My Interview With Colonel Bill Cowan

I had the pleasure recently of attending a weekend retreat in Santa Barbara. The David Horowitz Freedom Center put together an array of speakers that offered so much substance, that it could take weeks to give the event its full justice.

The Biltmore Hotel in Santa Barbara might be one of the most beautiful places on Earth. Yet despite the fact that this weekend was a retreat, it was a serious policy conference, with one military leader that does not know the meaning of the word retreat. I had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing a man with “gravitas,” that being Lieutenant Colonel and Fox News Military Analyst Bill Cowan.,2933,118534,00.html

Colonel Cowan is an absolutely funny man, and I could have stayed for hours just listening to his stories.

Before doing the interview, I took great joy in getting to hear him speak on one of the panels. He does not mince words, and to say he began with a bang would be an understatement.

“I hope all of this is on the record. I don’t like waterboarding. Let me say again, I don’t like waterboarding. I prefer electricity.”

“John McCain conceded the issue. Political correctness at its worst gets Americans killed.”

“Guantanamo Bay is not a bad place to be.”

“Armageddonijad (sic) is closely watching the U.S. elections.”

“The surge has been a success, and McCain is tied to the surge.”

“The terrorists want an October surprise, something that can sway our election.”

“The Tet Offensive was a military win, and it was portrayed in the media as a loss.”

“General David Petraeus turned it around. Had he been in charge in 2003 it would have been over a long time ago.”

“We know where the bombs in Iraq are coming from. They are coming from Iran and Syria.”

“If Mexican illegal immigrants bombed San Diego, Americans would not stand for it. Yet when Donald Rumsfeld spoke to me, he said the White House would not allow for a bombing of Iran.”

“Bombing Iran does not have to be about killing people. We can disrupt their processes, the same way they have disrupted our processes. There are non-lethal things we can do.”

“McCain is unpredictable. Hopefully he will listen to General Petraeus.”

“We are winning, but we have not won yet.”

“We are in a defensive position. Israel is our forward outpost. We failed Israel in 2006 during their war with Lebanon. We cannot fail Israel again.”

When asked about whether America should set up a blockade regarding Iran, Colonel Cowan responded.

“A blockade is an act of war. All we do is bullhorn. We need covert operations that are untraceable to the United States.”

Later on in the day, Colonel Cowan agreed to do an interview with me by email. However, since it was such a lovely day outside, and there was a lengthy afternoon break in the conference, we decided to just do the interview right there. It was just a couple of guys relaxing by the palm trees. 

1) What have we gotten right, and what have we gotten wrong, in the last 8 years?

BC: “As for what we have gotten right is that the CIA and FBI have done a good job working with foreign intelligence sources. This used to be beautiful. With information sharing, and collaborative efforts, the relationships have been effective. The CIA used to just go to cocktail parties. They are not military people. On the military side, we have General David Petraeus. Some of the more stock, conventional leaders considered this a loss. What Petraeus understands is that insurgencies are about people. It is not about killing Iraqis. That only prolongs war.

As for what we have gotten wrong, the Department of Homeland Security is one thing. It does nothing, and is a complete waste of tax dollars.

Another success involves Donald Rumsfeld. For all of his failures, and I have been a critic of his, he reshaped military intelligence. He was more proactive than his predecessors with regards to employing special units. Rumsfeld unleashed them. This helps with the rest of the war, which includes Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.

The CIA has been a failure even according to former CIA workers. They are good with intelligence sharing, but not with anything military. When CIA workers were in danger zones, they were afraid to leave the compound. Newt Gingrich and Bill O’Reilly have addressed the CIA’s failures in Iran. There are still no clandestine operations in Iran. The CIA is still not hiring for tough positions. Not many people are willing to go to Africa and work in small dusty Africa towns.

We have failed to bring first generation foreign nationals into the CIA or FBI. These are people who were born here, but there families were from places such as Afghanistan. We refuse to hire American Afghanis for fears they will be disloyal. We hire white guys from Yale instead.

We have failed to develop a strategic communication plan to the rest of the world. We have no policy on Iran or Hezbollah.”

2) What is your military background?

BC:  “I was in Vietnam for 3 1/2 years. I was then with the CIA. I spent two years undercover in the Middle East. I was involved in activities in Lebanon until 1991.”

3) Should the United States bomb Iran?

BC: “We have to develop Iraqi Special Ops to get to Iran. We should have already done this. It should have been covert. We didn’t do it. We are still not doing it. I met General Petraeus in November, and he wants us to do it. He is frustrated that we are not doing it.

