike like 9-11 that’s very visual, extremely scary and it’s big? Because it seems like there’s just a zillion small ways in which we could be terrorized that aren’t as, and I hate to use the word because it’s an improper word, but aren’t as glamorous, I mean in their eyes obviously. There’s so many weaknesses: our train system, our southern border, there are just holes everywhere.
Colonel David Hunt: The train system is wide open. And the reason is not that the people in security involving our transit infrastructure don’t know it, it’s too expensive to fix. We have how many bridges in this country that have been actually dangerous that we don’t want to fix? We talk about securing the transcontinental railroad or whatever. It’s astronomical. These border regions of course are [0:12:43.1]. There’s no doubt. That’s why and we’ve stopped having the discussion, but look at what my point of view is.
Look at what two young men did, two terrorists; they shut down and terrorized and made a city into a war zone. Two. In our book, there’s a lot more bad guys that [0:13:06.2] the mother and brotherhood that did it. We named them five years ago. And we wanted to make it a dramatic point, and I think we did. But I think the same point we just made by two guys. When the older brother was killed in Watertown on Thursday night, the next day the Mayor of Boston, they shut down the city of gt Boston plus surrounding towns.
Jason Hartman: I know, and I’ve got to ask you: what do you think about the government’s response to that? To me it seemed like massive overkill.
Colonel David Hunt: At the time, first of all, it’s unprecedented. Meaning, when Las Angeles had a two guys shooting after a bank robbery…
Jason Hartman: I remember that, and then of course Christopher Dorner just a month ago or so.
Colonel David Hunt: Right. Armored piercing rounds, and then they were protected. That fire fight was over and done. 9-11 we shut down all major airports for a month. We dropped all the planes out of the sky for four days. That type of reaction on a national stage. National reaction. Boston, politically I think did the best they could considering what happened. The fire fight the night before in the town of Watertown, the details are coming out now, these two brothers threw another, and exploded, another pressure cooker bomb at the police and it went off. And three pipe bomb grenades and they went off, plus 200 rounds were exchanged. The brother was half dead, the older brother, and it took three police officers to wrestle him to the ground, and his brother ran him over.
So there was fear and eagerness, a drive to get to an end to this. So to close down the city was the quickest way to do it. After the fact, it seems that, what I think you’re saying, it was too much. Consider that school was out, they needed that 18-20 block area cleared so that the armored vehicles and helicopters and this paramilitary force could go door to door and that effort, as extensive as it was failed. They didn’t get the guy.
Jason Hartman: Well, what’s interesting about Boston and about Las Angeles, and you didn’t mention it but the Christopher Dorner, the rogue cop in LA recently, that’s kind of a similar story. What’s interesting about those David, were that both of them were found by civilians.
Colonel David Hunt: That was Watertown.
Jason Hartman: Right. Well, that’s what I’m saying.
Colonel David Hunt: It’s required. You cannot have an effective security operation, particularly against terrorists, without civilian cooperation. They did 8-16 hour searches by helicopter and everything else. Guy walks out his back door smoking a cigarette, notices blood in his boat. Picks up the tarp, and there’s the kid. They were one block short of this search pattern. Security forces are imperfect, but they’re so much better. One of the reasons they move so much better is because of the 12 years of combat. A lot of these police officers that we saw were veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. So that’s [0:16:14.3] advantage to having been 12 years in combat. Plus there’s a lot of equipment and a lot of training, a lot of training exercises to we are better.
Having said that, two kids, two men, dropped packages in front of everybody. And police were all over that finish line and nobody noticed it. And it was a private camera from Lord and Taylor that spotted it. Now, an FBI technician is the one that went through it, and they caught him because the young guy with a white hat was walking after the explosion versus everyone else running. And so we go. But to me, in my background of experience, they did a pretty damn good job. The heroism of the Boston peace department, national guard and first responders, Watertown police department… three cars that night shot out from underneath them by two guys, plus the bombs. So I think it was a heroic action and I think short fused, necessary clamp down, but I think the discussion needs to happen with you and publicly.
Now, do you want to do that again? Is that acceptable? Do you want more cameras on poles like in New York City and in London? Here in New York, you will get, if you stand on the street on your street corner, all of the sudden you could get surrounded by about five vehicles. They force counter terrorism police in full battle gear to hit different parts of the city unpredictably. And they just show up. That’s to keep whoever’s planning something a little bit on edge. Do we want that in San Antonio, Texas for example? Don’t know. It’s expensive, and it will definitely cut into your civil liberties and that’s the tradeoff.
Jason Hartman: Yeah, it sure it. We’ve all got our opinions on that, for sure. But the question we really need to ask, is maybe look at the root of the problem, the cause. Is it the blowback issue? Should we be more isolationist as a country? Of course, you can’t be isolationist in today’s interconnected world, but should we try and stay out of people’s business a little more? America is pretty engaged in the world, and with military bases in more than half the countries on Earth easily. Your thoughts on that? What’s the reason? Why do they hate us so much?
Colonel David Hunt: It is why. You’re not doing it, but the next step in the argument is what Tom Brokaw did the other day and blame drones for the attack and other networks that started to talk about the fact how we fight in Pakistan and Afghanistan, is causing some of this.
Jason Hartman: I didn’t catch that statement. The blowback from drones is what you’re saying he was talking about?
Colonel David Hunt: Brokaw said it on Meet the Press, on tape. You can’t blame the victim. In the United States one of the basic tenants on the issues of terrorism in the Middle East is Israel, and who’s country supports it and who’s doesn’t. so, that issue is not going to go away. We are a great country that’s not perfect. But there is nothing that we are doing that deserved remotely what happened in 9-11 or what happened in Boston. These were young men who came into the front door, [0:19:32.5] citizen and the other one is a refugee who went to college and two of the best high schools in Boston. The oldest one was a Golden Gloves Boxing Champ and dropped a knapsack full of nails behind an 8 year old boy. There’s no foreign policy discussion on this one. You’ve got two very sick men and we may or may not discover why they did what they did. It seems it was just to point towards religious jihad. I don’t know. We don’t know yet. That’s pure conjecture.
So I think we have to accept that terrorism exists certainly in this war and I think it’s at least a generation coming and that we have to fight it. And I mean aggressively. I would suggest that we have to do a lot more on infiltrating religious groups that are certainly against us. I think we have to be a lot more aggressive. And that’s going to cause problems with our first amendment and our bill of rights, which I contend is not a suicide pact. And we have to balance and I don’t think we have been lately.
Jason Hartman: So, when you say you don’t think we have been, on which side do you think we’ve not balanced?
Colonel David Hunt: I think we’ve been less aggressive overseas and here in this country. For example, if there’s a mausk, it could be a synagogue or a catholic church or Episcopalian, but if you get word that there’s criminal activity in that church, I expect it to be bugged and I expect to find out why. Not just a Muslim church; we won’t even consider it. We didn’t have terrorism as a public policy discussion in the last presidential election. And the only thing there was in the four years before that was about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. But this last one, terrorism wasn’t even on the front. It wasn’t even a talking point. So we have let our guard down as a nation as far as on our consciousness, on our national conscience.
And we’ve become extreme politically correct. Now we have to call them Jihads, we can’t call them terrorists. It’s absolutely ridiculous to the point where the oldest brother’s wife, the oldest terrorist’s wife, her lawyer was negotiating with the FBI yesterday on when she would come in and talk. That’s how unbelievable. No, she’s a suspect, she gets her message, she can have a lawyer. We’re not negotiating. But we are, and that’s where I think we’ve fallen down. I think we forgot, and Boston reminded us unfortunately, and that’s one of the reasons why I wrote this book. It hard but it’s based on my experience and it’s based on reality to remind us that we’re a long way from this being over.
Jason Hartman: Yeah, that’s unfortunate. But I agree. We are a long way. Well, speaking of things being over, what do you think about the winding down of Iraq and Afghanistan?
Colonel David Hunt: I think it was years too late. I think the conduct… if we had gone into Iraq… we’ve gone into Iraq which turned out to be this huge error because the WMD was not there, hadn’t been there since ’98 and that’s a whole other subject. But if we had done that in two years and got out, we could have gotten away with it. Same with Afghanistan. Afghanistan, get in and get out. We didn’t. We’re still in Afghanistan; it took us almost 10 years in Iraq. Too many men killed, too many wounded, too many civilians.
The conduct – I was very outspoken, and I was wrong about the Iraq war. On the record, I was one of the guys yelling about WMD. And I put it in writing, and I put it in television and on radio, I was wrong. It wasn’t WMD, hadn’t been there for a while, and that was the only reason that we had any excuse for Iraq. It did not make us safe. Afghanistan, it [0:23:37.3] it made us a little safer because that’s where [0:23:39.3] attacks 9-11 came from. We were not ready for those wars militarily, the CIA and the Special Forces. We’re better now. I’ve been very outspoken about those places. Our soldiers were unbelievable. And having said that, we did a terrible job as the veterans administration taking care of those same people that got blown up serving their country.
Jason Hartman: Agreed. Very much agreed. How we’ve been treating our veterans, it’s unacceptable. It really is.
