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Hamdan Lawyer Forced Out of the Navy

(Guest Post from Big Tent Democrat)

This is a disgrace:

The Navy lawyer who took the Guantánamo case of Osama bin Laden's driver to the U.S. Supreme Court -- and won -- has been passed over for promotion by the Pentagon and must soon leave the military.

Lt. Cmdr. Charles Swift, 44, said last week he received word he had been denied a promotion to full-blown commander this summer, "about two weeks after" the Supreme Court sided against the White House and with his client, a Yemeni captive at the U.S. Navy base in southeast Cuba. Under the military's "up-or-out" promotion system, Swift will retire in March or April, closing a 20-year career of military service.

This disagraceful vengeance upon a Navy lawyer committed to the ideals he swore to uphold is just as much as taint on our country as the detainee bill. Why? Because it puts into grave doubt the whole idea of military tribunals, and the independence and commitment of layers appointed to defend detainees. The Navy reward for a job well done is to be busted out of the service. An outrage.

In the opinion of Washington, D.C., attorney Eugene Fidell, president of the National Institute of Military Justice, Swift was "a no-brainer for promotion," given his devotion to the Navy, the law and his client.

But, he said, Swift is part of a long line of Navy defense lawyers "of tremendous distinction" who were not made full commander and "had their careers terminated prematurely."

"He brought real credit to the Navy," said Fidell. "It's too bad that it's unrequited love."

And the Navy brings great discredit on itself and on the United States for this.

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  • Re: Hamdan Lawyer Forced Out of the Navy (none / 0) (#1)
    by TKindlon on Sun Oct 08, 2006 at 10:38:37 AM EST
    Here's a true story about a military lawyer: my son, Lee. Lee joined the Marines to be a JAG officer. In 2000 he received his commission when he graduated from Officer Candidate School in Quantico during the summer after his first year at UCONN Law School. Then, as is normal, he went into the reserves so he could finish law school, take the bar, etc. During his second year of law school Lee applied to join the law school branch of the Connecticut Civil Liberties Union. When he submitted his application, one of his fellow students challenged him by asking "If you're in the military why do you care so much about civil liberties?" Lee's response--and I thought of this when I heard about LCDR Swift getting screwed--was "I've taken an oath to die for the Constitution if I have to, what about you?" Over time I've been well-positioned to confirm that Lee's willingness "to die for the constitution" and his unyeilding devotion to the rule of law is typical of the military lawyers he served with in the JAG Corps. We should be grateful that not only are military lawyers willing to die for the consitution, but, like LCDR Swift, they are willing to sacrifice their beloved careers rather than compromise their principles. tlk

    Re: Hamdan Lawyer Forced Out of the Navy (none / 0) (#2)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sun Oct 08, 2006 at 10:38:37 AM EST
    Sorry, but it is absolutely typical. Too many high-up motherless sons want vengeance on the innocent, and want absolute power. This guy limited their scope, so of course he had to be eliminated asap.

    Re: Hamdan Lawyer Forced Out of the Navy (none / 0) (#3)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sun Oct 08, 2006 at 10:38:37 AM EST
    An outrage and a disgrace certainly; but hardly a surprise. This is totally consistent with the "Agree with me or I'll crush you" attitude of another national disgrace - George W. Bush.

    Re: Hamdan Lawyer Forced Out of the Navy (none / 0) (#4)
    by Che's Lounge on Sun Oct 08, 2006 at 10:38:37 AM EST
    Well I hope he got his 20. Not unexpected.

    Re: Hamdan Lawyer Forced Out of the Navy (none / 0) (#5)
    by scarshapedstar on Sun Oct 08, 2006 at 10:38:37 AM EST
    The defanging of the U.S. military is no accident, that much is clear. The question is, are they really willing to sacrifice everything so that they can funnel more and more obscene contracts to Bechtel and Blackwater? Actually, don't bother answering that.

