Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has picked Paul Lewis, a former House Armed Services Committee lawyer, as special envoy for the closure of the Guantanamo Bay detention center. The appointment comes nearly four months after President Obama vowed to assign a special envoy to help close the prison, calling it “a symbol around the world for an America that flouts the rule of law.”
“This announcement reflects the department’s commitment to implementing the president’s directive to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay,” Hagel said in a statement on Tuesday.
There are currently 164 prisoners at Guantanamo ““ 17 of them are on a hunger strike, according to the Miami Herald.
“Special Envoy Lewis brings a wealth of experience from his previous position as the Minority General Counsel of the House Armed Services Committee where he oversaw Guantanamo related issues. In addition to facilitating transfer determinations for Guantanamo detainees, he will oversee efforts to transfer third country nationals currently held by the United States in Afghanistan.
Lewis previously worked as general counsel for the House Armed Services Committee, was director of the Office of Legislative Counsel in DoD’s Office of the General Counsel, and served as counsel to the Chairman of the House Ethics Committee. After graduating from Notre Dame Law School in 1983, Lewis served as a judge advocate in the Marine Corps, Assistant District Attorney in the Manhattan DA’s office and was a trial attorney in the Organized Crime and Racketeering Section of the Justice Department. He also teaches ethics at Georgetown University.
Lewis will start the job on Nov. 1.
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As Congress continues to bicker on riders to a continuing resolution, federal agencies have started working with the Office of Management and Budget to prepare for a government shutdown, which will occur if no continuing resolution is passed by 11:59 p.m. on Friday night. The OMB held a call with agencies on Sept. 23, one that is required one week before a possible shutdown. The government last shut down for 16 days in 2013, and multiple shutdowns have been narrowly avoided since then. It is expected that Congress will reach a deal before the clock strikes midnight, but until it does, preparations will continue.
President Obama's Clean Power Plan, a large pillar of his efforts to leave a lasting environmental legacy, "goes before the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit today." The plan "imposes the first national limits on carbon pollution from power plants." A number of consolidated cases finds 27 states challenging this plan, which was blocked by the Supreme Court in February pending decisions from lower courts. The states will argue that the government doesn't have the right to impose restrictions requiring them to shutter plans and restructure full industries.
There seems to be a clear consensus forming about Monday's debate: Hillary Clinton was the winner. One focus group of undecided Pennsylvania voters, conducted by GOP pollster Frank Luntz, found 16 favored Clinton while five picked Donald Trump. In a Florida focus group organized by CNN, 18 of 20 undecided voters saw Clinton as the winner.
As both candidates walked off the stage, Donald Trump lauded himself for being restrained and for not bringing up Bill Clinton. "I didn’t want to say—her husband was in the room along with her daughter, who I think is a very nice young lady—and I didn’t want to say what I was going to say about what’s been going on in their life," Trump said. Trump claims he stopped himself from hitting Bill Clinton because daughter Chelsea was in the room.
At the end of the debate, moderator Lester Holt asked Donald Trump if he stands by his statement that Hillary Clinton didn't have the look of a president. Trump responded by saying Holt misquoted him, instead saying that Clinton "doesn't have the stamina." Clinton responded by saying that when Trump visits 112 countries as secretary of state, he can talk to her about stamina.