He's a Vietnam vet, a highly-decorated former Navy SEAL, the man who pioneered the elite SEAL Team 6/DEVGRU that took out Usama bin Laden and the mastermind behind Red Cell, the high-level anti-terrorist unit.
And if that isn't enough, Richard Marcinko is also a multiple New York Times best-selling fiction writer, whose “Curse of the Infidel,” the latest offering in the “Rogue Warrior” series, doesn’t disappoint. It tells the story of the pursuit of a bank official who is laundering money for an al Qaeda-sponsored terrorist, and it highlights tensions with the CIA and the need for original members of SEAL Team 6 to help stop an explosives-laden luxury liner heading to U.S. shores.
There’s another thing Marcinko is . . . he’s highly opinionated. And on that note, Marcinko has some thoughts on our “unofficial ambassador” to North Korea, former NBA star Dennis Rodman, who recently checked into rehab for alcoholism.
“When you recognize that North Koreans know nothing about the outside world, to think that Dennis Rodman represents us in any way is ludicrous,” Marcinko said. “And certainly, for the mass population there, if they thought there were more of him around, you can understand why they should launch a nuke.”
Another of Marcinko’s opinions involves the influence of Hollywood, which he says has an important role to play in shaping and encouraging our future frogmen.
After all, he says, he was inspired to enter the SEAL arena when, as a youngster, he watched Richard Widmark’s 1951 film “The Frogmen.”
“Movies influence more than we know,” Marcinko said. “We see the youth of America as not very ambitious and subject to a lower value system. We don’t see how many are patriotic, hard-charging and focused.
“But when those ones see a movie like ‘Act of Valor’ or (Marcus) Luttrell’s ‘Lone Survivor,’ they get an idea of whether they want to try that, and that is the sort of people we want.
“Having our value system portrayed is worth the effort.”
Marcinko also said he has some concerns about the upcoming Winter Games in Sochi.
“My feeling is once a SEAL always a SEAL, once KGB always KGB. I think (Putin) feels vulnerable in inviting people in to help with defense…
“We’ll have two ships close if we have to put a reaction force in. But when you say ‘react,’ that means an event already occurred. The safest is to pull out of the Games, but that’s not fair to the people who have been training for years. It’s much easier being the bad guy.”
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Hollie McKay has been a FoxNews.com staff reporter since 2007. She has reported extensively from the Middle East on the rise and fall of terrorist groups such as ISIS in Iraq. Follow her on twitter at @holliesmckay