    Re: Hamdan Lawyer Forced Out of the Navy (none / 0) (#6)
    by Gabriel Malor on Sun Oct 08, 2006 at 10:38:37 AM EST
    Well, first of all, we don't know that it was "disgraceful vengeance" that's keeping Swift from promotion. We've got the "opinion of Washington, D.C., attorney Eugene Fidell." I'm going to go out on a limb, here, and assume that Fidell wasn't on the Navy promotions board. Which makes me wonder why he's so qualified to opine on who should or should not be promoted. And as far as Marine Col. Dwight Sullivan, who notes that it is "quite a coincidence" that the Navy promotions board passed Swift over "within two weeks" of the Hamdan decision, he--and the writer of the article--seem to have forgotten that Swift was also passed over in 2005, as well. Finally, the JAG promotion rates seem to only be about 60% (warning: PDF). And I'm sure each of the ones who are passed over are all saying "I wanted to make a difference." The point is, you have no evidence at all that the Navy's choice not to promote Swift is retaliatory. The article doesn't even make that claim (though it certainly implies it). What is it you know that we do not?

    Re: Hamdan Lawyer Forced Out of the Navy (none / 0) (#7)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sun Oct 08, 2006 at 10:38:37 AM EST
    The story is not one that I have followed or would have ordinarily been interested in, but I do have an aversion to injustice and the abuse of power of the establisment.At the risk of usng a cliche let me say the story left me with a" sense of ourage" and a feeling of impotence. nothing can be done to right this wrong in today's political envirnoment!

    Re: Hamdan Lawyer Forced Out of the Navy (none / 0) (#8)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Oct 08, 2006 at 10:42:48 AM EST
    A quote from the post:
    In the opinion of Washington, D.C., attorney Eugene Fidell, president of the National Institute of Military Justice, Swift was "a no-brainer for promotion," given his devotion to the Navy, the law and his client.
    Opinions are like noses, everyone has one. In the opinion of the Navy Swift did not meet the requirements for promotion. And it is the Navy's opinion that counts.

    Re: Hamdan Lawyer Forced Out of the Navy (none / 0) (#9)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sun Oct 08, 2006 at 11:24:43 AM EST
    It's hard to understand why a lawyer good enough to take on the US government in the Supreme Court--and win--winds up being "not good enough" for promotion.

    Re: Hamdan Lawyer Forced Out of the Navy (none / 0) (#10)
    by scarshapedstar on Sun Oct 08, 2006 at 11:24:43 AM EST
    Pedantry-Producing-Jim comes through once more. Thank you, though, for explaining the obvious. I think the issue here is whether the Navy's opinion stems from with Swift's abilities and devotion, or from an understandable, yet dangerous and reprehensible, desire for retiribution.

    Re: Hamdan Lawyer Forced Out of the Navy (none / 0) (#11)
    by John Forde on Sun Oct 08, 2006 at 11:24:43 AM EST
    The National Law Journal named Swift one of the top 100 lawyers in America.

    Re: Hamdan Lawyer Forced Out of the Navy (none / 0) (#12)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sun Oct 08, 2006 at 11:24:43 AM EST
    with all this gushing over the jag corps, one would almost think they actually won battles and that the military existed to serve them. unfortunately, I don't see a correlation between us winning wars and having more military lawyers. how much should we bet that there were fewer lawyers in the service in wwII?

    Re: Hamdan Lawyer Forced Out of the Navy (none / 0) (#13)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sun Oct 08, 2006 at 11:30:16 AM EST
    From the first moment I saw this young man testify on Capitol Hill and get attacked by that most rabid of political hacks Jeff Sessions of Alabama, I knew his career was doomed. The only thing I am shocked by is that they waited this long to do it. The sickening feeling that one gets from watching the tiffany clear games these people play is only surpassed by my determination to do whatever it takes to end this criminal administration as quickly as possible. Perhaps then, this young man of courage will be rewarded for being an American treasure!

    Re: Hamdan Lawyer Forced Out of the Navy (none / 0) (#15)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Oct 08, 2006 at 11:49:10 AM EST
    scar - Well, if that is the issue, what do you have besides opinions??

    Re: Hamdan Lawyer Forced Out of the Navy (none / 0) (#14)
    by Gabriel Malor on Sun Oct 08, 2006 at 11:55:08 AM EST
    The National Law Journal named Swift one of the top 100 lawyers in America.
    Correction: "The National Law Journal named Swift one of the top 100 lawyers in America after he defended Hamdan." What, you think they'd even have heard of Swift if not for this case?

