Judge Jeanine Pirro’s interview with former Ambassador John Bolton – November 16, 2015
John Bolton was the 25th United States Ambassador to the United Nations, appointed by President George W. Bush. Currently a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, Ambassador Bolton’s area of research is U.S. foreign and national security policy.
John Bolton was honored by the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) in 2005 for his strong stand against terrorism and in support of Israel. In May 2015, Bolton spoke about the pending Iran deal at a ZOA event in Long Island. In September 2015, ZOA sponsored a rally with Donald Trump and Ted Cruz opposing the Iran deal that Obama was trying to ram through Congress.
This was transcribed from a DVR recording on November 16, 2015. To my knowledge, there is no existing video of the interview.
Judge Jeanine Pirro: How do we balance our concern for an humanitarian crisis with a national security mandate?
Ambassador John Bolton: There have long been international conventions about how you handle massive refugee flows, whether from national disasters or war zones. And our obligations are very clear. It is to provide humanitarian assistance and protection to the refugees in refugee camps in their country of first asylum. And then, to consider, at our discretion, bringing refugees to this country.
All the signers of the refugee conventions undertake the same obligations. This system has completely broken down. I attribute a lot of the fault to Turkey for facilitating hundreds of thousands of refugees simply flow through Turkey into Europe. But I blame Europe too for inviting hundreds of thousands of them in.
But the United States does not have to make that mistake without in any way violating our humanitarian obligations.
We have a right to screen applicants for refugee status to see if we can determine that they have been persecuted or can show a well-founded fear of persecution. And until they can demonstrate that, we have no obligation to bring them into this country.
JJP: [Plays the Sunday clip of lying Ben Rhodes declaration that the Obama administration’s conducts “robust” vetting procedures]
How can you possibly say that we have a robust vetting procedure when there are no records, no access to Syrian intelligence, or background information of any kind to determine who these people are. And if they are refugees who come through Europe then there is no way of knowing where they started from. The bottom line is that even the FBI and Homeland Security says they can’t vet them. Who’s kidding who here?
AJB: Well, I think they are kidding themselves. I’ve checked with people familiar with the status of the UNHCR’s capabilities in this area, and also our own law enforcement and intelligence agencies. And they are in despair about what to do about a lot of these people, especially about the ones already in Europe and said to the Europeans when they have registered in various European countries: No, we don’t have any documentation. We had to flee our refugee camp on short notice.
The UNHCR reports that many of these refugees are not from Syria to begin with. They’re from places as far away as Afghanistan, North Africa, even from Kosovo—alreadt inside Europe. This situation is already extraordinarily confused. And the notion that we can vet these refugees…I just don’t know who else believes it, other than the White House.
JJP: I understand that the UN has private companies doing the vetting. And the private companies are paid by the number of people who are placed. Put two and two together; you can figure that out. Why would anyone risk one American life for the lives of individuals that we don’t know anything about.
And, I’m going to add another thing to it: Why don’t we take care of these people in Syria? Create a place for them in Syria, as opposed to bringing them here.
AJB: That’s what the refugee conventions contemplate, that the refugees come to what’s called the country of first asylum Typically, from Syria it’s been Turkey and Jordan. We have an obligation, and we should, to provide food, shelter, sanitation, medicine, all the basic human needs to protect and assist them in the refugee camps. It’s not a pleasant existence, but it is better than being in a war zone.
The preferred doctrine under international refugee practice is repatriation of the refugees when the circumstance permits. Resettlement only comes when you conclude that there is no chance of successful repatriation. So that goes to the question that the president has ducked these last several years, which is: What are you going to do about Isis which is creating the refugee flows we see at the moment and the general situation in Syria and Iraq.