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Trump Fires Man In Charge of Gitmo, No More Coddling Terrorists


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U.S. Rear Admiral John Ring, in charge of the Guantanamo Bay detention center in Cuba has been fired “due to a loss of confidence in his ability to command,” the spokeswoman for the Southern Command, Colonel Amanda Azubuike U.S. Southern Command said in a statement on Sunday. The man in charge of the task force that runs the prison at the U.S. Naval Station at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, has been relieved of his duties.

“This change in leadership will not interrupt the safe, human, legal care and custody provided to the detainee population,” a statement from U.S. Southern Command said.

Rear Admiral John Ring was removed from the post on Saturday, the brief statement said, without giving details about why.

However, she dismissed speculation Ring’s removal was related to a recent news media visit he hosted at Guantanamo Bay earlier this month.

The event was followed by a long feature in The New York Times, which focused on the Pentagon’s plans to deal with aging detainees at the facility.

Some 40 prisoners are still held at Guantanamo, compared to a peak of almost 700 in mid-2003.

The facility, which is located at the southeastern end of Cuba, also hosts approximately 1,800 between troops and civilian staff.

In June, Ring called for a new facility to be built to host high-value detainees.

The spokeswoman for the Southern Command, Colonel Amanda Azubuike, told CNN the decision to fire Ring came at the conclusion of an investigation that began in March.

The firing was first reported by The New York Times.


Ring had led Guantanamo since April 2018. General John Hussey, formerly the center’s deputy commander, will now lead it in an acting capacity, the statement said.

“This change in leadership will not interrupt the safe, humane, legal care and custody provided to the detainee population at GTMO,” Southern Command said in its statement.

The Guantanamo detention center, opened by Republican President George W. Bush to hold terrorism suspects captured overseas after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, has become a byword for harsh detention practices that have opened the United States to accusations of torture.

President Barack Obama shrank its population while in office but failed to completely close the center as he had once promised. President Donald Trump signed an executive order in 2018 to keep the center open, and has discussed adding to its population. Since May 2018, Guantanamo has housed 40 prisoners.

He was not the first to lobby for financial aid to replace the prison, known as Camp 7.

In 2013, former Southern Command General John F. Kelly, who would go on to become President Donald Trump’s first homeland security secretary, had put forward similar demands.

Ring argued that Camp 7, which hosts men held by the CIA as leaders or deputies of Al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations, would become outdated as prisoners grew old.

Lisa Duncan

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