President Obama has named Capitol Hill attorney, Paul Lewis, as his new “Guantanamo Closer.” The spot has been vacant for four months. Lewis is a professor of Liberal Studies at Georgetown University, where he teaches courses on “Introduction to Ethics,” and “Ethical Issues in American Politics,”. He is currently the Minority General Counsel of the House Armed Services Committee. Lewis is also an advocate for “Social Justice” and encourages his students to become active in the cause.
Miami Herald reported:
The Obama administration has chosen a former U.S. Marine and seasoned congressional lawyer to serve as the special envoy to Guantánamo closure at the Defense Department, the Miami Herald has learned.
The White House is expected to announce this week that Paul Lewis will fill the job that has been vacant since President Barack Obama created the post four months ago.
Lewis, minority counsel at the House Armed Services Committee, did not return a call seeking comment. But two U.S. officials separately said that Lewis, who has worked at the Pentagon before, will work for Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel exclusively on closing Guantánamo as a counterpart to State Department envoy CliffordSloan’s work for Secretary of State John Kerry.
Hagel personally approved the choice, a U.S. official said Monday hours after 16 legal, religious and human rights groups wrote Obama complaining of slow progress in efforts to close the prison.
At the Pentagon, Army Lt. Col. Todd Breasseale, a spokesman, confirmed the report Tuesday morning and said Hagel would make it formal later in the day. He will start on the job Nov. 1, the Pentagon spokesman said.
“The Secretary will announce today the appointment of Paul M. Lewis to the position of Special Envoy for Guantanamo closure,” Breasseale said in a statement to the media. “This announcement reflects the Department’s commitment to implementing the President’s directive to close the detention facility at Guantánamo Bay.”