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Producers' Pick | Ric Prado: Career CIA Agent on Putin's "Amateur" Invasion

Brian Kilmeade Show / Brian Kilmeade
The Truth Network Radio
March 6, 2022 12:00 am

Producers' Pick | Ric Prado: Career CIA Agent on Putin's "Amateur" Invasion

Brian Kilmeade Show / Brian Kilmeade

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March 6, 2022 12:00 am

Author of "Black Ops: The Life of a CIA Shadow Warrior."

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A radio show like no other, it's Brian Kilmeade. For a long time I thought that a military operation was not feasible, it was not plausible. I had my own cost benefit analysis and even if you put aside all other considerations, I thought that to go into Ukraine is not in Russia's interest, but apparently my cost benefit analysis did not coincide with that in the Kremlin. And so it's in the same way that the United States is going, not many people in this world are for this, 141 countries at the United Nations yesterday voted against this.

But still, Vladimir Putin continues to pound civilian targets and civilians and just try to wreck and raise a city. This does not surprise my next guest, Rick Prado. He's spent 24 years in the CIA, he's author of a brand new book, he's featured on CBS This Morning called Black Ops The Life of a CIA Shadow Warrior. Rick welcome, great to be with you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thanks for listening.

to meet you. Thank you. It's a pleasure. Thanks for everything you did to this country, for this country. Thank you, Brian. There's a lot of Rick Prados in the agency, trust me. Right.

Now with your unique background, too, if you just want to lean a little bit closer to the microphone, you come, I'm going to just have you comment on this first. We're in a very unique situation in 2022. It's not 1935.

That's correct. 1938. We can't believe that a country would invade another country for no reason. They actually said, I was watching Lavrov this morning, the foreign secretary, foreign minister, he said it's because the Nazi, the Nazism in the Ukraine that has to be stopped by a Jewish president.

By a Jewish president. Does anyone believe that in Russia? From what you know, I mean, we know it's not true.

We know it's not true and the world knows it's not true, Brian. But the problem is, you know, that is the Russian ethos. That is their philosophy. Communism is a monster that only understands one thing.

If there's weakness, I'm going to exploit it. And I am actually surprised that we're surprised at times that he did this. When he took over, when Putin took over, one of the first things he said was, I want to resuscitate the greatness of the fatherland of the Soviet Union. That's a clue. And he said that from the very beginning. And he said in Munich in 2008. That's right. At a security conference.

That's right. So he's mentioned this several times in his life that, you know, this is his intent. I think because they are a predator culture in this in this case, or at least the communists is, are they they see an opportunity.

They honestly believe that they thought that they could get away with it. And I'm very glad to see that it's not just the United States trying to take a stance, but I see a little bit more global responsibility backing the Ukrainians. And it was something about Zelensky's remarks that mobilized Europe.

He said, I might not, he said, I might not, this might be the last time you see me. And he's not kidding. They put at least two kill squads into into the NATO into Kiev to go get them. And they got annihilated too. Right. And they did because we were reported that we gave the intelligence over.

You think that's most likely? That's well, that is going to be one of our biggest roles there. I mean, from past incarnations, I know that in cases like this, if we see it coming even a year before, we spend a lot of time bustering up their military capabilities in training. And same thing with intel collections training and getting to work with our intelligence mechanisms so we can pass them things that we get through sensitive sources.

So I am definitely sure that we are helping them with exactly that kind of operations. So yeah, I played Secretary of Defense Austin saying, we're not going to be on the ground there. You heard Joe Lieberman at the top of the hour. He was a former senator from Connecticut, who did a lot of work with John McCain and Lindsey Graham traveling the country to the worst possible war zones you can imagine, not as bad as you.

But he did as a senator. And he said, I would put somebody in on the ground there. We could put special forces in on the ground to start an aid, even if it's using some type of weaponry that could take out airplanes and stop the air attack.

And that is a political decision above my pay grade kind of thing. Obviously, there's always the risk of having an American captured out there or whatever. Which happened to you when you were on a mission with the Contras in Nicaragua. Very close to it. Yeah, I almost got picked up.

Someone did and blew the whole mission. Absolutely. So it is incumbent of us to provide the Ukrainians with every single thing that we can. And that means putting some of our special operations forces in a, not in a pointy end of the combat or doing house to house, but helping them with some of the more sophisticated, like lazing targets so jets could actually be able to hit something, you know, that kind of stuff. My hope was, Rick, that someone inside Russia is going to take them out. They're going to say the oligarchs, the ones with the money and the power, they're getting their yachts, their planes, their money is being frozen, their toys are being taken away. They're going to say, this guy's more, he's doing more harm than good. And this foreign policy advisor, I thought would maybe reflecting what other people feel, Dr. Andrei Kortanov.

