The Secret War Against Terrorists — Bill O’Reilly
The Secret War Against Terrorists — Bill O’Reilly
Legendary media personality and bestselling nonfiction author Bill O’Reilly returns to The Charles Mizrahi Show! In this episode, O’Reilly sits down with host Charles Mizrahi to discuss the heroic stories in his latest book: Killing the Killers: The Secret War Against Terrorists. The book offers an in-depth look into the war on terror and the brave Americans who take down the world’s most dangerous terrorists.
- An Introduction to Bill O’Reilly (00:00:00)
- An American Tragedy (00:05:58)
- Innocent Lives Stolen (00:09:28)
- Evil Must Be Destroyed (00:16:31)
- Grave Danger Ahead (00:19:26)
- Why We Can’t Look Away (00:22:11)
Bill O’Reilly’s success in broadcasting and publishing is unmatched. He kickstarted his media career with work on CBS, ABC, and Inside Edition. He then served as the iconic anchor of The O’Reilly Factor for nearly two decades. While there, he grew the program to become the highest-rated cable news broadcast in the nation. Then, after nearly 40 years in broadcast television, O’Reilly moved on to host No Spin News and The O’Reilly Update — where he delivers current events with: “No spin. Just the facts.” In addition, O’Reilly is the author of the bestselling Killing series. It currently has over 19 million books in print.
· Author photo for Bill O’Reilly. Photo credit Lynn McCann Youngen.
Before You Leave:
BILL O’REILLY: I also wanted the American people to know that their country had done a pretty good job here because we’re in the age where very cynical. Nobody trusts the government to do anything. Right. Right here. It worked.
CHARLES MIZRAHI: My guest today is Bill O’Reilly. Bill is the king of all media. His success in broadcasting and publishing is unmatched as the iconic anchor of The O’Reilly Factor. He led the program to the status of the highest rated cable news broadcast in the nation for 16 consecutive years. Bill is also coauthored an astonishing six number one ranked nonfiction books, including the Historical Killing Series, the bestselling nonfiction series of all time with nearly 19 million books in print. His 11th book in the series is Killing the Killers: The Secret War Against Terrorists. Bill writes about America’s effort to defeat al Qaeda and ISIS worldwide. And with his coauthor, Martin Dugard gained access to the top-secret national security documents, as well as interview the highest national security officials in the United States. The book takes the reader deep inside the global war on terror, which began more than 20 years ago on 911. I recently sat down with Bill and we talked about the war on terror that took place over the past ten years since Osama bin Laden was killed. Bill, thanks so much for being on the show. I greatly appreciate it.
BILL O’REILLY: Anytime. Charles, you all right?
CHARLES MIZRAHI: The name of the book, folks, is Killing the Killers: The Secret War Against Terrorists. This is number what, 16 in your Killing series?
BILL O’REILLY: It is the 11th Killing book. I’ve had 18 No. 1 bestsellers. That breaks the record for any human being. Nonfiction.
CHARLES MIZRAHI: How many books have you sold? 16 million or so? I saw list number 16 or 18 million.
BILL O’REILLY: 19 million in print, 19 million books.
CHARLES MIZRAHI: Well, you truly are the king of all media. Amazing.
BILL O’REILLY: Thank you.
CHARLES MIZRAHI: Thank you. Before we start, Bill, I read the book. It really was captivating. You know, I thought I knew a lot of this stuff, but it really was just fantastic. Your footnotes, the notes on the side just absolutely outstanding. What is it that sets your books apart?
BILL O’REILLY: I think it’s this is the best reporting Charles I’ve ever done in my career. We work very, very hard to find things that readers don’t know. Here in Killing the Killers, I was able to talk with the security advisors, a bunch of them all the way back to General Petraeus and the Bush administration, up to the end of the Trump administration. And we closed the book with Afghanistan and the Biden debacle there, alleged 13 U.S. service people being killed at the Kabul airport. Most of those are the startling new killers is classified information. Nobody’s heard it. And that’s the product of me and the national security advisers trusting me with the information to do the right thing, which is inform the American people what their government is doing to protect them.
CHARLES MIZRAHI: I want to tell you something, Bill. I’ve read several of your books in The Killing series and this one, and correct me if I’m wrong, you wrote this with a lot more passion.