    Re: Hamdan Lawyer Forced Out of the Navy (none / 0) (#16)
    by DonS on Sun Oct 08, 2006 at 12:07:05 PM EST
    Chief appologist PPJ, Is there anything you would not criticize or support simply because it had even the most tangential, remote possiblity of being out of step with the party line. If you can follow that tortured syntax, you can think for yourself. Try it sometime. You can't just be a hollow shell; surely you're better than that. 20 year military lawyer. Wins a high profile case. Not promotion material? Seriously? I'm not one to gush over military anything, but I can smell rot in a bureacracy.

    Re: Hamdan Lawyer Forced Out of the Navy (none / 0) (#17)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sun Oct 08, 2006 at 01:02:24 PM EST
    I just emailed secNavy Donald C. Winter the following:
    To Mr. Donald C. Winter, Secretary of the Navy: Sir: I am greatly disturbed by the Navy's effective dismissal by non-promotion of Lt-Cmdr Charles Swift. He swore to defend the Constitution, and did so successfully in a case (Hamdan v. US) that some might find distasteful. In his superlative work in defending the rights of Mr. Hamdan, he upheld the most sacred rights recognized by our founding document. The Navy, as an organization, and you, personally, should be ashamed. What's more, you are politically stupid, as once he no longer wears the uniform he will be free, as we have seen recently with many high-ranking ex-military persons, to speak his mind to the media. You do not know what you have done. Yet. I may be directing the IRS to appropriate the US navy's fraction of my tax dollars to the Bolivian Navy, which is currently seeking access to the Pacific Ocean. This may be quixotic, but the 1880's treaty that cost Bolivia Pacific access was flawed, and could be overturned in court. I do get the impression, though, that neither the Navy nor the current administration has any love for the courts. Think of your image in history, sir.


    Re: Hamdan Lawyer Forced Out of the Navy (none / 0) (#18)
    by Al on Sun Oct 08, 2006 at 01:02:24 PM EST
    Besides the obvious injustice to Swift, the intent is clearly to have a chilling effect on other military lawyers: Don't defend detainees if you want to have a career in the military. ---
    Chief appologist PPJ ... You can't just be a hollow shell; surely you're better than that. (DonS)
    No, he's not. I'll say this for PPJ: What you see is what you get.

    Re: Hamdan Lawyer Forced Out of the Navy (none / 0) (#19)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sun Oct 08, 2006 at 03:00:18 PM EST
    I commend to you the following about the Geneva Conventions, article 3: Send this to the troops you know, please.

    Re: Hamdan Lawyer Forced Out of the Navy (none / 0) (#20)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Oct 08, 2006 at 03:09:15 PM EST
    et al - Apologize? For what? Asking you to provide something besides your opinions? Facts folks. And as any good defense attorney would say, "assumes facts not in evidence." VJB writes:
    I may be directing the IRS to appropriate the US navy's fraction of my tax dollars to the Bolivian Navy,
    Well, you were doing good until you decided to show everyone just how informed you are.... Yep. I'm sure the Sec is quaking in his boots.. He'll probably furl the mizzenmast and throwaway his copy of the "Blue Jacket's Manual." DonS writes:
    I'm not one to gush over military anything,
    Now that's a surprise.... Gabe - And if he had lost it they would have claimed the fix was in and yelled for a new trial...

    Re: Hamdan Lawyer Forced Out of the Navy (none / 0) (#22)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sun Oct 08, 2006 at 03:48:46 PM EST
    When I was in the service, you had to be passed over for promotion three times before you were forced out. So, I have trouble believing he was punished solely for Hamdan.

    Re: Hamdan Lawyer Forced Out of the Navy (none / 0) (#27)
    by Sailor on Sun Oct 08, 2006 at 05:36:38 PM EST
    he--and the writer of the article--seem to have forgotten that Swift was also passed over in 2005, as well.
    What this commenter seems to have forgotten is that:
    The 44-year-old Judge Advocate General officer, who was recently named one of the 100 most influential lawyers in the country by The National Law Journal, was passed over for promotion last year as the high-profile case was making headlines around the world.
    He was passed over BECAUSE he was representing Hamdan, and passed over again because he had the temerity to win. How many other JAGs made the top 100?
    Well, you were doing good until you decided to show everyone just how informed you are....
    pretty funny from a commenter that has been caught lying so many times.

