Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Sadly noted

For those of us from the old Intel Dump, via Greenwald:
"Several months ago, the excellent Obama Pentagon aide in charge of detention policy -- former Army Capt. Philip Carter -- abruptly resigned shortly after the administration announced it would indefinitely detain many Guantanamo detainees and send others to military commissions: policies which Capt. Carter long opposed when embraced by Bush (though it's unclear whether there was a causal connection between those policies and his resignation). As Spencer Ackerman reports today, the administration has now replaced Capt. Carter: with Col. William Lietzau, who -- as Ackerman put it -- "previously served as a special adviser to Jim Haynes, the top Pentagon lawyer during Donald H. Rumsfeld’s tenure, when Rumsfeld and Haynes codified torture and indefinite detention as hallmarks of Bush-era terrorism policy" (h/t Jim White). Given that Obama's top "terrorism adviser" was a Bush-era CIA official who cheered for various torture and rendition policies, and given that Obama detention policies are so closely modeled after the Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld approach (indefinite detention, military commissions, denial of habeas corpus, renditions), this is both an unsurprising and an appropriate choice for that position.

Bush officials who helped design the torture and detention regime aren't prosecuted or even held accountable under Obama. Instead, they're hired, empowered, relied upon and promoted."
Change? Hope? WTF?



  1. Chief,
    Does anybody know the whereabouts of Phil Carter ?
    What is he doing these days, why has he dropped off the face of the earth?
    Jim small J.
    PS -- this is my first use of my voice recognition program. Jim

  2. I hope Phil comes home...to Milpub...here he'll always have a voice, and a solid good group of fellow travellers who know the difference between what is right and what is wrong.

  3. Well, I suspect Phil—one of the good guys—got tired of learning and then relearning the fundamental lesson about Washington. Washington lives in its own world and follows its own rules. Phil, well-meaning Obama supporter that he was, undoubtedly thought his man meant everything he said and actually stood for something.

    I second the motion that Phil, if he's out there reading any of our maunderings, make an appearance here with us. He's a powerful voice and people need to hear from him.

    Speaking of powerful voices, I hope JD Henderson, Phil's law school buddy, is OK. I miss JD along with Phil.

    And speaking of missing folks, where is Basilbeast? Basil, wherever you are, come home.

  4. I dropped an email to Phil after he resigned, he said that as much as he loved the job, he had family commitments. I am willing to bet that he didn't spend much time with family in LA or New York, I can sympathize with that. I am also willing to bet he has to keep his opinions on the way down low, even our little forum could be too loud, but I will drop the invite if I hear from him again.

  5. Family commitments my a$$. He barfed over the new regimes lack of "Change".

    The problem was in the primary "election" process. Guess what? It was not an election. Obama's win in the caucus states where he was represented by party activists and not by ordinary voters. Sour grapes I know. But there is reason for it. In my state - Washington - there were caucuses and a non-binding election. Obama lost the election big time but won all the delegates due to the zealots who took over the caucuses. So much for the change they promoted. The guy is a tool and we are stuck with him in 2012.

  6. I'll echo Publius in hoping that JD would join us a little more frequently. He does drop in to post here, but it's very seldom. Are you just working too hard, JD, or what?

    And basil, too - we haven't heard from you in a while. What's up, man?

    In case you all haven't heard, Charles Gittings had a bit of a medical emergency lately - hope you're feeling better, Charles, and can rejoin us soonest.

    As far as PC goes, I find it hard to believe that he would work as hard as he did for as long as he did - and I suspect that his campaign activities took at least as much time from his family as his DoD work - to just throw it down and walk away so soon. There must have been some other issues, too. I suspect that Publius is right and he encountered the immovable object of Defense bureaucracy and discovered that he was not the irresistible force he had hoped to be. Sad, but no huge surprise...

    I hate to say this but you have learned the hard way that being an "insider" doesn't mean you get to change the inside - it changes, or tries to chae - you. If you're out there, PC, I honestly believe you have nothing to lose by speaking out. Here, or wherever you choose.

    Don't let the Lietzau's have the last word.

  7. To All,
    I predicted to Lisa that PK WOULD NOT make it at DOD.
    It is an impossibility for a 30ish former CPT to command respect from big bangers. It wouldn't work in the hood and surely not in the puzzle palace.
    Remember to flush twice.

  8. I long wondered about what drove PC. Going on an active duty tour after completing law school is not a career enhancer, then jumping to the other coast without a promotion seemed strange. He might hve been betting big on making it in government after that, but I couldn't picture him as a political high roller that could easily recover after his party was out of power.

    Running with the big boys isn't for the timid - you need to be willing to kneecap people yourself, and be known for having that willingness.

  9. FDC,

    The lung is holding up, I'm feeling much better, my voice is working again, and I had chemo infusion #2 today.

    As for Phil,I suspect he's looking to run for office or run a campaign for someone else in the fall or working on a campaign for someone else in the fall. Just a hunch.