BILL O’REILLY: Well, it’s contemporary history. That’s the difference. So, people don’t know how the war on terror is being fought and what hand how we’re winning. We’re actually winning that war. And so, when you write about George Washington or Abraham Lincoln, you know, people know a little bit about them, JFK. But here it was a blank slate. People didn’t know any of this. So that’s what you’re feeling. I think the urgency of our reporting that we didn’t know. And then when we found out we were on what we were and what, and then we put it on the page. So, there’s a more intense feel to the book.
CHARLES MIZRAHI: Yeah. You know, it just. It really is a page turner because you want to see how it’s going to turn out. You’re giving. You’re giving a lot of technical, military stuff that I never knew before. It really crazy, the kind of surveillance that we have, the capabilities we have, and the amazing heroism and courage of our armed forces.
BILL O’REILLY: Special Forces. You ask best in the world and the fact that they did these raids, we open the book Killing the Killers with the bin Laden raid. Everybody thinks they know what happened there. They don’t. And then we go into the O into the Baghdadi that ice is and how he got waxed. Soleimani, Boko Haram troops on the ground in Africa, special forces right this minute. Right today, we have U.S. special forces fighting ISIS in Africa. And those men and women, women are livable. Courageous. But more importantly, they’re so skilled. I don’t think a planet has ever seen military units as skilled as America has.
CHARLES MIZRAHI: You know, absolutely amazing. And, you know, we’ve had some Navy SEALs on the podcast and these guys are just a cut above the rest. But, you know, this is all our armed forces, the Rangers, the Navy SEALs, and they’re wherever they are, just a tremendous odds against them. And they go in there with the best technical equipment, best training, and an attitude of getting the job done.
BILL O’REILLY: There’s no doubt about it. And the big turning point on the war on terror was the trade act, which was signed six weeks after the attack of 911, which allowed special forces and U.S. technology to basically attack terrorists anywhere on the planet. Santa, matter of cloud your hands up anymore. It’s if they find you, they kill you, right? Right. And that that’s what the Patriot Act did.
CHARLES MIZRAHI: Before we even start. You dedicated the book I to read the dedication. This book is dedicated to the Clear family, Carlisle family of Manhasset, New York, who suffered grievously after the 9/11 attack. You want to expand on that for us?
BILL O’REILLY: Yeah. I mean, these are friends of mine. And there were two brother brothers, the Carlyle Brothers, working in the World Trade Center, both killed. They had wives and children. Moms and dads. Sisters and brothers. And you lose two in one day with all of those people loving them. It’s a tragedy beyond description. I didn’t have the words, so I decided to dedicate a dedication to basically alert the American people of the damage these evil people do. To us. And that what you read and what happens to these evil people is well deserved. It’s justified.
CHARLES MIZRAHI: Yeah. You know, I want to get to Souleymane Salamone at the end where there was the press, CNN and others. They just you know, I remember just being infuriated how they how neutral they were on this. In some cases, they were they made it seem like an innocent was being killed. It was just absolutely staggering. You covered greed in the book, but before we even get into that, you open up the book. First off, with the Osama bin Laden raid and you give us some insights there, what did you find that was new, different that no one ever spoke about? I have a few things, but I just want to hear from you about this raid.
BILL O’REILLY: Well, the men in the compound, including bin Laden himself, were cowards and women who fought the hardest against the special forces, U.S. Special Forces that came in to the compound. And we want to get across how intense this firefight was. And we wanted to put the reader right in the compound, which is what we do in all the killing books we put you there. So, you were experiencing the tension and the violence that’s happening. But Osama bin Osama bin Laden, the architect of killing tens of thousands of people himself, was a coward. He hid behind his wife. And when you see step by step how the special forces got to the compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, how one of the helicopters crashed, had to be destroyed, how the forces got into the compound, what they did step by step, room by room. I mean, I think it’s like you put that down when you start reading it, which is why we put it up top of the book.
CHARLES MIZRAHI: Oh, no. You start sweating. You look at them and you say, Well, you know, your heart starts palpitating because they’re walking in there with the dogs and with the one dog. And it looks like a filly from the start. There’s a, you know, first to think about 79 with Carter’s failed attempt at rescuing the hostages, with the ploy, with the helicopter crashing, and these guys just come through.
