• May 22, 2015
  • Varney & Company - FOX Business

Reading Between the Lines: a Look at bin Laden’s Bookshelf

Robert J. O'Neill on Varney & Company

Former Navy SEAL Rob O’Neill on the bin Laden Documents, the Fall of Ramadi and the U.S. Strategy to Defeat ISIS.

Osama bin Laden’s personal library is now an open book, for U.S. intelligence officials, anyway. At least they’re giving the world a glimpse, after having released this week more than 100 documents taken from bin Laden’s compound. A big story? Stuart Varney of FOX Business thinks so.

He invited former Navy SEAL Rob O’Neill on his show to get his read — not only into the “treasure trove” of intel he and his fellow SEALs risked their lives to retrieve — but on how O'Neill inteprets the turmoil in the Middle East, with bin Laden out and ISIS rapidly gaining ground.

Highlights of their interview:

Varney: “When you guys took him out, okay you were taking out Osama bin Laden, but did you know at the time that he was still running a world-wide terror network?

O'Neill: “Yeah, we were pretty sure just based on the way they were doing their own operational security…turning on their phones and running messages in and out of Pakistan to Afghanistan and some to Iraq. We were pretty sure he was running the show. He pretty much had the reins on everything.”

Varney: “What do you make of ISIS now? You know that they’re running riot through the Middle East. They’ve come along in the last two years. The White House calls it (fall of Ramadi) a setback. What do you make of this?”

O’Neill: “Osama bin Laden was running the show for al Qaeda and what he wanted was patience. He wanted to make sure that the enemy, the infidel (us), that we were weak enough for them to start the Islamic State. Now, ISIS still has the same ideology of that radical form of Sunni Islam…they see us as weakening because of the vacuum we left by leaving Iraq too early. They think this is the time to start the caliphate, to form the Islamic State. It’s not a setback. They’re taking over Syria. They just took Ramadi. They want that part of the Middle East.”

Varney: “I’ve never heard you be critical of President Obama. Are you critical of him now?”

O’Neill: “I think they’re trying to do the right thing. Some of the decisions they’re making are based on the legacy of, ‘I got all the guys out of Iraq’ when we just need small pockets in there. We’re seeing with the fleeing Iraqi army…if they knew they had small pockets of Americans with them, they’d know they could rely on our medical, our ability to evacuate them, our intelligence and our air power. They don’t trust their own chain of command. It’s not an all or nothing invasion in Iraq, but we do need boots on the ground.”

Rob goes on to outline specific boots-on-the-ground tactics in his extensive interview with Varney.

Watch More of the Discussion: