Chuck Hagel Names Special Envoy to Close Guantanamo Bay

The US flag at the US Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba on August 6, 2013.
National Journal
Stephanie Gaskell, Defense One
See more stories about...
Stephanie Gaskell, Defense One
Oct. 8, 2013, 9:25 a.m.

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 »
THE 1%
Sanders’s Appeals to Minorities Still Filtered Through Wall Street Talk
52 minutes ago
WHY WE CARE

It’s all about the 1% and Wall Street versus everyone else for Bernie Sanders—even when he’s talking about race relations. Like Hillary Clinton, he needs to appeal to African-American and Hispanic voters in coming states, but he insists on doing so through his lens of class warfare. When he got a question from the moderators about the plight of black America, he noted that during the great recession, African Americans “lost half their wealth,” and “instead of tax breaks for billionaires,” a Sanders presidency would deliver jobs for kids. On the very next question, he downplayed the role of race in inequality, saying, “It’s a racial issue, but it’s also a general economic issue.”

DIRECT APPEAL TO MINORITIES, WOMEN
Clinton Already Pivoting Her Messaging
1 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

It’s been said in just about every news story since New Hampshire: the primaries are headed to states where Hillary Clinton will do well among minority voters. Leaving nothing to chance, she underscored that point in her opening statement in the Milwaukee debate tonight, saying more needs to be done to help “African Americans who face discrimination in the job market” and immigrant families. She also made an explicit reference to “equal pay for women’s work.” Those boxes she’s checking are no coincidence: if she wins women, blacks and Hispanics, she wins the nomination.

THE QUESTION
How Many Jobs Would Be Lost Under Bernie Sanders’s Single-Payer System?
9 hours ago
THE ANSWER

More than 11 million, according to Manhattan Institute fellow Yevgeniy Feyman, writing in RealClearPolicy.

Source:
WEEKEND DATA DUMP
State to Release 550 More Clinton Emails on Saturday
9 hours ago
THE LATEST

Under pressure from a judge, the State Department will release about 550 of Hillary Clinton’s emails—“roughly 14 percent of the 3,700 remaining Clinton emails—on Saturday, in the middle of the Presidents Day holiday weekend.” All of the emails were supposed to have been released last month. Related: State subpoenaed the Clinton Foundation last year, which brings the total number of current Clinton investigations to four, says the Daily Caller.

Source:
LATER TO THIS YEAR’S NADER
Jim Webb Rules Out Independent Bid
9 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

UPDATED: Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) will not be playing the role of Ralph Nader in this year’s election. Speaking in Dallas today, Webb said, “We looked at the possibility of an independent candidacy. Theoretically, it could be done, but it is enormously costly and time sensitive, and I don’t see the fundraising trajectory where we could make a realistic run.”

Source:
×