    Re: Hamdan Lawyer Forced Out of the Navy (none / 0) (#21)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sun Oct 08, 2006 at 08:08:08 PM EST
    The point is, you have no evidence at all that the Navy's choice not to promote Swift is retaliatory. The article doesn't even make that claim (though it certainly implies it). What is it you know that we do not? Nothing that you don't know. But we do know that the major work he has had over the past couple of years has been a very significant success. I can judge the quality of his work for his client as a lawyer -- and it was very good. He was named one of the 100 Top Lawyers in the Country by a non-partisan, prestigious journal, and his commanding officer said he had done an extraordinary job and served with distinction. Given these professional commendations by outside groups without an ax to grind, and by his direct superior, the prima facie case has been made that he deserves promotion. There is an obvious reason why he might not be promoted, esp. given the treatment meted out to military lawyers by political appointments in this administration. There may be another reason he wasn't promoted -- but we haven't heard it, and without evidence, I won't invent it just to save face for this administration.

    Re: Hamdan Lawyer Forced Out of the Navy (none / 0) (#23)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sun Oct 08, 2006 at 08:08:08 PM EST
    A military lawyer is, theorically,committed to supply as best a defense as is possible consistent with the law and the Constition. He is also sworn to use his legal tools and training to protect the Constitition. Any Lawyer who wins a Supreme Court Judgement deserves promotion. Against the odds Hamden's lawyer faced. As a judgement on legal abilities alone the results should speak to the worthyness of that individual for promotion in a "legal" aid service. As much as this lawyer/officer Hamden's legal team has brought credit to the legal and military professions the true shame are the number of Military Legal community who look the other way and participiate in the quasi legal judicial theatre.

    Re: Hamdan Lawyer Forced Out of the Navy (none / 0) (#24)
    by cpinva on Sun Oct 08, 2006 at 08:08:08 PM EST
    michael heinz has it right, this had to have been the third time swift got passed over, not the first or second. without opining on why swift got passed over, this is SOP in the U.S. military, for NCO's and above. the logic being, and it's hard to refute, if you've been passed over three times, there's a reason, and your slot needs to be opened for someone who might make the grade. it may well be that people don't like you, for whatever reason. that's as true in civilian life. if they don't, you're a bar to good unit cohesion, essential to any military unit/operation. i didn't sit on the promotion board, so i've no real clue why he was passed over, a third time. any opinion on this, rendered by anyone, absent access to those records, is purely speculative.

    Re: Hamdan Lawyer Forced Out of the Navy (none / 0) (#25)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sun Oct 08, 2006 at 08:08:08 PM EST
    Big tent: You need to do a little more research on the Navy's promotion system before posting your screed. Did he get his tickets punched, doing all of the tours one is supposed to in order to be promotable? I too was passed over at the same rank he is at, and I retired. I made the decision to not do the tours required in order to be in line for promotion, I preferred flying on the pointy end (such that it wwas) to sitting at some desk pushing ppapers. As to his devotion to the Navy, his client, and the law, At that level, you would say that about every officer that was competing with him for pomotion. Furthermore, the promotion boards are held months before the results are published. You may not like the results (I did not like mine) but you do not know the full story or back ground. In short, your screed may go over well here, but it is really lacking research.

