Pentagon: Two top Guantanamo Bay officials fired

Top Guantanamo Bay officials Harvey Rishikof and Gary Brown were fired on Monday, according to the Pentagon. Photo by Roger L. Wollenberg/UPI

Feb. 6 (UPI) — A pair of top Guantanamo Bay officials were fired from their positions Monday, according to the Pentagon.

U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis dismissed Harvey Rishikof, the top official overseeing the trials of the five men accused of plotting the 9/11 attacks, the Miami Herald reported.

“Today, Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis rescinded the designations of Harvey Rishikof as the Director of the Office of the Convening Authority for Military Commissions and as the Convening Authority for Military Commissions,” the Pentagon said.

Mattis appointed Jim Coyne, who currently serves as the general counsel at the Defense Logistics Agency, as the acting convening authority, Pentagon spokesman Tom Crosson told CNN.

Crosson added the decision had no impact on ongoing war court proceedings.

William S. Castle, acting general counsel, also rescinded the designation of Gary Brown, the legal adviser for military commissions.

Brown was replaced by two lawyers from his staff.

The moves come a week after President Donald Trump signed an executive order to keep Guantanamo Bay open.

During his State of the Union address Trump said the order will “re-examine our military detention policy and to keep open the detention facilities in Guantanamo Bay.”


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