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.
What We're Following See More »
Hillary Clinton leads Donald Trump 49%-44% in a new CNN/ORC poll out Monday afternoon. But it's Gary Johnson's performance, or lack thereof, that's the real story. Johnson, who had cleared 10% in some surveys earlier this fall, as he made a bid to qualify for the debates, is down to 3% support. He must hit 5% nationwide for the Libertarian Party to qualify for some federal matching funds in future elections.
While the organization praised him for being "perhaps the most pro-LGBT presidential nominee in the history of the Republican Party," the Log Cabin Republicans refused to endorse Donald Trump for president. The organization, which is the largest gay organization in the United States, said that Trump failed to earn its endorsement because he surrounded himself with anti-LGBTQ people "and committed himself to supporting legislation such as the so-called 'First Amendment Defense Act' that Log Cabin Republicans opposes."
Energy Secretary Ernesto Moniz is warning Congress "that Congress and businesses need to act with more urgency to work out a medley of challenges in promoting nuclear power." A number of nuclear plants are currently on track to close around 2030, unless their licenses are extended from 60 years to 80 years, something that could jeopardize the success of the Clean Power Plan. Moniz called on Congress to pass legislation creating interim storage facilities for used nuclear power.
Donald Trump has said he received a $17 million insurance payment in 2005 following Hurricane Wilma, which he claimed did severe damage to his private club in Florida. However, an Associated Press investigation could not find any evidence of the large-scale damage that Trump has mentioned. Additionally, Trump claimed that he transferred some of the $17 million to his personal account thanks to a "very good insurance policy."