Decisions have been made at the White House by peopel that are intellectually challenged. I am referring to Condoleeza Rice and Stephen Hadley. There is no effective long term strategy. Condi went to Beirut for photo ops.

Rumsfeld should have gone to Syria and put his finger in Bashar Assad’s chest. He should have told Assad that if there is one more bombing attack, we will take Syria and blow it up. Vice President Cheney should have let Armageddonijad (sic) and the Mullahs know that we will not hesitate to wipe them off the map. That would certainly give these countries some pause, and the financing to Hamas and Hezbollah would drop sharply.”  

4) If you had 5 minute swith President Bush or Vice President Cheney, what would you say to them or ask them?

BC: “I would tell them that we have an overbloated bureaucracy, and that most things don’t get to the President’s desk. Important things don’t reach him. People know this, but they can’t make decisions. The President needs a planning and advisory group. We have great intel on where the bad guys are doing things. We just don’t go get them. This is a failure of leadership. The problem is not the President. The failure of leaderhsip is in the bureaucracy.”

5: If you are President, what does President Cowan do in the first 100 days?

BC:  “Iran is a looming threat. We get our meanest guys, and go to Iran. We let Armageddonijad (sic) know that any nuclear explosions against the United States, Israel, or any of our allies, and Tehran will no longer exist in 6 hours.

I am not worried about North Korea. Their struggle is financial, not ideological. They want foreign aid to feed their starving people. Iran wants to wipe us off the face of the Earth.

I would reorganize the Pentagon. It is bloated. People get paid to write reports that nobody ever reads. I would rebuild our Special Forces.

I would make radical changes at State. It would tick off a lot of people, but if they don’t like it, they can quit. The State Department is not our friend.

I would carefully review resumes. This is not about hiring friends. There are smart people in DC, but the White House does not talk to them.

I would revamp the CIA. I would bring back old CIA guys to talk to the new ones, not ‘esteemed Senators.’

I would reorganize the Army. In doing so I would solicit the opinions of Sargeant Majors, not retired Generals.”

6) President Bush gets much blame for 9/11. What amount of blame should President Clinton get? Who else is at fault?

BC: “I am apolitical. I fault all of them. Most Jimmy Carter bashing is appropriate, but Ronald Reagan didn’t act regarding Beirut. This was mainly because of Caspar Weinberger and the State Department. Bill Clinton didn’t take any decisive action. On September 12th, 2001, President Bush said that others were either ‘for us or against us,’ yet we have done nothing on Iran or Hezbollah.”

7) Who are your top 3 military or political heroes?

BC: “Jerry Boykin, former Delta Force Commander, is a hero of mine. Boykin ran the operation against Noriega. Most people don’t know this, but the blaring rock music had nothing to do with Noriega. We turned the music up to drown out the media. They had long range listening devices, and Boykin had the music turned up, and it kept the media out. Then we realized it was affecting Noriega, so we left it on.

Ronald Reagan was a good man. If things got to Reagan, if they got to his desk, he would act right.

David Petraeus is another one. Conventional military guys don’t always like him, but he gets the insurgency.

My son is on his third tour, his second in Afghanistan. My son is my hero.”

Colonel Cowan then offered me some final thoughts.

“We only lose in Iraq if the democrats pull the plug. We didn’t lose Vietnam in Vietnam. We lost it right here.”

“Also, make sure you put in your blog my earlier comments about electricity.”

Colonel Cowan is simply one of the nicest guys I have ever come across. He was a joy to meet. I look forward to his next television appearance.

The only thing left for me to say to Colonel Cowan is what I tell every soldier upon seeing them.

“Thank you…and welcome home.” 


5 Responses to “My Interview With Colonel Bill Cowan”

  1. Well, at least I completely agree with him about DHS. It’s nothing but yet another nepotistic playground for FoW’s.

    The Vietnam thing and all I’ve heard a million times before, and somehow it just sounds more wrong every time I hear it. But I can understand it to a point – after all, people don’t like believing they were fighting for a bad, losing cause.

    I hope his son comes home safe and sound.


  2. micky2 says:

    Cowan is like a real life Rambo.
    Everytime I turn around he’s gettin his boys together and pulling some great deed.
    He’s got quite the resume` and reputation.
    Hats off.

  3. rhb says:

    JHC are you insane? Your interview reveals a man that needs to be in a movie not real life. Disrupt life in Iran like they have done to us? I must have missed the headline. I can’t really believe that you could listen to that interview without laughing outloud.

  4. micky2 says:

    RHB is obviously not aware of Irans involvement in Iraq.
    Heres the headline RHB.

    “Iranians are effing killing our soldiers in Iraq”

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