BILL O’REILLY: Yeah. Well, it’s totally different armed forces now than it was back in the Carter era. Um, now we obviously have technical malfunctions, things like that. They’re always going to happen, but they plan for everything. I mean, it’s like, okay, this happens, then we do this. That’s exactly what happened on a bin Laden raid. When the chopper went down, all the soldiers got out and nobody was hurt. But then they already knew what to do. It was carry on. And that’s what they did.
CHARLES MIZRAHI: Yeah. Amazing. Okay, so we finished with Osama bin Laden. We think we know the story, but we it seems that we got our man. Excellent. We move on, then you open up in the second chapter, third part. Second part of the book. No. Second part, I think, was the second chapter about Kayla Mueller and Mueller and James Foley. Tragic, tragic situation. I don’t think I’ve ever read how abused she was and what happened. You want to just give me some insight into that? That that’s new stuff, I’m sure.
BILL O’REILLY: Yeah. I mean, look, the mother’s parents cooperated with us. They live in Phenix. Phenix? Their daughter, 26-year-old humanitarian from Arizona, goes to Turkey to work with the refugees there, makes a mistake and crosses into Iraq with her boyfriend to visit a Doctors Without Borders clinic. ISIS kidnaps her, al-Baghdadi uses her, rapes her and ultimately orders her murder. In the interim, issues emails, the Mueller family in Arizona demanding millions of dollars in ransom and actually taunting them. So, we were the first journalists to get access to that email chain. It’s horrifying. Sickening. And the U.S. government could not get Kayla. Kayla, not the fault of anybody. Just didn’t happen. And she is murdered. And then the urgency becomes even greater to get al-Baghdadi himself. And how the American government did get him is hanging because we did use enhanced interrogation methods. Now, when I say we, the Americans couldn’t do it because it’s against the law. After Abu Ghraib, there were laws passed that US citizens cannot use torture in any way, but we farm that out. And in this case, we gave it to the Iraqis to break down this courier or courier, the courier that was captured, and he gave up Baghdadi. It’s an amazing chain of events and you’ll see it step by step. And again, nobody knows any of this.
CHARLES MIZRAHI: So, let me ask you a question, Bill. Well, James Foley, first of all, James Foley is another. He’s a journalist. Sure. James is a journalist. Right. Yeah.
BILL O’REILLY: Interesting guy. Yeah. And he and he’s kidnaped like a number of them were. And he’s executed. And he and Kayla crossed paths in the confinement. And there was really no reason for these ISIS criminals to do this. They have to do this. They didn’t get anywhere where daddy got killed. Sooner probably than he would have because of what he did to Kayla. It’s just, you know, evil is evil and you can’t really explain it.
CHARLES MIZRAHI: So, I didn’t know this, but they were they were they wanted a ransom. Other countries pay ransom in discreet ways. They get the money moved around from different countries. And here the Mueller family was being offered the possibility to rescue her. The Obama administration said, no way, we’re not dealing with this. And I think at the time it was criminal. It was a federal offense to pay even for personal funds.
BILL O’REILLY: Still.
CHARLES MIZRAHI: It still is.
BILL O’REILLY: Still. You know, Americans can’t pay the American government cannot negotiate a ransom with terrorists. But the Mueller family was caught because even if they got they got them, which was almost impossible. It was like 20 million or it changed. There was no guarantee that Kayla was ever going to be released. So, the Danes in Copenhagen, they were able to get a couple of people out of there. But it was a case by case basis that FBI made it clear to us. Dugard and my coauthor, Martin Dugard, to me that they’re not going to prosecute, prosecute to a third country any American and they and pays. BRANDT American government will not do that. But the government itself can’t do it. But even if the Muellers had raised the money, which it would have been almost impossible at the time. Now we now you have Internet and the go fund me is a little more feasible to pay the money. And then there’s no guarantee you’re going to get Kayla body else back.
CHARLES MIZRAHI: How do you think? You know, you’re pretty critical of the Obama administration and how they dealt with this, their sensitivity. It didn’t seem to be much sensitivity to the family, not meeting with them, not speaking with them.