And here's what else he told Sky News, cut 10. I'm trying to keep going. I'm trying to continue doing what I'm doing, but of course I'm depressed.

You know, all of us are depressed. And I think that it's, it's very embarrassing for all of us, not only because we turned out to be wrong, but also because Russia and all Russians will be in a difficult position. So it's what he said and the fact he's saying it, what does it say to you? There's some cracks in the Putin foundation. You know, I think that that is the biggest surprise here. You know, like we, you know, we had Stalin and Khrushchev and all these animals before, but this is the first time that Russia also has this powerful underworld of these oligarchs who are people that are multi-billionaires and they, a lot of them come from the former regime, so they know the game. So he's got to be careful.

I mean, Putin's got to be careful because these people will have the clout and the financial support to yank him out. A little bit about your background. No one has to explain communism to you. Your family was in Cuba during the transformation when Fidel Castro came in and forced all those, I guess, Somoza was there.

Castro comes in. How did it affect your family? Well, you know, I lived in a small town in the bottom of the Escambar Mountains where Che Guevara was at, so my town got hit two or three times when I was, first firefight I ever saw, I was seven years old right in front of my window for people getting shot. So, and that wasn't traumatic, that was just curious, but when you see a country within six months make a complete U-turn, all the businesses being confiscated, kids having to wear military uniforms to go to school, and the abuses that immediately started, the persecution, you don't forget that as a kid. And my father, who had a seventh grade education and never read Marx or Lenin, but he had a heart of a lion, he said, I'm an only child by the way, he says, I am not going to have my son grow up in a communist country. So he says, we're leaving.

Well, they wouldn't let him go. We had the ability to come to the United States, but they were not getting the exit permit, so my dad somehow managed it. There's a program called the Peter Pan program that was bringing out kids, and that's what I was in. So I turned 11 at the orphanage, and going from seeing that disaster to coming to this country where everything is proper and people took us in with open arms, that was the seed that was planted, that not only am I going to fight communism and all the isms, but I owe this country a debt of honor. And you felt like you were the country sitting in an orphanage, not the best situation, there's some clashes there, there's some challenges, right? You didn't know if you're ever going to see your family again, number two. Number three, number three, you were tagged to maybe go to the Soviet Union, right? Yeah, my uncle on my mom's side was a school teacher, a professor at the school that I was at, and he was a socialist. He was actually a left-leaning kind of individual, and blood is thicker than water, and he called my dad and says, your son's name is on a list to be proposed to be sent to Russia to study.

Because you were a smart kid. I guess, you know. And they said, let's go train him with the Soviet Union. That's right. And that's when your dad said, that's it. That was it.

Wow. And you think about how different your life is, but once you get here, it wasn't easy, right? Well, you know, it wasn't. Your dad never took one dollar from welfare. My dad worked two jobs for as long as I can remember. My mom worked in a sweatshop for well over a decade. We were way below the poverty line when we moved into this country, but we had hope, we had security, and we knew that if my dad made 15 cents, nobody was going to take it away from him. And you were delivering papers?

I was delivering papers. Right, so you do whatever you can. When you had, when you came from where you came, and you come here, you appreciate it. No one has to tell you to appreciate it. Are you amazed that people don't seem to appreciate this country right now? I am not only amazed, but it's hurtful for me because, and you know, Brian, I think the problem is that we don't know how good we have it. Of course. You know, even Americans who have traveled overseas, I had a conversation with somebody who says, well, I've been to Mexico.

I said, no, you've been to CancĂș on a cruise. That's not the same. If you live in a third world country, or even some of the other first world countries, and you come to this country, you see the difference in the efficiencies and everything else. But primarily it's the freedom. You know, the antagonist to communism is freedom. And that's what the people of Ukraine want.

They know they don't have the perfect system, but they want the freedom to screw it up or make it better. Make of theirs. Yeah. And I think that in some small way, it's making us evaluate this self-flagellation that we've been going through.

Now, wait a second. They're fighting for what we have and are taking for granted. Exactly. You know, and the other thing is the Soviets say, well, you know, the Ukrainians are a threat because they're getting closer to the West. Ukrainians could say the same thing. The Russians are on our east side, and they want our territory.

There's no question about that. Of course, they fear the democracy. They don't fear the country. Exactly.

They don't want that creeping into their culture and some people going like, wait a minute, it's working over there. Why am I in a poverty line over here? And then you've spent the next two decades of your professional life fighting for the country in ways that you first time you're saying and talking about in your book. First off, before we go to break and get some details, why did you, how did the CIA find you or how did you find the CIA?