    Re: Hamdan Lawyer Forced Out of the Navy (none / 0) (#28)
    by Richard Aubrey on Sun Oct 08, 2006 at 08:08:08 PM EST
    It's now two strikes. You come up for promotion every so often, depending on branch and rank and so forth. If you are passed over twice, you leave, or assume your regular--as opposed to reserve--rank. I saw a major turn into a staff sergeant, once. Not pretty. Ike, when things were going poorly in North Africa, said he was the best damn' lieutenant colonel in the Army, that being the lowest rank to which they could bust him absent legal action. It was his regular rank, as opposed to his reserve rank as chief of everything in sight. Since there are fewer slots the higher you go, it follows that there will be a surplus. Some guys just feel like getting out. Military life, even in garrison, has strains you don't know it has until you get off post for a couple of days. So some guys just don't re-up. That takes up some of the surplus. Others, when they're at the ranks where they have their twenty or more in, retire. Not a bad gig, actually. Pension and bennies and all that and you are young enough to get another job. But there's still a surplus. Some get promoted and some don't. You need, want, to believe this was a matter of beating The Man. You might be right. But, seeing as he was passed over once prior to Hamdan, that's not the way to bet. Winning Hamdan may not have been a net positive, but you have to have evidence, a matter which is sort of evanascent when lawyers are involved, to prove anything. Right now, all you have is spleen. Come to think of it, that's pretty much all you have most times.

    Re: Hamdan Lawyer Forced Out of the Navy (none / 0) (#29)
    by Richard Aubrey on Sun Oct 08, 2006 at 08:08:08 PM EST
    Sailor. Please expain why a compliment from the National Law Journal is a good thing. Are they, like, God or something? Would normal people look at them and ask about agendas? If Hamdan was such an open and shut case, why is winning it such a big deal? Shouldn't the NLJ awards go to somebody who rolled the big rock up hill and won a tough case? Maybe Swift was the poster child for the NLJ's idea of JAGS because the NLJ is like you and hopes to see the military lose at every opportunity in every field.

    Re: Hamdan Lawyer Forced Out of the Navy (none / 0) (#30)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sun Oct 08, 2006 at 08:12:40 PM EST
    So Sailor and Big Tent: Why did he not get promoted the first two years he was up or promotion? Mr. Heinz is correct in that you are looked at three times (years) for promotion.

    Re: Hamdan Lawyer Forced Out of the Navy (none / 0) (#31)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sun Oct 08, 2006 at 10:37:37 PM EST
    With all due respect to Swift, there were many other judge advocates with clients at GTMO who did exceptional work - and have continued to climb up the military career ladder with some exceptional opportunities. One of the Army Judge Advocates, after his tour at GTMO, was selected to get his LLM fully-funded at the civilian law school of his choice (in fact, he already had his LLM in military law from the Army JAG School - an ABA-approved program in Charlottesville, VA). This is a highly selective and competitive program and he was selected - and it is a huge honor to be chosen. On top of that he was also promoted and selected for one of the most prestigious positions in the Army JAG Corps - to teach Constitutional Law at West Point. So many people want to buy into the conspiracy theories, and are a little clueless about the whole process. Promotion in the military is based on more than just having a good case. There are lots of good lawyers out there, that are not good leaders. With all due respect to Swift, he may be a great lawyer - but that doesn't make him qualified to lead - which is what would be call upon him to do. In addition, you have to be well-versed in so many aspects of the law (not just criminal) - that with the limited slots out there - that have to find folks who can advise senior commanders on the otherwise "bland" areas of the law (fiscal law, claims, legal assistance, etc. etc.). Best trial lawyers I know are Judge Advocates - and they end up leaving the JAG Corps early because they don't want to waste their talents in having to spend time in the areas that don't appeal to them. And a final note - I don't know if being passed over twice "forced" him out at 20 years or not. I have a feeling that a lot of this was his choice (was he "educationally qualified?" etc.).

    Re: Hamdan Lawyer Forced Out of the Navy (none / 0) (#32)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Mon Oct 09, 2006 at 12:07:36 AM EST
    So maybe Hamden was'nt a difficult case. A blind person could see we are flushing the constitution and Geneva down the toilet with Guantanimo. Swift had the courage to do his job! If Roberts were not recused Swift would have surely lost. Think of his win as the last time you will see justice come from the high court. Swift can and should be proud of his accomplisment. If he runs for office he has my vote. So who was the mailer of the Anthrax to the supremes and Daschel and the Photo editor of the National Enquirer? Remember it was weapons grade biological. Not many hillbilly right to life activist would have access to that quality of weapon. Who would directly benefit by naming all new justices? Who would not mind killing many postal workers and others that are innocent bystanders? A clue is that it was'nt Osama but who else? Talk about the supremes is talk about the Anthrax mailings. Like it or not.

