Marine Lt. Ilario Pantano Speaks On His New Book Warlord: No Better Friend, No Worse Enemy

Here's a .wav file of the speech.

According to David Horowitz's organization:

ILARIO PANTANO enlisted in the Marine Corps at 17, served in Desert Strom, became a sniper, and trained with militaries around the world. Eager for new challenges, Pantano left the Marines and earned his degree from New York University in three years, studying at night while working for the premier investment bank Goldman Sachs. Hungry for creative success, Pantano began producing and consulting in groundbreaking documentary television, film, and digital media. Witnessing the attacks of 9/11, Pantano fought to return to the Marine Corps in 2003.

About Warlord: No Better Friend, No Worse Enemy. This is the powerful true story of the Marine lieutenant who, having fought for his country in the first Gulf War, went on to professional success in finance, only to be compelled to reenlist in the wake of 9/11. Leaving behind an ex-model wife and two children, he saw action again in Iraq-and was later charged by the U.S. military with murder.

I arrive early so I can get as many chocolate chip cookies as I want. Say what you want about the speakers, Horowitz's foundation always provides grade A desserts.

There are no chocolate chip cookies. I'm so devastated, I have to eat two other cookies (along with the four macadamia nut cookies I had for lunch), cheese cake, lemon meringue pie and fruit to comfort myself (and wash it all down with mint herbal tea).

Everybody in the room is white (the average age is 50) except for a black (marine?), Robby Brett (sp?) who begins the program with the national anthem followed by Hatikva (Israel's anthem). Robby had never sung Hatikvah in public before. He'd just learned it from Janet Levy's youngest son.

The room is filled with patriotic fervor.

Ilano exudes charisma. People are star struck.

David Horowitz gets a big round of applause. His employees join in. I think of Stalin's meetings where the first person to stop applauding gets shot.

Levy notes that American taxpayers are paying to reconfigure the toilets at Gitmo so they face away from Mecca.

Ilano says the media is undermining out war against terrorism.

He repeatedly pauses and sighs during his presentation, which ends after 30 minutes.

The first questioner advocates stringing John Kerry up by his balls. There's scattered applause.

Much of the crowd is so elderly and frail, I doubt they could string a mouse up by his balls.

An old woman trembles with emotion as she decries a "Marxist PC takeover" of our country so that more people vote for American Idol than for president. It's no accident. Sinister forces have destroyed our education system and corrupted our youth.

I follow her. "Why should we be in Iraq?" I ask. There are hisses and exclamations of anger around the room.

Ilano handles my question calmly. He walks down the rows to where I sit in the back. He says that the best defense is a good offense. We're taking it to the terrorists. Vietnam did not have 1/100th of the strategic importance of Iraq.

His mother started DefendtheDefenders.org for American soldiers accused of war crimes.

The crowd is solidly behind his sentiments, that U.S. soldiers accused of war crimes are entitled to the same presumption of innocence as a drug dealer or pedophile.

He says that Gitmo detainees have better living conditions than any American soldier in Iraq. Ilano says he lived in holes in the ground.

I sense that Ilano will run for political office.

Wednesday Morning Club director Michael Finch plugs Operation Gratitude. He's got Heather Mac Donald booked for a Center Breakfast meeting in a few weeks.