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General Jerry Boykin on Kiloton Threat, and disgraceful action at the Washington Post, releasing Special Operations secrets

Saturday, September 3, 2011

HH: Lt. General William Jerry Boykin, retired, 36 years in the United States Army as many, many things, including commander of Delta Force, as the U.S. Army Special Operations Command, as the deputy secretary of Defense, deputy undersecretary of Defense. And he joins me now. General Boykin, welcome back, it’s always a pleasure.

JB: Hugh, it’s a real pleasure to be with you and your program.

HH: Congratulations. The new book is Kiloton Threat, and I want to talk about that first, and then come back to a couple of other things. Botkin, our buddy, Botkin, sent this down to me, and I’ve got a very high standard, General – Vince Flynn, Dan Silva, Brad Thor, Alex Berenson, Steven Pressfield. These guys come in and they sit down, and we talk about their books. So I said okay, let’s see what the General did. This is stellar. This is a gripper. Congratulations.

JB: Well, thank you very much. And as you know, Botkin is a Marine, so I had to read it to him, but I appreciate the compliment.

HH: (laughing) Now you did one thriller before, but this one’s about Iran, and it’s about Iran going nuclear. Yesterday’s headline is Iran burying its nukes under the holy city of Qom. I mean, did you anticipate that when you started writing Kiloton Threat, that you’d be in the headlines on the very day that it publishes?

JB: No. Well, I’ll tell you what, when I wrote this thing, I finished it last fall. And you know the editing process. I think that I anticipated that it was going to be within a year that we were going to start seeing some headlines associated with their nuclear program, and the accelerated pace with which they’re getting it together. I certainly didn’t anticipate that it would be announced they were burying it under Qom, but you do realize that I think it was today that the IAEA released a new report expressing their concerns about how rapidly the Iranians are building their nuclear program.

HH: Now I also want to tell people if they don’t know much about Iran, if they’ve never been able to figure it out, this is a great vehicle for doing so, because you’re putting into storyboard form for them, and very well written, how the government of Iran operates, and Khamenei, and Ahmadinejad, and the Quds Force. When did you first begin to study them? Back…obviously, you led the mission that did not succeed in getting the [hostages] out many, many years ago, but when did you start spending as much time as you’ve had to spend to understand Iran?

JB: Yeah, well, that was 1980 when we tried to rescue the 52 hostages. So since that night, and we failed there, I’ve had a particular interest in Iran. And also because I do have a real concern for what I believe is our closest allies, which is Israel, I’ve watched Iran very closely. And obviously, being in the intelligence business for as long as I was, I had access to a lot of information. And so I have watched not only their government becoming very, very radical and anti-Israel, as well as anti-American, but I’ve also seen through the intelligence, the evidence that they were rapidly moving to being a nuclear-armed power.

HH: Now you also give, have Ahmadinejad giving a speech early in Kiloton Threat, in which he does not mention Mohammed the prophet. And your riff on that, that this is an intentional device to uplift the Mahdi, and to leave room for another prophet to come along, I haven’t really thought about that before. Is that actually happening? Does Ahmadinejad actually do that?

JB: Well, there’s a struggle in Iran right now, and Ahmadinejad, and Ali Khamenei, the grand ayatollah, who heads the Supreme Council, are actually at odds a little bit right now. And Ahmadinejad is trying to exert more authority and more power over the, not only the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, but really over the entire government, which in reality, he is there because of the Supreme Council and Khamenei. So I think that I threw that in thinking, you know, as I see this unfold, I see him trying to set himself up as being more than just the president, as actually being some kind of individual that in fact, realistically, believes that he is Allah’s emissary.

HH: Yeah, it’s very persuasive and very chilling. I also, before the break, congrats on trying to communicate, and successfully doing so, what it’s like to jump out of an airplane at 20,000 feet. Have you had this…you’ve done this a few times yourself, I gather, General?

