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Guantanamo prison chief sacked ‘due to loss of confidence,’ 1.5 months before his term’s end

Guantanamo prison chief sacked ‘due to loss of confidence,’ 1.5 months before his term’s end
US Navy Rear Adm. John Ring, a commander in charge of the infamous Guantanamo bay prison has been fired over the “loss of confidence in his ability to command” after a monthlong probe details of which the Pentagon didn’t disclose.

The Department of Defense gave a short statement on Sunday saying Ring’s former deputy US Army Brig. Gen. John Hussey, will be an acting commander and that the change “will not interrupt the safe, human legal care and custody provided to the detainee population” in the facility that has become a symbol of rampant abuse and torture.

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Ring, who commanded the Navy’s oldest operational aircraft carrier USS Nimitz before assuming the reins at Gitmo, is leaving his post seven weeks before finishing his one-year assignment. There have been rumors that his sudden ouster might be linked to a recent tour he gave to media. The spokeswoman for the Southern Command, Col. Amanda Azubuike, dismissed the speculations. She told the New York Times that Ring was fired after a month-long investigation that had been completed before the media trip. There have been no further statements or reports on what Ring’s transgressions might have been.

Since becoming a commander, Ring has repeatedly sounded alarm about deteriorating conditions in the prison and challenges it faces when dealing with ageing detainees. The population of notorious facility is down from over 500 inmates during the Bush administration to 40 people, some of whom were allegedly involved in 9/11 attacks.

“The electrical systems have problems, sewage systems have problems, (and) there’s cracks (and) mold,” Ring said in a recent interview, noting that “some of the facilities are literally falling in.”

Ring asked for additional funds to carry out the necessary repairs and was rallying behind a proposal to build a new Top Secret prison block for 15 detainees who had been previously kept in CIA’s clandestine black sites.

He repeatedly voiced concerns about the need to provide terrorist suspects the same standard of medical care as received by the US troops. However, since detainees cannot be sent to the US for treatment, the respective medical services should have been provided at the site, which Ring believed to be a major challenge.

While President Donald Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama, campaigned on a promise to shut down Guantanamo, which he eventually failed to do, Trump has been adamant about the need for Guantanamo Bay to stay open and welcome new prisoners. In January last year, he signed an executive stating that the operations of the prison will continue in light of “significant threats to the security” of the US.

 “To ensure that in the fight against ISIS and Al-Qaeda we continue to have all necessary power to detain terrorists wherever we chase them down, wherever we find them.  In many cases for them it will now be Guantanamo Bay,” he said at the time.

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