OTR Interviews

Oliver North: Pres. Obama and the O Team at the White House 'don't give a damn' about the Marine jailed in Mexico

Col. Oliver North sounds off on the White House's silence on Sgt. Andrew Tahmoressi's fight to be released from a Mexican jail. Plus, how recuits' ineligibility is challenging the US military. #MarineheldinMexico

 

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," June 30, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Sergeant Andrew Tahmooressi, who served our country, that means us - two tours of duty in Afghanistan - will spend July 4th behind bars in Mexico. Sergeant Tahmooressi's lawyer said the process to free him could take as long as six months.

So, why won't President Obama at least try to speed things up? The White House petition for the Marine's release got the required 100,000 signatures a month ago, and still no response from the White House. Lt. Col. Oliver North joins us. Ollie, it drives me nuts that we can't accelerate for this for this guy.

OLIVER NORTH, UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS/HOST, 'WAR STORIES': Well, they could. I mean, we know that because we've seen that kind of thing happen in the past. The problem is, Barack Obama and the O Team at the White House don't give a damn. I hate to put this that bluntly this early in the evening. But the fact is, if they really cared all they would have to do is pick up the phone and call the President Pena and say we need this expedited because it's hurting the relationship between Mexico and the United States.

VAN SUSTEREN: Is that I mentioned, is doesn't like big thing, him saying release him. It's just saying, get, you know, expedite it. What could be wrong with that?

NORTH: Nothing. And it all it takes is somebody who cares. So, I've got a way in which we - you - already started this. You proved how simple it was to make the error before they change all the sign.

VAN SUSTEREN: I thought it was nutty when I first heard, until I drove it.

NORTH: So, you did it.

VAN SUSTEREN: OK.

NORTH: OK. So, fact of life it was an error. It was a mistake. He had all his households' effects, she's looking for a place to live in California. He's unfamiliar with the area, and now he's locked up in a Mexican prison. OK. So, here's what we do. Number one, I think every Marine at Camp Pendleton at the recruit depot ought to immediately boycott going to Tijuana. Stop going. The merchants down there count on their dollars. OK? Number two.

VAN SUSTEREN: That's easy.

NORTH: I'm urging all of us in America to boycott Mexican produce. Let it rot on the shelves at supermarkets and they will learn. Because they're the people who pull the strings to Pena, right? The president. And he knows that. Third, the next time one of the cartelistas shows up near our border, we ought to send somebody over to get them. And we know how they are, we know their addresses, and we need to start picking up some of those guys and bring them to the United States and putting them on trial. Because they'll spend the rest of their lives.

VAN SUSTEREN: What are the cartelistas?

NORTH: The guys who run the cartels.

VAN SUSTEREN: OK.

NORTH: The big car cartels.

VAN SUSTEREN: And we want them anyway, but go ahead.

NORTH: We do want them anyway but we can grab some (inaudible) because we're honoring their side of the border, right? Yeah, we're being very cooperative with them. And finally, I would suggest we all become recruiters. So, we're going to talk about recruiting here in a minute. We become recruiters. Tell a friend, who has not already gone to that whitehouse.gov web site to sign that petition. And urge the president to do the right thing like picking up the telephone and saying something publicly. He goes to the Rose Garden today totally impromptu to make speeches about other thing.

VAN SUSTEREN: He made a phone call to the president about something else in Mexico and never brought it up according to the readout.

NORTH: Yeah, because he doesn't give a damn.

VAN SUSTEREN: It's very disturbing. Anyway, Colonel North, some other disturbing news today, 71 percent of Americans youth would fail the qualifier from military service if they tried to enlist. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Discipline we have none.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Discipline we have none.

VAN SUSTEREN: Is America's youth unfit for duty.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: 71 percent would not meet the requirements to even make it into basic training.

VAN SUSTEREN: A new pentagon report showing that more than two thirds of American youth, 71 percent wouldn't qualify to serve in the military today.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a misconception that people have that they can walk in and sign in and join.

VAN SUSTEREN: The biggest disqualifier, obesity. But there is more, ADHD, felony convictions, dropping out of school and failing a math and reading test. That's 71 percent doesn't even include cosmetic requirements. The military bans some piercing and tattoos.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're disqualified based on the tattoos alone.

VAN SUSTEREN: The policies raising serious concerns over America's military readiness.

BOB BECKEL, FOX NEWS HOST: If they needed to get a whole lot of people mobilized they're going to have very slim pickings.

VAN SUSTEREN: Placing a huge burden on those who wants o serve.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a tough thing that you have to tell somebody, you know, your dreams are not going to happen in the Marine Corps.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAN SUSTEREN: Ollie, 71 percent. I guess Bob Beckel said it well slim pickings.

NORTH: Well, Beckel kind of talking about being slim. Look, here are some.

VAN SUSTEREN: I didn't say that.

NORTH: I did. Beckel, you heard me. OK. I'm sorry, Bob. We need 86,600 active duty recruits this year. We need 70,000.6,000 in the garden reserve. There are 157.2 thousand that we need in the military. There were 3.2 million high school graduates in last 30 days in America. What they're saying is the disqualifiers, drug abuse, the kinds of things that youngsters get wrangled up in, things like tattoos, body piercing, sorry about that. The bottom line of it is our -- think of this 238 years ago this Friday, 56 guys got together and signed in Philadelphia document called the declaration of independence. For the very first time, since that war, everyone serving in an American uniform in time of war is a volunteer. Think about that never happened since.

VAN SUSTEREN: Right. But 71 percent of them who are eligible to volunteer can't do it.

NORTH: And you need the brightest and best and bravest of a generation to serve. Because you can't operate and maintain and employ the most sophisticated weapons and equipment unless you're.

VAN SUSTEREN: So, does this disturb you?

NORTH: It does disturb me. The good news is and I called two marine recruiters after you and I talked about this issue this afternoon. I called two marine recruiters. They are overbooked as they say and on quote as it but they already exceeded their numbers through December.

VAN SUSTEREN: So, we're in good shape.

NORTH: And so I said, well, at least the Marine Corps is. And the reason the Marine Corps is the Marine Corps they joined for one reason. They know that they are going to go to a war and they want to fight. Here's the problem. What's about to happen with this administration are a number of things. One, they are treating the military like laboratory rats in a radical social experiment. That hurts recruiting.

Number two, if you don't fight a war to win, people will not volunteer to serve. No one wants to be the last one killed in this war. I've spent the last 13 years covering the young Americans who volunteered to serve as soldiers, sailors, airman, guardsman, and marines in this military, they do not want to fight to lose. So, this administration is hurting the readiness of the armed forces by the way they are treating those on active duty today.

Worst of all the V.A. scandal is affecting people. What if I get hurt? What's going to happen to me? And finally the family benefits are being chopped to pieces by the congress and the White House. So long term, getting enough high quality really good fit bright young people to serve in the best military that's ever been is in jeopardy because, once again, this White House doesn't give a damn.

VAN SUSTEREN: Ollie, well, as always, nice to see you. I don't know if I should be like, kind of remind to cheered up or feel awful. But anyways it's always nice to see you.

NORTH: We still got some Marines.

VAN SUSTEREN: We still got some Marines. You said Bob too, Bob Beckel too. Anyway, Ollie, nice to see you.