GLENN: Last night I finished Protect and Defend by Vince Flynn. Vince is one of my favorite authors. He writes great fiction novels with Mitch Rap and he’s kind of like, kind of makes Kiefer Sutherland look like a puss, and this is, Protect and Defend, is about Iran and how the United States, how the whole thing unfolds, and I’ve got to tell you, Vince, I hope we’re doing half the stuff in your book.

FLYNN: We’re looking at a lot of it, yeah. I think unfortunately Iraq has made a lot of people in Washington nervous. We talked about this years ago. I agree that the plan was to go in, stabilize Iraq and then spread democracy.

GLENN: Democracy.

FLYNN: In quotations across our border and because that didn’t work as well as we would have liked, although there are some great signs lightly.

Protect and Defend: A Thriller

by Vince Flynn

GLENN: Yeah. Didn’t you hear just in, where was it, Mosul they just had a 5k run yesterday. Stu, you have to look that up. They just had a 5k run. This is one of the most, or al — I can’t remember. Look it up. It was one of the most dangerous places in Iraq a year ago. 5k run.

FLYNN: It’s amazing the progress that has been made and in fact, how under — there’s this eerie silence right now. A couple of headlines yesterday, lowest death toll, October, in six years, yeah, whatever. And people — no one’s really talking about it.

GLENN: Yeah. Isn’t that weird?

FLYNN: Well, what’s going to be fascinating, you talk about this all the time, is to see how the Democratic candidates handle this.

GLENN: They’re not.

FLYNN: They’re not. They just say this is bad.

GLENN: They are going to go right to healthcare.

FLYNN: This goes back to my very first book, Term Limits, where politicians — now I’m a registered Republican. I’m more libertarian in nature.

GLENN: Yeah.

FLYNN: But there’s good politicians on both sides of the aisle.

GLENN: Yeah.

FLYNN: And there’s no doubt that in my book Term Limits which has now seen a resurgence, it’s all about politicians doing whatever they need to do to stay in power or get back into power, and we’re going to see that in the next two — you know, the next year. It’s going to be mind —

GLENN: We’ve already seen it.

FLYNN: We’ve already seen it, but what makes this so disgusting is that we’ve got young men and women over there who have volunteered to go fight and these people are playing politics with their life.

GLENN: Let’s take this. Front page of the New York Times today. Nominee stands may avoid tangle of torture cases. This is the attorney general saying I don’t know if waterboarding is torture, et cetera.

FLYNN: Because Glenn, we both know torture doesn’t work, right? Torture never works.

GLENN: Never works.

FLYNN: Which is the biggest line of bunk. Torture works, and all the proof you need to understand — and I’m not talking Saddam and Uday and Qusay torture. You don’t sit a guy down and say, here’s your 13-year-old daughter, we’re going to gang rape you if you don’t talk. That guy will say anything. I’m talking about a situation that’s almost clinical in nature where you keep somebody, they are being reviewed by a physician and a psychiatrist, you keep them up days on end, you question, question, question.

GLENN: This was my problem and so many listeners came hunting for my head after Abu Ghraib. I was against Abu Ghraib and I said, because it didn’t look like it was done by professionals, what was that, stacking people in a pyramid.

FLYNN: Do you know what that was? And I’m telling you this was the honest to God truth. That was a intelligence officer leaving at the end of the day and said, listen, keep these guys up; we need to interrogate them in the morning; don’t let them sleep. So these other guys with no supervision decide, how are we going to keep them up? Let’s have some fun.

GLENN: Right.

FLYNN: Senator McCain a couple of years ago wrote torture doesn’t work, torture’s not the answer, it lowers us to our enemy, whatever. The example he used is that when he was in the Hanoi Hilton, they asked him repeatedly, name the other aviators in your squadron and he smiles and says, I told them the starting lineup for the Green Bay Packers. Well, and I have respect for Senator McCain but that was almost 40 years ago. Today Mohammed whoever gives you the starting lineup for the Pakistani lawn bowling team or whatever, you go on the Internet, you Google it, we have databases tied into customs offices all around the world.

GLENN: Right.

FLYNN: These, the reason why torture eventually works, and we tell our own aviators and we tell our spies and we tell our special forces guys, you will break. That’s how our guys are trained. No one survives it. You will break and you will end up telling them everything. All we can ask of you is that you hold out long enough so we can get assets out of the way.

So if we’re telling our own guys that you will all break, why do we have this debate that it absolutely doesn’t work? And I want to back off something. I choose to call it rough interrogation, not torture, and I know Amnesty International’s going to say you’re out of your mind, but there’s a big difference between cutting off someone’s limb or crushing their testicles or forcing them to watch their family get gang raped than keeping a guy up and playing Barney music over and over and over.

GLENN: Well, hang on. Let me go two places with you. First of all, the bullcrap that’s happening in Washington right now with the politicians where they’re saying waterboard, you know, what is the attorney general stand, well, I asked congress the same thing, what is your stand. They have had two opportunities to outlaw waterboarding. They won’t outlaw it.

FLYNN: Exactly.

GLENN: So you can’t have it both ways.

FLYNN: Here’s the question every American should ask themselves and our politicians should be forced to ask — to answer.

GLENN: Yeah.

FLYNN: The week before 9/11, Zachariah Moussaoui was arrested in Minneapolis. He was not a U.S. citizen. He showed up with $40,000 in cash to learn how to fly, not take off or land a jumbo jet.

GLENN: Right.

FLYNN: Okay? We never turned on his laptop, we never talked to him because we were so afraid. Somebody in Washington didn’t think we could even get the FISA request. So we didn’t go for it. They should all be — this one question. If you could turn back the clock right now, would you want — would you be okay with somebody like Mitch Rap or Jack Bauer going into that guy’s jail cell and talking to him and getting some answers out of him. They should have to ask that —

GLENN: I don’t know if talking is exactly what Jack Bauer or Mitch Rap does.


GLENN: In your book, Protect and Defend, when does it came out?

FLYNN: It came out yesterday — two days ago.

GLENN: Two days ago? It’s really great. And if you are a listener to this program and you are up on what’s happening in Iran, I’ve got to tell you, and I want to spend some time talking to you about what you know and when did you know it because this is riddled with the truth and I can tell you know more than the average bear. In it Mitch Rap at the end, you just said you’re against somebody taking somebody’s testicle. This guy, this guy in the end not only takes testicles but he collects the other parts attached to that area of the body and throws them at people. I mean, it’s —

FLYNN: But that, the scenario painted in the book is for his, his world, it is the ticking time bomb. It is literally. You’ve got like an hour to find out what is going on here. How are you going to handle — what are you going to do with these three individuals that you captured literally with their hand in the cookie jar. There is no question that they’re guilty. There’s no question of guilt or innocence. This isn’t some father you pulled out of a cafe in Baghdad and had no idea if he’s guilty or not. These guys were caught red handed. And I’m sorry. We need more pragmatic people to wage this war on terror.

GLENN: I have to tell you, at one point he is on — the main character in the book is on the phone with the President and all the advisors there in the room and, you know, he just, he unloads on them and just says, "enough, enough! This is a war."


GLENN: "You guys don’t have any idea." And it was so gratifying and so real to life to see — you know this is what they’re saying. "Wait a minute, do you know how many investigations there are going to be and there’s going to be this," and finally somebody — you know, it’s your good guy in the character, in the book says enough.

FLYNN: Yeah.

GLENN: Do you want to win or not.

FLYNN: We’re over here, bombs are falling, people are dying and you’re talking about politics.

GLENN: Yeah.