The WikiLeaks disclosures of government documents are nothing short of terrorism that endangers U.S. troops, families back home, and allies abroad, says retired Marine Lt. Col. Oliver North. And the Obama Justice Department is not taking the leaks seriously enough, North said during an exclusive interview with Newsmax.TV.
“This is an act of terrorism. It’s information terrorism instead of a bomb going off in Times Square, but it’s still terrorism, and if we don’t have laws that will address this, we should,” said North, host of “War Stories” on the Fox News channel and author of “American Heroes in Special Operations.”
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North, who was both praised and prosecuted for his role in the clandestine Iran-Contra affair during the Reagan administration, said American troops view the WikiLeaks documents as dangerous for two reasons.
“Number one, divulging the names of Americans who are involved in (operations) because in many cases they have families back here in the states who are not living on U.S. military bases,” said North, a former member of the National Security Council. “The second part in the longer term of even greater risk is that it puts at risk those who work with us in foreign countries on these very kinds of (special) operations. And of course to the extent they feel vulnerable they are less inclined to do so.”
As to the situation on the ground in Afghanistan, North said the United States has made dramatic progress in training Afghan troops and even teaching people to read and write. Setting a timetable for starting to withdraw troops in 2011 and have combat troops gone by 2014 makes the job much more difficult, he said.
“Our bus ticket out of Afghanistan . . . is an Afghan national security force, that means intelligence, police, and army, able to protect itself from its internal adversaries like the Taliban and from external threats like that from Pakistan and Iran . . . Telling the enemy that we’re going to pull out and be gone by date certain certainly gives incentive to our adversaries and disappoints our allies.”
North also took issue with administration efforts to have the lame-duck Congress approve the new STrategic Arms Reduction Treaty with Russia and end the don’t ask, don’t tell policy.
“What is the rush to get a treaty that’s going to be in effect for at least 10 years? What’s the rush to get that treaty done other than one more phony campaign promise being made by the Obama administration?” he said.
There also is no reason to rush with don’t ask, don’t tell, as repealing it could crimp recruitment and retention in the armed forces, he said.
North’s second “American Heroes” tome, which Fidelis Books published in November, covers the exploits of Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marine personnel involved in special operations. It took a long time to get permission from military officials to do the book, North said, adding that he had to agree to keep various aspects, such as tactics, weapons, and names, secret.
“They’re extraordinary fighters, warriors,” he said. “And, of course, they are doing some of the most dangerous and difficult assignments you can imagine because they are so far from other friendlies and most of their operations are classified. So, it was a great opportunity in this book to let them tell their stories many of which would not have been told otherwise.”
Interviewed on the anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, North told Newsmax that the United States is prepared better today than ever to thwart such an attack.
“At the same what happened on December Seventh 69 years ago today was darn near replicated on 9-11-01, where four airplanes are seized, hijacked, with a handful of people, at far lower cost than the Japanese ever invested to bomb Pearl Harbor or fight World War II,” he said. “And we’re now engaged in a war very much akin to what we fought in the Pacific where our enemy in the Pacific was willing to launch suicidal banzai attacks in kamikaze planes with suicidal pilots in them.
“Our enemy today, radical Islamists, are wanting, just like the kamikazes, to die in the process of killing Americans. The lesson of Pearl Harbor ought never to be forgotten, and of course the motto that came from that, 69 years ago, the war which my dad fought, was remember Pearl Harbor, never again. We need to keep that to mind.”
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