Does the CIA Employ Assassins?

This is a partial transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," October 18, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: "Back of the Book" segment tonight. Vince Flynn (search) writes thrillers about the war on terror. Last year's book, "Memorial Day," was a huge best seller. And now he's out with a new book called "Consent to Kill."

What separates Flynn from other writers is that his research reads like nonfiction. And he levels serious charges against countries like Saudi Arabia (search) and actually writes the CIA (search) has assassins on its payroll.

I talked with Vince Flynn a few days ago.


O'REILLY: You're a controversial guy. Your books make it quite clear that you believe Saudi Arabia is our enemy. How did you draw that conclusion?

VINCE FLYNN, AUTHOR, "CONSENT TO KILL": I was reading about terrorism before 9/11 (search). After 9/11, I started to look into Wahhabism (search), which is the radical sect of Islam that started in Saudi Arabia.

And the Wahhabis basically have a Faustian deal with the Saudi royal family, and they export their terrorism through the madrasas, the schools they build over in Pakistan and Indonesia. And while the leading members of the royal family are our allies, I question the society in general. I don't think that they are.

O'REILLY: Because you come down real hard on Saudi Arabia, and a lot of Americans believe the same that you do, that they continue to be our enemy.

FLYNN: It is — and we've discussed this about Hollywood before. It's an extremely sexist society, and I'm waiting for the day when, you know, Hollywood will eventually come up and stand up and do a movie that examines Islam the way they go after the Catholic Church.

O'REILLY: That's never going to happen.

Now, your hero is a guy named Mitch Rapp, CIA assassin. OK, now just CIA assassin, a lot of people are going, "We don't have assassins."

FLYNN: They don't want to believe that. And in fact, most of these guys we do have that are doing this are former Special Forces operators or current Special Forces...

O'REILLY: But we really have assassins?

FLYNN: I wouldn't — it's one of those deals. Our government doesn't want to admit that. We have Special Forces operators.

O'REILLY: But have you found out that we have guys on the CIA payroll who are assassins?

FLYNN: No, I can't say that.

O'REILLY: So this is the fictional part of your book?

FLYNN: This is the fictional — this is — when I created Mitch Rapp back in '94, I looked at it, and I said, "Islamic radical fundamentalism is continuing to be a problem. These people are saying death to America.Osama bin Laden (search) had already attacked us once. He said he's going to do it again." And I felt that we should be out there taking these guys on, not waiting and playing defense. I created the Mitch Rapp character.

O'REILLY: All right. So what you've done is you've taken a character — because when you read Mr. Flynn's books, it's like reading nonfiction, even though it's fiction. I mean, very well researched. You've been to a lot of these places.

FLYNN: I was just over to Amman, Jordan.

O'REILLY: Right. You paint the picture very vividly and this guy knows what he's talking about. But you can say — you're not telling me that we have secret assassins running around, shooting people in the head?

FLYNN: I won't go that far for a variety of reasons. I have people that tell me things in confidence and I agree to not put them in my books.

O'REILLY: I got it.

FLYNN: And I — but I'm all for it.

O'REILLY: I know you are. You're for torture, too. You're a mean guy.

FLYNN: Bill, you know, I mean, the ticking bomb scenario. If you're going to — I always say this, before 9/11, we had Zacarias Moussaoui (search) in custody.

O'REILLY: Right.

FLYNN: If you could turn back the clock, how many Americans would say take the gloves off, find out what that guy knew? Maybe we could have prevented the attack.

O'REILLY: Because this is what made your book controversial. You're for torture.

FLYNN: Under extreme circumstances.

O'REILLY: Right. Mitch Rapp does do that. And then you say that, you know, we've got CIA guys who are assassins.

Now, when you bring the material to Hollywood, because there's no question your books are very entertaining, sell an enormous amount of copies. And they're slam dunk action movies.


O'REILLY: So you bring your material to Hollywood and what do they...?

FLYNN: Well, there was a producer in a large studio last year, and we're trying to get a movie made with that studio, so I can't really say anything. But the producer said, she read "Memorial Day" and said, "I hated it. It was more Bush than Bush."

And I'm standing there thinking, you know, politics have nothing to do with this.

O'REILLY: Right. You should be making movies because you want to make money and entertain.

FLYNN: The president in the book was a Democrat. And can't we all get on the same page that terrorists trying to detonate a nuclear warhead in New York City is a bad thing?

And so I think that their hatred of Bush gets in the way of them making a good business decision. Beyond that, you know, I think they're afraid that it might affect their overseas sales, because it won't play as well abroad. I disagree with that. And then thirdly, I think that they think that they will be targeted for assassination if they make a movie like this.

O'REILLY: Really. I think it would be they're targeted for disdain by their cocktail buddies.

FLYNN: Exactly.

O'REILLY: That's what I think it is.

FLYNN: Because...

O'REILLY: If you make "Memorial Day" or "Consent to Kill" and then you go out to Malibu, Barbra Streisand will go, "I'm not going to talk to you."

FLYNN: They don't get it. Hollywood, they never understood talk radio. They don't understand FOX News. They don't understand Wal-Mart (search). They don't understand...

O'REILLY: I think they understand FOX News, because they loathe it.

All right. I have to tell everybody that these are very entertaining books. So "Memorial Day" is out in paperback. "Consent to Kill" is in hardback. You will enjoy them, even if you don't agree with Mr. Flynn's politics. They're very entertaining.

We appreciate you coming in.

FLYNN: Thanks, Bill. Appreciate it.


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