    Re: Hamdan Lawyer Forced Out of the Navy (none / 0) (#33)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Mon Oct 09, 2006 at 06:33:03 AM EST
    Really boys! such cynicism.
    This is totally consistent with the "Agree with me or I'll crush you" attitude of another national disgrace - George W. Bush.
    Besides the obvious injustice to Swift, the intent is clearly to have a chilling effect on other military lawyers: Don't defend detainees if you want to have a career in the military.
    I think the issue here is whether the Navy's opinion stems from with Swift's abilities and devotion, or from an understandable, yet dangerous and reprehensible, desire for retiribution.
    but I do have an aversion to injustice and the abuse of power of the establisment.
    Yes, and your aversion is shared by others, those that are possessed of a social consience that is. It is not my intention to go in depth here, for I would like to discuss the subject, if anybody feels as I do, in the next open thread. Having watched, only two days ago, a much suppressed documentary entitled, Conspiracy Of Silence, on conclusion of the film,to employ the word outrage would have been totally inadequate to describe my feelings. The narrator of the film used these succinct words:
    " 'in order to send out a clear cut message to other abused children that might think about comming forward"
    Comming forward, as did Alisha Owen in testifying about the systematic sexual abuse she received at the hands of Larry King and his circle of scum. Her words were in response to:
    Alisha Owen was convicted of first offense perjury in 1991 and was sentenced on August 8, 1991, to nine to 27 years in prison.
    And isn't that the kicker, sentenced to nine to twenty seven years for perjury, perjury for christsake, bloody perjury. For the moment I ask but three short questions. Was the country up in arms when this sentence was handed down? Was the legal community up in arms when this sentence was handed down? If not, why not?

    Re: Hamdan Lawyer Forced Out of the Navy (none / 0) (#34)
    by scribe on Mon Oct 09, 2006 at 08:21:26 AM EST
    Let's not forget another salient fact: the lawyer Commander Swift beat in Hamdan, Peter Kiesler (also apparently a player in the warrantless wiretapping business, having represented phone companies before going to OLC), was nominated to the D.C. Circuit almost exactly at the same time as Commander Swift's promotion board results came down. No coincidence there - Kiesler's an admin favorite. Kiesler's nomination was fast-tracked to the Senate Judiciary Committee within 32 days (i.e., before the August recess), then returned (i.e., they did not approve his nomination) along with the nomination of DoD General Counsel Haymes to the Fourth Circuit and one or two other radical Rethug wackos. Next, in one of those typical pre-election in-your-face moves, a couple weeks ago (right about the same time as the Torture Bill came up), The Unit re-nominated both Kiesler and Haymes to the same posts for which they had been previously rejected (less than a month before). Last I checked, their nominations for lifetime appointments to the Courts of Appeals are still pending. So, the message is quite clear*: if one wants to advance, go with the Torture Program. And, if anyone questions that, they should talk to the soldier who reported the torture at Abu Ghraib. Rummy outed him, by name, on national TV (simulcast into the mess hall in Iraq where the reporting soldier was lunching with hundreds of colleagues) testimony to Congress. And, as to anyone who thinks otherwise, remember also that every military officer's commission contains the phrase "at the pleasure of the President", regarding how long, where and under what conditions one will serve. Opposing torture displeases this Preznit. - - - *to anyone with eyes. As to Jimakappj and his friends, the classic condemnation of the willful and still stupid, "having eyes, you see not?", applies.

    Re: Hamdan Lawyer Forced Out of the Navy (none / 0) (#35)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Oct 09, 2006 at 09:39:16 AM EST
    Scribe - If you have some facts, show'em. Otherwise take your snarky remarks, fold'em neatly and .... You know, I think you have written that you were in the military, as an officer. That you fail to understand Cherokee's points speaks volumes about you. Let me restate. A Commander has many tasks and needs qualifications that just being a good lawyer does not. Neither of us know Swift's quals. His peers said he wasn't Commander material.

