- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 28, 2019

U.S. military officials have fired the admiral in charge of the Guantanamo Bay detention center, though the statement announcing the dismissal gave few specifics.

Southern Command, which oversees the prison in Cuba, said in a Sunday statement reported by Reuters news agency that Rear Adm. John Ring was removed “due to a loss of confidence in his ability to command.”

Jose Ruiz, a Southern Command spokesman, told Reuters the decision was the result of a month-long investigation completed earlier in April, but would not elaborate.

“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.

Rear Adm. Ring had led Guantanamo since April 2018, though he already was due to be replaced in June by Rear Adm. Timothy C. Kuehhas, the New York Times reported.

Rear Adm. Ring’s deputy, Brig. Gen. John F. Hussey, will take over as acting commander, Southern Command said in its statement.

Col. Amanda Azubuike, a Southern Command spokeswoman told the New York Times that said the firing was not related to a recent media visit he had hosted at the Cuban site. She told the Times that the investigation of Adm. Ring “was completed” before the visit.

President Barack Obama had vowed to close the facility but could not do so, though he drastically shrank the population of the prison used to hold captured Islamist terror suspects. President Trump reversed course and promised to keep the center open and even expand its population. Since May 2018, about 40 prisoners have been held there, Reuters reported.

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