BILL O’REILLY: I believe ultimately, ultimately, Obama did meet with the Muellers, but it took a while and they, of course, wanted their meeting quickly because their daughter was in dire danger. Now, the bureaucracy at the White House is very, very intense. Barack Obama changed his mind about terrorism six years into his two terms because ICE’s embarrassed him so much in Iraq by taking over half the country after Obama pulled all American troops out of there. Obama took that personally and kind of changed, particularly in the use of drones and other weaponry. But it was too late for Kayla.
CHARLES MIZRAHI: Yeah. And they never found her body. That her body was never.
BILL O’REILLY: Found a body.
CHARLES MIZRAHI: Tragic. Tragic. You know, you write something here, and I just want to read this because I don’t think it summarizes it doesn’t do it justice. France, November 13th, 2015. You’re right. Nearly 1 million Islamists around the world marched in support of those who killed the Charlie Hebdo employees. And militant groups such as al Qaeda, Boko Haram and Taliban all praised the dead terrorists who committed the murders. In fact, more than three quarters of Muslim students in the volatile CNN Center in Eastern District have voiced allegiance to the killers. I’ll drop you with a Kalashnikov, mate. One student informs a teacher trying to enforce a moment of silence, referencing the AK 47 assault rifle used by most jihadists. This is in France.
BILL O’REILLY: Sure. The militant Islamists. And I would say. 15 20%. Or in that category. They’re usually educated in the madrassas. They hate infidels. They don’t think their lives are worth anything. If you kill them, they’re fine with it. But it’s not the majority of Muslims since Islam, 16 or 20% of them. But that’s enough to be ultra-dangerous and to give support to ISIS and Al Qaida, Boko Haram. And they do. And it you know, it persists to this day.
CHARLES MIZRAHI: So, what is what is the West not getting, which seems so obvious.
BILL O’REILLY: Is that there is nothing you can get. I mean, it’s like evil. Evil is evil and you have to destroy it. If you can and we can. Now you can apply that to Putin. You know, if we if Putin didn’t have a nuclear arms arsenal, it would have been months ago. We would have vaporized him from space. But he does have nukes and we can’t do it because of the retaliation. But the jihadists don’t have that capacity, at least not yet. You got to keep an eye on Iran and Iran. So, we find them. We wax them.
CHARLES MIZRAHI: But it seems to me that, you know, as the as the book progresses and you talk about the latest assassination of Soleimani, that was a 2020, I believe it was. Was that about. Yeah. Yeah. That CNN and MSNBC were pretty much against it. Could you just give us a little bit?
BILL O’REILLY: I guess Trump did it. It was all about it was always a Trump play with them. It was never anything more. They didn’t know Soleimani was. They didn’t care. They don’t care about what Iran does. If Trump did it, it was bad. My charge, you know, that whatever Trump did was bad. Bad. We did nothing good ever. That’s the corruption level that we deal with in America with our press. So, Trump was the most effective of all the presidents involved with the war on terror, because he basically allowed the CIA and the NSA, National Security Agency to do what they had to do. Now he had to sign off on it. So, Trump knew that. So that sort of he was in working in the Iranian government. He knew that Iran might, you know, retaliate. But Trump said, get him and he got him.
CHARLES MIZRAHI: That was a big risk.
BILL O’REILLY: Iran didn’t retaliate because they feared Trump. Right. They feared what Trump would do to that. And he would have he had orders all drawn up that if Iraq does Iran does anything after this assassination of Soleimani, then we’re going to wipe out all our airfields and ports, which would have happened in a day. So, the Iranians, the mullahs who run that country, they know that. Which is why they want the nuclear weapon. Which is why the hell bent on getting it, because they feel that that would give them the ability to retaliate.
CHARLES MIZRAHI: Right. So, you in the book with Afghanistan, the withdrawal of withdrawal, the retreat out of Afghanistan last summer, August or so.
BILL O’REILLY: Right.
CHARLES MIZRAHI: What impact? Well, you’re pretty plugged in. What impact? What are you seeing or what are you hearing from or actions from what President Biden did last August? What do you how do you see that playing out in the near future?
