Back in August, combative KOA radio host "Gunny" Bob Newman announced that he was leaving the station in order to take a security and counter-terrorism position for an unnamed employer in "a rather grim war zone" a nineteen-hour flight from Denver. So imagine our surprise when, just three months later, we learned that Newman had taken on a role as "Senior Fellow in Homeland Security Studies" for the Rocky Mountain Foundation, a nonprofit overseen by former congressman Tom Tancredo.
What's the story? Newman didn't have time to chat yesterday, reportedly because he was "up to my eyeballs in terrorism stuff right now." But he did agree to answer some questions via e-mail. Here's the exchange:
Westword: First of all, where are you? Are you in the area? Or are you in a location you can't disclose?
Bob Newman: I'm all over the place, let's just say. Next week, I will be in D.C. regarding a homeland-security mission focusing on maritime security I have been asked to consider.
WW: When last we spoke, you were going to be taking on a security project in a far-off location; that was why you said you were leaving KOA. However, the Rocky Mountain Foundation press release describes you as "retired." Did your other project fall through? Is it still happening, but is less time-consuming than you thought it would be? Or is there some other scenario?
BN: I am still consulting in the terrorism world. My project in the very, very far-off land is complete. The "retired" was referring to KOA, not other work.
WW: After I published my interview with you, I had a number of people suggest that there wasn't actually another job, and you were using that story as cover for being forced out at KOA, or jumping before you were pushed. Your response to that kind of speculation?
BN: Of course some of your readers said that. And, of course, they were lying/making stuff up because they are little girly men who hate me and yet want to be me (I got used to that long ago). I don't put much credence in the opinions of those who in writing call for me to be captured, tortured and killed by Al Qaeda.
WW: Regarding Rocky Mountain Foundation, how would you describe the work you'll be doing for them?
BN: I will be writing and speaking about homeland security and terrorism issues.
WW: How time consuming will it be? Will you have to devote a certain number of hours to it every week? Or will it be more about specific projects?
WW: Do you have any upcoming appearances planned in relation to your new Rocky Mountain Foundation duties? If so, what are the dates?
BN: None yet, as I was just retained last week.
WW: Is there anything else you'd like to add on this topic?
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BN: If it will make your readers happier, I was very nearly blown to tiny bits by a huge IED in that far-off land. Want the pic? It is on my cell phone. I was 25 yards away when the fuel trailer being pulled by a Massey-Ferguson tractor detonated. My fillings are still rattling. It had been eighteen years since I was that close to something that big going off.
Regarding the photo mentioned above, I haven't received it yet -- although Newman did forward me a number of other images from what looked like a country in the vicinity of Afghanistan. He emphasized, however, that they were not for publication. Hence, they, too, must remain undisclosed.
Update, 10:10 a.m.: Newman just re-sent the explosion photo he mentioned above. It shows an enormous plume of smoke on a desolate stretch of road. He adds via e-mail that he's slated to appear on Sean Hannity's Fox News program this evening, noting, "That ought to drive your readers right over the edge."