During an interview Sunday, Col. Michael Bumgarner, formerly the commander of the guard force at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp, stated that Gitmo is more important than ever in the wake of Sunday’s terrorist shooting in Orlando.
Bumgarner said he was personally infuriated by President Obama’s official response to Sunday’s attacks, in which Obama did not mention Islam, referred to the carnage as “an act of terror and an act of hate,” and used the occasion to imply that more gun control should be pushed.
“Frankly, it infuriates me,” Bumgarner stated of the speech. “It’s a continuation of what we have seen through the administration. It’s just hatred that motivates this act? It’s not hatred. It’s a motivation inspired from radical Islamic terrorism…
“Clearly there’s a linkage to ISIS. Clearly there is a linkage to Islamic terrorism. But in just the few brief words he gave, it’s all about guns and weapons in the U.S. It’s nothing about Islamic terrorism.”
Bumgarner slammed what he described as Obama’s approach to fighting terrorism, and warned, “If we don’t wake up very, very soon, the carnage that we have seen today will continue.”
The focus is how do we appease the Islamic groups that are against the United States, such as closing Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. He always speaks of and his experts always speak of this is what’s causing the great wave of terror acts in the U.S. and around the world. Closing Guantanamo. That it’s a recruitment tool.
You know, in none of these acts that we’ve seen or heard of, be it San Bernardino, be it Chattanooga, be it Paris, be it Brussels, be it Boston, I haven’t heard any mention of Guantanamo. So this false linkage, it infuriates me that we go down the rabbit trails the other way. It’s got nothing to do with gun control in the U.S. It’s got nothing to do with Guantanamo. This is a Caliphate that has been established and it’s just following from the normal Islamic doctrine, if you will.
Bumgarner told this reporter that Gitmo should remain open to house the remaining nearly 80 detainees, and it should be used as an interrogation center to garner intelligence from a whole new crop of captured jihadists.
What is key in this fight is intelligence and that is really what Guantanamo was about and remains about. Not necessarily about the 80-some individuals that remain there now. But it is the place that can be used to pick people up off the battlefield and bring them to where we can gather intelligence. That is how you get in front of these acts of terrorism. You must get inside the mind. You must gather the data. It’s got to be more than the metadata collection from the NSA, where we can’t connect the dots until the aftermath. We’ve just got to get more proactive.
Bumgarner served from April 2005 through June 2006 as commander of the Joint Detention Group, the guard force component of the Joint Task Force at the U.S. prison in Guantanamo.
Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.” Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.