Interviews

Did Obama 'violate American national security'?

Fmr. Deputy Undersecretary of Defense Jed Babbin weighs in

 

This is a rush transcript from "Your World," June 3, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Still over the top over the swap, fears that the president might have freed a soldier, but he also unleashed a hornet's nest.

The White House says such prisoner exchanges are not new, that Israel does them all the time.

Jed Babbin says there's a difference, though. No one doubts Israel's resolve on terror. That's because it is surrounded by bad guys and not just in its own neighborhood. Israel is increasingly targeted for boycotts, divestments and sanctions or what Babbin calls the BDS war against Israel.

Conveniently, that is Babbin's book, and this former Bush defense undersecretary says there's a lesson in there for all of us.

Jed, welcome. Great book, great insight, and eerie timing today having you on.

JED BABBIN, FORMER U.S. DEPUTY UNDERSECRETARY OF DEFENSE: Well, thank you.

CAVUTO: What do you make...

BABBIN: Well, I think there's a lot going on that we need to talk about, and certainly you can compare the Israeli practice of swapping terrorists out for their own prisoners that are taken by terrorists, but this is different, Neil.

This is pretty much -- and I don't want to go to where McCain was, but this is basically a Taliban brain trust. You're talking about some of the most valuable senior Taliban leaders that we held at Gitmo and we're now letting them go. The idea that we're going to have to track them and try to find them again, because they are going back to the battlefield. They are going the be plotting against us -- it's ludicrous to be able to do this.

The president has violated American national security, despite what he says. And there's an awful lot of doubts about Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl and the question of his conduct, to make anyone wonder, reasonably, why this was made as a trade at all.

CAVUTO: But you have mentioned Israel. And I'm thinking Benjamin Netanyahu. And he has done many of these type of swaps, not only to get Israeli soldiers held by Hamas, or what have you, but countless times.

Where is the difference? Do they check the prisoners they're swapping, fully vetting them, or what do they do that we don't?

BABBIN: Well, number one, they don't let go the real big guys.

The big difference here is, this is a Taliban brain trust, as I said a moment ago. You have got a former provincial governor. You have got the former deputy chief of intelligence that has been characterized by his own Guantanamo case file as one of most valuable people we have got at Guantanamo Bay.

These guys are not small fry. The Israelis usually catch some dummy who didn't have his explosive vest go off on time. They're catching small fry. They don't catch Hassan Nasrallah, the head of Hezbollah. They don't catch the head of Hamas. Those people would not be let go under any circumstances.

So, the Israelis don't do what we're doing, which is giving the Taliban back the people they need the operate against us.

CAVUTO: Now, when you talk about Israel, and you talk about how it's targeted for sanctions and the like, more so than, if you think about it, than we're considering now for Vladimir Putin post what he's been doing in Crimea, what does that tell you about the state and the mind-set of the world, where Israel is the bad guy and Russia not-so-bad guy?

BABBIN: Well, it tells you that people are willing to fall for this line of stuff that the BDS movement is trying to propel.

You have a lot of European governments that are actually funding this movement. You have an NGO community of thousands and thousands of these non-governmental organizations that support -- support the BDS movement. And you have people in this country being approached, being told by -- told the lies by all of these people who propel the movement, the NGOs and some of these others.

And you have American teachers teaching this to their students. So, my objective here is to really answer the lies. And that's what it is. What these guys are doing, well, it's like Mao Tse-Tung said. A lie repeated 100 times becomes the truth. Well, not anymore.

CAVUTO: Yes, that's a good point.

BABBIN: I'm in there trying to mix it up and trying to make sure that people understand what the truth really is. There's a very clear record of truths and there's a very clear record of lies.

And the lies are what the BDS movement is built on.

CAVUTO: I like that's how you open the book with that quote. It's a great book, "The BDS War Against Israel."

Jed Babbin, always a pleasure, sir.

BABBIN: Thank you, sir.

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