JB: I’ve got about 500 freefall jumps, and yeah, I’ve done that. And what I described in there is entirely an operational capability that’s maintained in our Special Operations forces.

HH: Wow, is that fascinating. Has it been critiqued, yet, by the guys who are doing it right now, General?

JB: No, it just came out yesterday, so I’m waiting for some feedback. Somebody will find some nit noy thing that they’ll ping me over, but that’s par for the course.

HH: I’ll be right back with William G. Jerry Boykin, author of Kiloton Threat.

– – – –

HH: General, a couple of things before I turn to the Washington Post. Botkin tells me you blew away a thousand people up at Granite Church, Granite Bay Church when you spoke up there. How do people arrange for you to speak to their churches?

JB: Well, they go my website, which is And they can do it online.

HH: All right, now it’s been ten years since the attack on America. You were on the front lines of our response for a long period of that time. Now you’re talking about it. Do you think America is letting down its guard, General?

JB: You know, I think, Hugh, that the major problem is not terrorism. That’s what we’re focused on. And we have been marginally successfully in stopping further attacks. We missed Nadal Hasan, we missed Abdul Mutallab, but we’ve stopped about 40 terrorist events. The problem is the leadership in the nation, and it’s not just the administration, it’s the Congress and leadership at all levels refuses to recognize that the encroachment of Sharia is a far greater threat in the long term than just terrorism. They cannot destroy us with terrorism. But the encroachment of Sharia, which is in our society today, and it taking roots, and is becoming more and more prolific in our court system, that is a far greater threat for the long term of America.

HH: In terms of how to push back against that, what do you counsel?

JB: Well, what I say is get informed. Most people in America do not understand what’s going on. They do not understand what we’re up against. And there’s so many ways that they can inform themselves. There are, you know, any number of websites and books, and good references, that will help them come to grips with exactly what we’re facing. You see, Hugh, the Muslim Brotherhood came into America in the mid-60s. In 2004, we found their plan for how they intended to take over America. The FBI found it in Annandale, Virginia, in a false basement of an operative for the Muslim Brotherhood. Now many people will say well, it just can’t happen in America. You know, they’re only 1% of the population, whatever. That’s exactly what the British said two decades ago. And if you look at Britain today, they have 85 Sharia courts in Britain where imams administer justice outside of the legal system of Britain. And in France, you have 787 no-go zones, where police and first responders don’t go. Look, that challenges our Constitutional liberties. And Article Six of our Constitution says this Constitution shall be the supreme law of the land. And it’s being eroded in America by Sharia.

HH: Now while that story unfolds, attention is going to be on a new book, and a new series in the Washington Post, Top Secret America: The Rise Of The New American Security State, by Dana Priest and a name I’m sure is familiar to you, William Arkin.

JB: Yeah.

HH: And it reveals operational secrets, General. What do you think of this? And what do you think of Arkin?

JB: Well, you know, I’ve had a lot of experience with Arkin. Arkin came after me, and Dana Priest has a record very similar to Arkin’s of exposing things that are very sensitive. Arkin, remember, he wrote the book Code Words. It exposed the code words of many, many very sensitive programs in our government, not just the Department of Defense. Arkin is not just anti-American, I mean anti-military, but he is very much anti-American. I think the guy is, frankly, I think he’s a hard-core Marxist. And if it was 1960, I think he’d be a leader in the Weather Underground. And Dana Priest has done similar kinds of things in exposing very sensitive programs. I can’t tell you what their agenda is other than they are very anti-American.

HH: Now I referred to Arkin earlier today as scum, because his record of attacking the military as mercenaries, and other attacks, not just on you, but I mean generally, he’s so anti-military and so anti-American, the Institute For Policy Studies, Greenpeace, he’s got this long lefty pedigree. What is the Washington Post doing, General, publishing this stuff. It’s not…there will be nutters and left wing extremists like Arkin out there. But why is the Washington Post aiding and abetting them?

