The Pentagon has installed a new prison camps commander at Guantanamo and brought home Rear Adm. Thomas Copeman III, the admiral who was supposed to be ``the Closer'' for the controversial U.S. Navy base.
Copeman handed over responsibility Friday to Rear Adm. Jeffrey Harbeson — the 10th admiral or general to run the offshore detention center.
Copeman's new job is chief of legislative affairs for the Navy in Washington and he will work with Congress and oversee a Navy staff of liaisons to the House and Senate.
During his year at the detention center, Copeman drew up the plan to close Guantanamo, a project that spends $115 million a year. So far, it has cost taxpayers some $2 billion.
He leaves to his successor, Harbeson, responsibility for 10 camps and 181 captives, among them 14 men the courts have ordered set free, the mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks, Khalid Sheik Mohammed, and a Saudi man who allegedly engineered the October 2000 suicide bombing of the USS Cole that killed 17 U.S. sailors off the coast of Yemen.
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