FOX News Military Analyst: U. S. Should Hack into Arab Banks, Steal Their Money and Call It Biblical Justice
Reported by Marie Therese - July 8, 2005
FOX News Analyst Colonel David Hunt never ceases to amaze me. Just when you think he couldn't possibly get any worse, any more bloodthirsty, any more over the top, he comes up with yet another insane idea. This time it's a doozy. On last night's O'Reilly Factor, he told host Bill O'Reilly that he thinks the United States should hack into the Banks of Saudi Arabia and Yemen and steal $500 billion. I kid you not! This guy has a screw loose. It might be time for FOX News to put him and his warmed-over Tom Clancy notions out to pasture.
Transcript below. To watch a video of this interview, go to Crooks and Liars.
O'REILLY: Joining us now from Boston FOX News Military analyst, Col David Hunt, author of the book "They Just Don't Get It" which is solely about terrorism. You know, your book is very relevant for what happened today but what everybody wants to know is what is [sic] the United States and Britain not doing to fight these animals ...
HUNT: Let's start with ...
O'REILLY: ... that they could ...
O'REILLY: ... that they could do.
HUNT: Let's start with how 'bout when you have a world meeting like the G8, terrorism is on the agenda. It wasn't even gonna be talked about - I promise you it's gonna be talked about today or tomorrow - but it was not on that agenda. That's - so we've got to keep it in the forefront of every meeting, every government house, every day. Item #1: Terrorism. #2: No more sanctuaries. Pakistan, get out of the way. Bin Laden is ours. Don't get in our way. We cannot allow anyplace to hide these people. Three: Money. There's too much money in the Muslim world that's unaccounted for that's goin' to terrorist funding. This operation in London took six months to a year, thousands of dollars, passports, logistic cells and you have to get at that money. [What] I mean by that is - the Bank of Saudi Arabia, the Bank of Yemen. If you've got money, we're taking it and redistributing it. I'm talkin' about Biblical Justice to stop this. We've got to get people's attention ...
O'REILLY (overtalks): Let's - let's - let's take the money. What - you can't force banks in the Arab world to tell you where their money ...
O'REILLY: ... is going, can you?
HUNT: No, but I can get inside their bank - and people listening in the business know this. You can get inside a bank's computer - hit "send" and take it. I'm tellin' you - you asked what to do. You get at this money There's $500 billion of unaccounted for money that travels around the Muslim world forms a "zakat", which is a tithing in the Muslim community and "halaal" ("halala"?) which is given - borrowed money.
[Note: There are two possibilities for spelling the word Hunt used, only one of which seems to have anything to do with money. As defined by Wikipedia:
"Halāl has a general meaning and a more specific one. In Arabic-speaking countries, the term halāl is used to describe anything that is permissible under Islamic law, in contrast to harām, that which is forbidden. This includes behavior, speech, dress, and manner. In non-Arabic-speaking countries, the term is most commonly used in the narrower context of Muslim dietary laws, especially where meat and poultry are concerned, though it can be used for the more general meaning as well." Hunt might also have been saying "halala, which is a coin of Saudi Arabia worth 1/100 of a "riyal," which doesn't make much sense in the context of the sentence. I believe he used the wrong word here, but am not 100% sure of that. For anyone interested in finance, here's a link to a forum in very good English in which a group of Pakistani accounting students, I think, struggle with the issues of riba (usury), interest, capitalism and how it relates to Islamic law. I was totally fascinated - it's a 12-page glimpse into a world where even the banking system must conform to Sharia (Islamic law). It shows how that world is attempting to adjust to modern financial protocols. Accountancy.com.]
[UPDATE, July 9, 2005: Thanks to one of our readers, Bina, I now know the word that Col. Hunt was trying to use: Hawala. According to Wikipedia: "In the most basic variant of the hawala system, money is transferred via a network of hawala brokers, or hawaladars. A customer approaches a hawala broker in one city and gives a sum of money to be transferred to a recipient in another, usually foreign, city. The hawala broker calls another hawala broker in the recipient's city, gives disposition instructions of the funds (usually minus a small commission), and promises to settle the debt at a later date."]
HUNT: And a lot of this money is getting to the terrorist organizations. I'm just - this is aggressive. Nobody's gonna like it, but it would definitely get their attention.
[Comment: No kidding! Here, Hunt exhorts American bankers to steal the Muslim version of the "widow's mite" as a way to send a message! Well, it would send a message alright. Within 24 hours of such an act, every Muslim nation in OPEC would cut off our oil supply and some of them would even declare war on us. Old Blood and Guts outdid himself on this one!]
HUNT: We have to go after countries, Bill, that have - that are harboring these people, not war with them, but deal with them very, very aggressively.
O'REILLY: Well, ya' got ....
HUNT: Biblical justice.
O'REILLY: Let's run 'em down. Ya' got Iran. Ya' got Syria. Ya' got Saudi Arabia.
O'REILLY: Those are the top three. And ya' got little countries ...
O'REILLY: ... like Yemen and Oman.
O'REILLY: ... but those are backwaters.
O'REILLY: Those are the top three and then to a lesser extent you've got Pakistan, which plays a game - Mushareff plays a game. He does just enough not to anger the United States, but not enough to anger the Islamic fundamentalists who want to kill him anyway. And then you got Indonesia which is, to me, ya' know, kind of an ungovernable place. But - it - you know, the United States can't take on all these countries ...
O'REILLY: ... by itself.
HUNT: Absolutely not. Let's start with Iran (makes slight chopping motion with hand) Hey, Israel, have some fun! The Israelis [have] of one of the finest militaries in the world - a great intelligence service - put some pressure with [sic] them. We gotta still deal with North Korea that's our Russian friends - Come on! Come over here and help us. Syria and some of these Syrians we could put a little more pressure on them from Iraq. We've got- you've got to get Europe in the middle of this game. It cannot be just the British who are so ...
O'REILLY: Yeah, but they're not gonna do it, as we talked about this whole program.
HUNT: I know. I know. But you can do it by forcing their hands - money - economically and politically. We're not putting the Germans and the French nearly enough to get involved in things that we need. They've got all the things that we need. They've got good - great - intelligence services and we've got to use them. My point to you is: Take the gloves off. Biblical justice. If you want - We don't want to keep seeing what's happened. We don't want more 9-11s, Bill. These type of things must occur. Bin Laden cannot be allowed to live. He's too strong a symbol. Zawahiri, his number two man, is the guy I think that planned what happened in London. It was a very well thought out, very well executed, timed terrorist murder event. That's Zawahiri, the number two guy, can't be allowed to live. Biblical justice.
O'REILLY: Alright, Colonel . We appreciate it. Read [the] Colonel's book. He has a very hard line against terror.