JB: Well, I certainly can’t answer for the leadership of the Washington Post, but the Washington Post has a history of doing this, particularly with Dana Priest, who has been working with the Washington Post for a very long time. And I must tell you, I think this is an example of how the 1st Amendment was never intended to have an open press without some check and balance, without some accountability for what they do. And this is another example of how that can be very damaging to the nation.

HH: When a newspaper publishes the nicknames and the code names for some of the Special Operators, like Task Force Green, secret army in Northern Virginia, Task Force 11, Task Force 121, when they talk very specifically about where the new headquarters is, what the new operational command is, does that help the enemy?

JB: Of course it helps the enemy, and it also discourages the brave, young Americans that are playing by the rules, and taking some very high risks, and making a lot of sacrifices. It’s very discouraging to them, but it also encourages the enemy very much, because they see themselves being on the winning side, and they’re using our civil liberties against us. And it concerns me a great deal.

HH: Should we have released as much information as we did about the bin Laden mission?

JB: No, and it’s interesting. I was just talking to someone two days ago about that, and I will tell you that that was all a political ploy. You’re going to see a movie about it come out the 1st of October. The producers and so forth have been integrated into a number of things now with the administration. And I must tell you, this whole thing is political. It is trying to build the credibility of this president as the commander-in-chief, and as a substantial leader. And I think that it is disgraceful, because you never heard who got Saddam Hussein. You heard the 4th Infantry Division. Well, I happen to know that embedded in there, the people that really got him, was a Special Operations element. But nobody talked about who that was. There was no fanfare on that. But that wasn’t used for political purposes.

HH: I will be right back. One more segment with General, retired General William G. Jerry Boykin.

– – – –

HH: People who love thrillers know the name Scott Harvath and Mitch Rapp and Daniel Silva’s Gabriel Alon. And they’re going to be knowing now, I believe, the name of Blake, who is the hero of the brand new book, Kiloton Threat by General Jerry Boykin. Blake Kershaw is the special operator at the center of Kiloton Threat. General Boykin, I went to break saying you know, on the one hand, I hate this stuff that comes out in the newspapers. On the other hand, I’m glad that books like Kiloton Threat communicate the nature of who’s doing the fighting in this war. But you’re not revealing secrets in the course of doing Kiloton Threat.

JB: No, not at all. But what I am portraying, there is a very realistic scenario. And the people in the book, actually, the main characters there, for the most part, are real people that I have been associated with throughout my 36 years in the military.

HH: The quality of these folks on whom Blake Kershaw is patterned in Kiloton Threat, are they getting better? Or are they the same as when you began?

JB: You know, first of all, those people that are in that book are representative of a plethora of great Americans that are doing things that no one will ever give them credit for, making sacrifices and taking risk, and they’re the ones that are in the world of espionage. And they’re out there doing these things. The second thing is a great thing about writing fiction is you can create a character there that is everything you always wanted to be and never were, and that’s what I created in Blake Kershaw.

HH: And so in terms of how difficult it is, compared to your non-fiction, and compared to your soldiering, how is being a thriller writer?

JB: It’s fun, because you live vicariously through the people you create in there. But I enjoy it, and as I’ve said, I do use these thrillers to highlight real issues and real situations, and also to put the reader into dilemmas. As you know, from the book, there’s a situation there where the protagonist has to make a very hard decision as to whether to kill a guy that he’s with so that he can complete his mission, or cancel his mission and lose the opportunity to stop World War III. Well, my intention is, what would you do as a reader?

HH: Yup.

JB: First of all, is it ethical? But then secondly, could you do it? And that’s, you know, I try to throw those things in.

HH: Yeah, that’s why it’s a wonderful book. Kiloton Threat now available at and bookstores, I’ve linked it at And just put in Boykin into if you can’t remember it. General, always a pleasure, thank you. I look forward to seeing you when you’re out on the West Coast soon.

JB: Hugh, you’re doing a great job from this old soldier’s perspective, so I look forward to catching up with you again.

HH: High praise. Thank you, General.

End of interview.

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