BILL O’REILLY: Well, it’s an excellent question you’re asking, Charles. Charles, action was an irresponsible and be board isn’t insane. And now we see, you know, how he’s running the economy and it all comes together. It didn’t come together back last August when he still had some credibility. He doesn’t have an avenue now. You don’t know that this man is incompetent. Then you’re not really a rational thinking human being. This is this is really an inefficient prison. So, he frees a thousand hard core jihadis from Bagram Air Force Base Prison. This lets him out. Did have to put a move. Those people into other areas of the world could have done it in an orderly way. Gives them a get out of jail free. What does it take 48 hours for one of them to come into Kabul and set off a bomb at Curtin? Well, I mean, you tell me. How irresponsible that was. And then because he’s embarrassed by it looks like an idiot. They whack some civilians, Afghan civilians, with nothing to do with terrorism. Right? Right. They kill.
CHARLES MIZRAHI: Them. Told them Mr..
BILL O’REILLY: U.S. killed them for no reason. No, because they botched it. And so, I look, people say Biden, you know, are we in more danger now than we were under Trump? The answer is overseas we are not, because the same people that work for Trump are still working for the U.S. government. CIA. NSA say open border. That puts all Americans in grave danger. And that’s another other story. The mainstream corrupt media suppresses that the terrorists can easily get into the United States on our soil now. Right. Much easier now than it was under Trump. The problem for the terrorists. They can’t use the phone. The phone right here. You can’t use the phone because everything that goes into certain precincts overseas is surveilled by us. So, there’s no command and control. And back like there was a 911 to direct these guys in Boston what to do. Can’t do that anymore. But they’re here.
CHARLES MIZRAHI: So, Bill, you could have wrote on a zillion other subjects. What did you want the American reader to feel, to respond, to act after they read this book?
BILL O’REILLY: Well, you have to confront evil. That’s the main theme of the book. Can’t look away. Can’t ignore it. You can rationalize it. You have to confront it. And I also wanted the American people to know that their country had done a pretty good job here, because we’re in the age where very cynical. Nobody trusts the government to do anything. Right. Right there. It worked. And our weapons are unbelievable. Our surveillance is incredible. Our leadership is bad right now. That will change. I’m confident it’ll change. But I want to do Americans to see the whole story and what’s been doing in their name to protect that, because we don’t know. Or before killing the killers, we didn’t know. Now we do.
CHARLES MIZRAHI: Know. You don’t only describe it in narrative format, you also talk about the weapons that we have. I was just amazed at you. I think you mentioned one of the drones, three miles. I can read the name of a golf ball. Was that about right? I get that right with you that they knew we.
BILL O’REILLY: Can they can read Titleist on a golf ball from three miles up and up into space.
CHARLES MIZRAHI: This is where they got Soleimani. That was just absolutely, absolutely staggering. Yeah. So, folks, the name of the book is Killing the Killers: The Secret War Against Terrorists. Another amazing success in Bill O’Reilly’s killing series. And I guess you’re not stopping, right? You’re writing more of these things.
BILL O’REILLY: Right? We got two more to come. We got one in the fall because this book killer is supposed to be out last year. COVID delayed it, and then we have one more to do on the contract.
CHARLES MIZRAHI: All right. So, there’s at least two more shows you got to do with me, Bill.
BILL O’REILLY: You know, I love talking to you. You read the book and you know what you’re talking about, and it’s very nice to be on with you.
CHARLES MIZRAHI: All right, folks, go in and get this book as just an American to see how our government is protecting us and the amazing courage, skill and heroism that our armed forces display is unparalleled anywhere in the world. So, if you ever pissed off about your tax dollars, you can get a better return than what these people are doing for our safety. I just would agree with that, Bill. Right. There’s nothing to say about that.
BILL O’REILLY: Yes, I would. I want Americans to be reassured on this front.
CHARLES MIZRAHI: Beautiful. Thanks so much, Bill. Continued success and I look forward to having you back.
CHARLES MIZRAHI: Thanks for listening to this episode of The Charles Mizrahi Show. If you’re a new listener, welcome! If you’ve been listening for a while, we’re glad to have you back. Either way, we’d love to know what you think of the show. Please leave a review if you listen on Apple Podcasts. Reviews make it easier for others to find the show. You can also see the video of the interview on The Charles Mizrahi Show channel on YouTube.
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