Colonel David Hunt: A million case backlog. A million cases…
Jason Hartman: That’s unbelievable. It’s very sad. And the stories I hear about veterans coming back and the way they’re treated, and the things going on with their lives, it’s just awful. Completely unacceptable. Speaking of treatment, a lot of that equates with budgets. What is the impact of the sequester on our military?
Colonel David Hunt: Not felt yet, but it will if it continues. It will effect trading, it will effect deployments because they’re expensive, people have pointed out things like fly-overs at football games. I’ve got to tell you: never liked them, waste of dime, too expensive, don’t need them. But a [0:24:47.1] going on a live-fire training exercise, that gets canceled because of money; that’s important. Or an army unit that can’t deploy overseas for training. Sequester will hurt if it continues. Right now, no. we still have this phenomenal training combat-ready force; the best we’ve had in our history. Because we’ve been in combat for 12 years. So we can shoot, move and communicate better than we’ve ever been able to do. If it continues, the budget, this sequester nonsense is all that I can say, and it’s nonsensical, will hurt our defense. And I think if you need a pin-me-down, I think if it goes on for another 6 months that it will have a lasting effect. And it will take us a couple of years to turn it around.
Jason Hartman: And that begs the question with Iran and North Korea brewing, what do you think is going to happen? We’ve got two real hot spots.
Colonel David Hunt: I think nothing in North Korea. If North Korea moves south, we’ve got a war. Because we’ve got 20,000 Americans in Korea plus 3,000 and we’ve got close to 5,000 [0:25:58.9] zone, [0:26:01.2] we are guaranteed to be in any war between North and South Korea. Iran, I think Israel, if we aren’t careful, Israel is going to do something and we need to be very careful about that. Here’s why. People talk, and politicians who talk about doing something militarily against Iran, first of all we don’t have the ability and we should not drop nuclear bunker busters. But there’s some 42 that we want to talk about publicly, nuclear sites or places that are associated with the industry.
Many of those are built so far underground that it would take nuclear bunker busters to get at them. Let’s say we did a couple, we just wacked a couple of them or allowed Israel to do it. The Iranians have a vote. And that is in places or organizations like Hezbollah and Hamas. And all they’ve got to do is tell Hezbollah and Hamas to start causing trouble in Lebanon Al Palestine, and now what do you want to do? Because the last time Hezbollah raised its head in Israel the Israelis even though they invaded Southern Lebanon never stopped the missiles from going. It never stopped. It stopped when Hezbollah said they didn’t want to do it anymore. All I’m saying to you is you want to do something to another country, okay. But they get a vote afterwards.
And do we want a third war in the Middle East in the last 12 years? And my answer is no. We don’t. But if we continue with the sequester, all this great combat training we have will begin to be deteriorated and it takes a long while to turn that ship around if that happens. And it shouldn’t be allowed to and you and I both know it’s nonsense that this sequester thing is going on. It’s just nonsense.
Jason Hartman: Well, it’s obviously political. Very much. Anything else you’d like to tell us about the book before you go?
Colonel David Hunt: Yeah, while the two main character’s names are changed because they are me and Christine, many other character’s names are real and with real capabilities. So the way that the government fights in this book are very realistic. The combat scenes are extremely realistic, based on my combat experience. And it’s a good, fast read. And it unfortunately tied to an event that just happened last week. But I’m excited about the book because 5 years ago it was the right thing to do, and unfortunately we’ve been proven right because of what happened last week.
Jason Hartman: Well Colonel David Hunt, thank you so much for joining us. And the book people can purchase at Amazon and the bookstores. It’s going to be out here in just a few days, right?
Colonel David Hunt: No, it’s out now. It’s in the bookstores now. And it’s on Amazon now.
Jason Hartman: Good. And do you have another website that you’d like to give out as well?
Colonel David Hunt: Well, the howiecarr.com is a radio show up in New England. He’s connected in a couple of the shows. But basically it’s Amazon.com for the books and of course in any of the bookstores near you.
Jason Hartman: Fantastic. Well, Colonel David Hunt, thank you so much for joining us today.
Colonel David Hunt: Thank you. Thank you very much.
Narrator: Thank you for joining us today for the Holistic Survival Show. Protecting the people, places and profits you care about in uncertain times. Be sure to listen to our Creating Wealth Show, which focuses on exploiting the financial and wealth creation opportunities in today’s economy. Learn more at www.JasonHartman.com or search “Jason Hartman” on iTunes. This show is produced by the Hartman Media Company, offering very general guidelines and information. Opinions of guests are their own, and none of the content should be considered individual advice. If you require personalized advice, please consult an appropriate professional. Information deemed reliable, but not guaranteed.
Transcribed by Ralph
Guest: David Hunt
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