When I was in first year of college, I had an event that kind of woke me up and understanding that I had to have a purpose to buy energy and to my aggressiveness and to my intellect, for lack of a better word. So I joined Air Force Pararescue, which is one of our elite special operations forces in the United States. Because I wanted to go to Vietnam. That's when I really started feeling that urge of I need to pay back to this country what it did for my mom and my dad, because as hard as it was on me, it was nothing compared to what it did to my dad. You guys were doing good in Cuba, right? You were, you know, when Castro took over in 59, my dad had a 57 Pontiac and we had a TV and a telephone in our house. That's middle-class America.

Yep. And then he took it all away and he took it away from everybody and then at least he escaped and then at least he escaped with your life. When we come back, what Rick did and what he served and why he left, it's all in his brand new book, Black Ops, the lives of the CIA, Shadow Warrior. He has everything in perspective.

Hopefully you do too. The more you listen, the more you'll know, it's Brian Kilmeade. Over the last couple of years, Putin has been more and more isolated. He's not been in the Kremlin for the most part. I don't think he's a rational actor because he's fearful. He doesn't look very powerful. And this is going to jeopardize his ability to stay in power.

That word rational actors are very elastic, right? He's out at his compound, doesn't come into town very much. And under COVID, he's been more isolated. He's increasingly unhinged in the way that he talks about the regime. Well, I met with him many times and this is a different Putin. He seems erratic. There is an ever deepening delusional rendering of history.

He's descending into something that I personally haven't seen before. So you heard former ambassador Russia speaks Russian, McFaul. You heard Condoleezza Rice last and General McMaster in between. My guest is Rick Prado, a 24-year veteran in the CIA whose new book is doing great.

It's called Black Ops, The Life of a CIA Shadow Warrior. Rick, there's a lot of people who feel he's not the same guy. I'm wondering what Rick Prado feels. Well, you know, I think that he is the same guy from day one, since he called it that he was going to rebuild the Soviet Union. But I think that what he's giving extra pressures now is the fact that he's failing at what he was trying to do. You know, he thought that this was going to be a cakewalk.

He figured in three days he would have taken over the Ukraine. Now he's under pressure to deliver something that he may not be able to deliver. Oh, you see this too loud?

It was breaking in and out. Okay. It's clear now.

Gotcha. So looking now at the Vladimir Putin you have, I think he's finding out his military, as much as they are ruthless, I think he's finding out his military is not nearly as good as he thought. No, they're first of all, and they're not. Second, the Ukrainian resistance has been something for the textbooks.

But you know, at the same time, there's a saying that amateurs practice tactics and experts practice logistics. When I saw that convoy stranded out there for as long and it's still there, those guys are out of fuel. They're out of food.

Supposedly they came in with like three or four days worth of food and he's got no way of resupplying them yet because he's losing his resources. Let's talk about the CIA. What kind of shape is the agency in when you left? Well, you know, like everything else, the agency unfortunately has, like the FBI has become a little too politicized even though that's against our ethos. First thing they teach us is we don't do politics.

We don't do policy. We do intel collection and covert action. That's what the agency is supposed to do. But so we ebb and flow with whoever is our leadership and because they put in those positions the individuals that match what they want to do. What I always find hope in the agency is the quality of people that we have.

And that was the impetus for me writing the book. I got so tired of reading in the paper, you know, about, you know, the movies, Jason Bourne, American Made, all these stupid allegations of us selling drugs in California and all this kind of, and, you know, Brian, we have 137 stars on our wall. I've seen it. And it's a smaller, you know, this is not like big army. I mean, we're talking a relatively small operational component and we have 137 stars. And not only that, a third of those are post 9-11. And many of those I knew personally. So for me, it's an affront that those individuals that we send into harm's way and gave their life for this country are compared to, you know, Jason Bourne and maniacal assassins and this kind of stuff. Right. What about, you mean when you say political and you see a guy like Brennan?

Yeah, John Brennan was very detrimental to the agency because he became more political than any other DCI we've ever had. And you can't afford that. And you can't afford that. We should not. You know, one of the things when you see the State of the Union, the military sits in the middle. They don't applaud. They don't nod. They don't shake their heads.

They're just there. That should be our posture. We need to be remained apolitical. We cannot be showing a preference to one right, left or whatever. Do you think we're depending, you're depending too much on drones? Absolutely.

I mean, you know, the the for me is such a hypocritical stance. You know, you will not allow us to go in there and take out Hitler in 1939 or Osama bin Laden in 1995. But you will send a drone into a in a place to kill two terrorists and you'll have 15 collateral damages and you have no collection.

You don't go to be able to exploit the computers or the phones or anything. And when we do that constantly, it's like, oh, wow, we got to boo, boo, boo, whatever. But if you propose the other, you're insane. Yeah. And Rick is not. His book is fantastic called Black Ops, The Life of a CIA Shadow Warrior. Rick, thanks so much. And I'll talk to you on TV. Thank you very much. All right. Look forward to it. Go pick up his book. Who's in the brain kill me show.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-15 01:11:44 / 2023-02-15 01:20:24 / 9

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