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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With three days until the first debate, the polls are coming fast and furious. The latest round:
- An Associated Press/Gfk poll of registered voters found very few voters committed, with Clinton leading Trump, 37% to 29%, and Gary Johnson at 7%.
- A McClatchy-Marist poll gave Clinton a six-point edge, 45% to 39%, in a four-way ballot test. Johnson pulls 10% support, with Jill Stein at 4%.
- Rasmussen, which has drawn criticism for continually showing Donald Trump doing much better than he does in other polls, is at it again. A new survey gives Trump a five-point lead, 44%-39%.
In contrast to Hillary Clinton's meticulous debate practice sessions, Donald Trump "is largely shunning traditional debate preparations, but has been watching video of…Clinton’s best and worst debate moments, looking for her vulnerabilities.” Trump “has paid only cursory attention to briefing materials. He has refused to use lecterns in mock debate sessions despite the urging of his advisers. He prefers spitballing ideas with his team rather than honing them into crisp, two-minute answers.”
Donald Trump "is on the precipice of becoming the only major-party presidential candidate this century not to reach out to millions of American voters whose dominant, first or just preferred language is Spanish. Trump has not only failed to buy any Spanish-language television or radio ads, he so far has avoided even offering a translation of his website into Spanish, breaking with two decades of bipartisan tradition."
Bill and Hillary Clinton have purchased the home next door to their primary residence in tony Chappaqua, New York, for $1.16 million. "By purchasing the new home, the Clinton's now own the entire cul-de-sac at the end of the road in the leafy New York suburb. The purchase makes it easier for the United States Secret Service to protect the former president and possible future commander in chief."