Bush should have executed Gitmo detainees, says former CIA officer
A former CIA officer has said it's ridiculous that the Bush administration didn't execute numerous prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, regardless of whether they have had a trial, when it had the chance.
"Many of those individuals that are there are enemy combatants and that's based on the Geneva Conventions and should be executed," said Gary Berntsen, who spent 20 years with the CIA, to Fox's Gretchen Carlson on the show, Fox & Friends. "It's ridiculous that the Bush administration, after seven years, didn't deal with many of those that we know are enemy combatants."
Berntsen, who commanded a team of CIA and special forces in Afghanistan in 2001, is the author of The Attack on bin Laden and Al-Qaeda: A Personal Account by the CIA's Key Field Commander. A Bush supporter, he sued the federal government to win the right to release his book, which detailed his experiences searching for Osama bin Laden in the Tora Bora region of Afghanistan. In 2008, Berntsen also actively campaigned for John McCain.
Carlson seemed to agree with Berntsen's assertion saying of the detainees, "I'm thinking to myself, they've been, many of them, there since 2002. What was the wait?"
Berntsen also advocated for the execution of self-described 9/11 mastermind, Khalid Sheikh Muhammad, saying that he no longer serves any intelligence purpose for the U.S.
"After seven years, the intel is dried up. Execute him," he said.
In one of his first orders as president, Obama ordered the closure of the detention center in January. It currently houses approximately 250 terrorism suspects and others in a camp and maximum-security facilities at the Guantanamo U.S. naval base, reports Reuters. Some inmates have been held there for as long as seven years without charges.
Fox & Friends guest Matthew Alexander, the author of How to Break a Terrorist said he believes the detainees can provide further intelligence to the U.S.
"I think it's not as important as where as they go as how we continue to get intelligence from them," Alexander said. "We can take them to other countries but we should ensure that those countries do not torture them and we have to continue to interrogate them effectively."
This video is from Fox's Fox & Friends, broadcast Feb. 27, 2009.
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