Guantanamo Bay Prison Commander Fired Weeks Before Scheduled Departure

Navy Rear Admiral John Ring's legacy will likely be defined by his funding requests to build a new prison for aging inmates.


The commander of the prison at Guantanamo Bay has been terminated just 7 weeks before he was set to formally depart his post.

Navy Rear Admiral John Ring was fired over a "loss of confidence in his ability" to lead, according to a statement from the United States Southern Command. U.S. Army Brigadier General John Hussey has assumed the role of acting commander of the prison, which houses accused terrorists and enemy combatants at a U.S. military base in Cuba.

"This change in leadership will not interrupt the safe, human, legal care and custody provided to the detainee population," the statement says.

Admiral Ring, a former commander of the aircraft carrier Nimitz, took the reins at Guantanamo in April 2018. There he oversaw approximately 1,800 employees and 40 prisoners. His legacy will likely be dominated by his loud calls to build a new prison to replace Camp 7, the segregated unit that has held Guantanamo's most notorious inmates, including Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the alleged 9/11 mastermind. Ring argued that the building lacks the resources and infrastructure to serve its aging population.

"Unless America's policy changes, at some point we'll be doing some sort of end of life care here," Ring told The New York Times before his dismissal was announced. "A lot of my guys are prediabetic. Am I going to need dialysis down here? I don't know. Someone's got to tell me that. Are we going to do complex cancer care down here? I don't know. Someone's got to tell me that."

The project came with an estimated $88.5 million price tag, which might sound like quite the renovation. That pales in comparison, though, to the $454 million it costs to operate the prison each year. Taxpayers have spent nearly $5 billion on the detention center since its inception in 2002, all to maintain a fortress that holds prisoners indefinitely without charges, and thus without trials.

A spokeswoman for the Southern Command has told The New York Times that Ring's advocacy had nothing to do with his termination, declaring that he was fired after a monthlong investigation that began in March. "The vast majority of commanders complete their assigned tours with distinction," Colonel Amanda Azubuike said to the Times. "When they fall short, we hold our leaders accountable, which reflects the importance we place on the public's trust and confidence in our military leaders."

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  1. Navy Rear Admiral John Ring was fired over a “loss of confidence in his ability” to lead

    That lovely catch-all phrase they love to use when they remove someone they don’t like. I can’t count the number of times I’ve seen that phrase in Navy Times.

    1. There’s usually a good reason as to why ‘they’ don’t like a commander.

      1. I used to work with a retired submarine commander (637 class boats, so I’m going back a bit). He used to say that if they wanted to get rid of you, they’d find a reason.

        1. If they wanted to get rid of you – you’d never have made it to a command position in the first place.

          There are so many ways to stagnate someone’s career.

          1. Does Navy Rear Admiral John Ring have an admirable rear? Is there a ring around his anus that he acquired while going to the john, on the poop deck?

            Inquiring minds want to KNOW, dammit!!!


            The Mate’s name it was Andy
            By God, he had a dandy!
            Till they crushed his cock with a jagged rock
            For coming in the brandy!

            The cabin boy, the cabin boy,
            The dirty little nipper;
            He filled his ass with broken glass,
            And circumcised the Skipper!

  2. Normally, when a Naval Commander is fired you’d find out in short order why – we’ve always been open about those sorts of things.

    We’ll see how much info on this one gets out though since this is a JTF command and Army/MC are more secretive about their firings.

  3. That pales in comparison, though, to the $454 million it costs to operate the prison each year.

    That’s over $10 million per prisoner.

    1. We need to tax them.

    2. 1,800 employees and 40 prisoners.

      Don’t ask who watches the watchers who watch the watchers who watch the watchers who watch the watchers who watch the watchers, we know who they are.

      1. I’m so old I can’t do math in my head any more. 45 employees per prisoner, says my desktop calculator… So look and learn; “Government efficiency” is an oxymoron!!!

        1. One way to look at this is in terms of, what FIX is there to the root cause, legally?

          Legally, Guantanamo relies on “not our soil”. If this was on USA soil, all sorts of legal rules would apply. Solution = “put it on not-our-soil”, at vast and humongous expense! If these perpetual prisons were located at Leavenworth, Kansas, our transport and support costs would be $MILLIONS less! So we locate the “justice-free” prisons on “foreign” soil… TO SAVE MONEY!!!!

          Well, why not put the Constitution-free prisons on a Canadian embassy in the USA? Or a German embassy, or a North Korean embassy? “Not our soil”, legally, so, problem solved, right?

          Reason WHY this will NOT work? Because NO foreign nation will bless the USA’s abuse of their embassy!!! Even commie nations and horrible despots will NOT bless this idea!!! And Der TrumpfenFuhrer’s “USA number ONE, all else go to HELL” policies are NOT helping this kind of calculus at ALL!!!

          1. It is a myth that embassies are sovereign territory of the foreign country. US law does in fact a apply within embassies to the United States, although there are restrictions on the ability of the United States to enforce it and embassy personnel have varying degrees of immunity.

    3. Why not just execute the remainder and be done with it?

      1. Because, then, tit-for-tat style, other nations (when capturing USA soldiers) would simply execute them on the spot. What’s good for the goose , is good for the gander.

        1. GitMo does not hold other nation’s soldiers. It holds terror commanders from Al-Qaeda. They already torture and murder our people. So your argument doesn’t apply.

          Terror groups are not signatories to, nor meet the definitions of the Geneva Convention.

          1. Geneva Convention is not relevant. The Constitution for the united States of America is the controlling instrument, and it says very specifically what the three departments of the government may and may not do. To ANYONE. The Bill of Rights has no exceptions for “non-citizens”, its strictures apply to the state ONLY, where ever and how ever it may operate.

  4. >>>Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the alleged 9/11 mastermind

    the dude didn’t cop to it?

    1. Of course not. He’s fighting the Long War.

  5. Did he order the Code Red?

    1. Wouldn’t be a problem. The inappropriate comment to a female officer, however…

  6. Pretty sure Obama closed Guantanamo. Maybe Billy can check into that for me.

  7. “When they fall short, we hold our leaders accountable, which reflects the importance we place on the public’s trust and confidence in our military leaders.”

    LOL! Good one! I love to start my day with a good laugh.

  8. Much cheaper and more efficient use of resources to just shoot them.

  9. Wait!?! I though Obama closed Gitmo.

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