NewsMax.com’s Fr. Mike Reilly was on hand Tuesday when Gen. Tommy Franks, former head of the U.S. Central Command, launched the tour for his new book, “American Soldier,” and picked up some stunning quotes from the man who led American troops to victory in Iraq.
Jordan’s King Abdullah and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak personally assured Gen. Tommy Franks that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction less than two months before the U.S.’s attack, the former Centcom Commander revealed on Tuesday.
“The Jordanians have reliable intelligence and sources in Iraq that say, in fact, that Saddam Hussein has biological and chemical weapons,” Franks said King Abdullah told him.
The Jordanian king passed the WMD intelligence on to Franks during a face-to-face meeting in January 2003.
The one-time top military man revealed King Abdullah’s comments to ABC Radio Network host Sean Hannity, who interviewed Franks for his debut book signing at Huntington, N.Y.’s Book Revue.
A warning from Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was even stronger, Franks said.
In “American Soldier” the ex-Centcom chief quotes Mubarak saying, “You’ve got to be very, very careful, general. We have spoken with Saddam Hussein. He is a madman. He has weapons of mass destruction, biological weapons. And he will use them against your troops.”
“A number of other leaders in the Mideast told us he had them, too,” Franks told Hannity, adding, “If you were president of the United States, could you avoid paying attention to that?”
The capacity crowd cheered when Hannity announced: “How about Tommy Franks for president? I’ll tell you there’ll be no more terrorism.”
“We don’t want our kids to fight,” Franks told Hannity. “But sometimes they have to fight and when they do, we have to support them,” he added, before saluting two servicemen in uniform standing in the back of the room.
“It doesn’t take a lot of bravery for the general,” Franks told the crowd, “but it takes a lot of bravery by guys like those standing right there.”
The Iraq war commander, who calls himself a political independent, said he wasn’t ready to announce which candidate he’s backing in this year’s presidential election. But he told Hannity, “I’m leaning towards George W. Bush.”
Asked about Sen. John Kerry, Gen. Franks responded that because of the war on terror, America now needs its military more than it has in decades. “And we just need to ask ourselves, ‘Is Senator Kerry going to be very respectful of the military of our country?'”
But he took umbrage at Kerry’s decision to protest the Vietnam War while U.S. troops were still in harm’s way.
“I guess at the end of the day John Kerry will have to live with himself,” the former Centcom chief said.
Gen. Franks also took issue with conspiracy filmmaker Michael Moore, who recently challenged Fox News Channel host Bill O’Reilly to say whether he would send his son off to “die for Fallujah.”
U.S. troops, said Franks, “are not there to die for Fallujah; they’re there to protect the United States of America.”