Bruce Vargo

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Bruce Vargo
Bruce Vargo 1.jpg
Service/branch US Army
Rank Colonel

Colonel Bruce Vargo is a Military Police officer in the United States Army.[1] He was appointed the commander of Joint Task Force Guantanamo's Joint Detention Group—its guard force from 2008-2009. Vargo was one of the officers interviewed for a National Geographic documentary entitled "Inside Guantanamo".

Vargo confirmed the existence of secret Camp 7, and confirmed that he was responsible for the security at all the other camps, but not Camp 7.[2]

Vargo was interviewed in February 2008, about attempts to treat captives more humanely, and to offer classes to provide intellectual stimulation.[3][4] He defended the new humane efforts on the grounds that captives distracted by classes would be less likely to attack the guards under his command.

Vargo was interviewed about the use of extreme force in the force-feeding of hunger striker Ahmed Zaid Salim Zuhair.[5]

"ISN 669 has a very long history of disciplinary violations and noncompliant, resistant and combative behavior."

Vargo was previously an award winning amateur wrestler. Vargo has also competed on the US team of a form of unarmed combat developed in the former Soviet Union called "SAMBO"(short for "SAMozaschita Bez Oruzhiya", self-defense without weapons ).[6]


  1. ^ Neil Genzlinger (2009-04-03). "Prison Misery, for Detainees and Guards". New York Times. 
  2. ^ Andrew Selsky (2008-02-06). "US admiral confirms secret camp at Gitmo". USA Today. Archived from the original on 2010-11-03. 'Not everybody, even within the Joint Task Force, has access or even knowledge of where Camp 7 is,' said Army Col. Bruce Vargo. As commander of the military's Joint Detention Group at Guantanamo, Vargo is responsible for the camps holding 260 detainees. But not for Camp 7. 
  3. ^ Andrew O. Selsky (2008-02-08). "Gitmo has makeover to reduce hostilities". USA Today. Archived from the original on 2010-11-03. 'If we can get them to focus on humanities programs, if we can get them to focus on recreation, then their sole focus is not going to be on the guard force,' Vargo said. 'It is my thought that if they are focused on those things, then the level of assaults and things of that nature will go down.' 
  4. ^ "Gitmo detainees get classes, movies: Changes intended to curb hostilities, attacks on guards". Associated Press. 2008-02-08. Archived from the original on 2010-11-03. In an exclusive interview with The Associated Press, Army Col. Bruce Vargo, commander of the military's Joint Detention Group at Guantanamo, said he hopes the changes at Guantanamo, where 275 men suspected of links to al-Qaida and the Taliban are held, will lead to fewer attacks on guards. 
  5. ^ Ben Fox (2008-10-25). "Guantanamo guards struggle with hunger striker". Associated Press. Archived from the original on 2008-10-26. Retrieved 2008-10-26. 
  6. ^ Paul Meeker (2007-08-24). "On the Mat with Army Col. Bruce Vargo" (PDF). The Wire (JTF-GTMO). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-07-31. Retrieved 2009-07-31.