    Re: Hamdan Lawyer Forced Out of the Navy (none / 0) (#36)
    by soccerdad on Mon Oct 09, 2006 at 11:34:14 AM EST
    With all due respect to Swift, there were many other judge advocates with clients at GTMO who did exceptional work - and have continued to climb up the military career ladder with some exceptional opportunities.
    Assertion concerning quality. Were any of them on Hadamn? Did any argue in front od SC opposing Bush? if not they are not comparable. Its that simple.

    Re: Hamdan Lawyer Forced Out of the Navy (none / 0) (#37)
    by scribe on Mon Oct 09, 2006 at 01:31:23 PM EST
    Jimakappj You must be the guy at Fox who keeps giving discredited Republican congresscritters a (D) after their name - they just did it to Chaffee and gave Whitehouse the (R). It takes a lot of kool-aid to write a post like your retort. My prior post is laden with - even overflowing with - fact. It's all fact. Check out whitehouse.gov - there's Kiesler's nomination prominently posted. Check out Thomas.gov - in the Senate section, there's a whole lot on Kiesler's nomination. And so on. Sadly, your ignorance seems to be showing. Swift was denied promotion to the rank of Commander*. Commander is a naval rank.** "Commander" can be a job, too, but one does not go before promotion boards for selection for command slots. There are separate boards for assignment to commands, and a lot more internal politics, too. No, what this was, was the Admin - maybe even the Preznit himself - putting a thumb on the scale to cashier the winning lawyer, and give its' lawyer, the loser, the lifetime appointment. - - - * Going back years, the way promotion boards work is, a bunch of senior officers sit down with a pile of personnel folders and look at them. Hundreds or even thousands. First thing they see in each is an official photo, full length. And they read the officer evaluations. Pass or fail - each member of the board puts each folder on one pile after reading. Last I heard, the Navy's officer evaluations were a page of check boxes and a blank page - the evaluating officer was expected to know the evaluated officer enough to fill the whole blank page. No more and no less. If one thinks about it, it takes a lot to write a whole page about someone and their performance. All that does not preclude higher-ups from either telling the board to do X, or making it clear they wanted X done to officer Y, or from stacking the Board, or any number of nasty things. Or from some higher up merely deleting the offending officer's name from the list. Etc. There are so many ways to screw someone, it defies enumeration. **Naval rank table, highest to lowest: Admiral Vice Admiral Rear Admiral Commodore Captain Commander Lieutenant Commander Lieutenant Lieutenant, junior grade Ensign

    Re: Hamdan Lawyer Forced Out of the Navy (none / 0) (#38)
    by Jo Fish on Mon Oct 09, 2006 at 09:14:59 PM EST
    One of the things overlooked about LCDR Swift in this discussion is that he was not only a Navy JAG, but at one some point in his career as a Naval Officer also qualified as a Surface Warfare Officer. The picture of him shows quite clearly that he was a SWO, his SWO pin being prominently displayed above his ribbons on his Service Dress Blues. So, for those of you who wonder if he was qualified as a Naval Officer and as a Navy JAG, why the answer would be YES. Resoundingly. The number of JAG officers who are qualified in a actual "warfare specialties" is very small, minimal in fact. Most Navy JAGs are accepted into the program after law school, and receive their training and then are sent off to the fleet to work in Navy Legal Services Offices around the world doing both defense and prosecution work, interchangeably. It's a safe bet that if LCDR Swift had been assigned to the other table in the Hamdan case, he'd have argued as ably for the government as he did for his client. The Navy should be ashamed that it blackened its reputation for fairness in the promotion system by passing over LCDR Swift for what are apparently political reasons. I am comforted to know that LCDR Swift will probably step out of the Navy and land himself in a lucrative, non-deploying partner position with a major law firm and he'll be able to laugh his ass off when the current batch of criminals in power are in the dock. Or maybe he'll be the great attorney that he is, and defend them too...after all he clearly believes that everyone is entitled to their day in court.

    Re: Hamdan Lawyer Forced Out of the Navy (none / 0) (#39)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Tue Oct 10, 2006 at 05:02:52 AM EST
    Soccerdad: Please show a lnik that says officers serve at the pleasure of the pres. I never heard that in my 24 years, 16 of which being an officer. I have eyes and have actually lived it. My question to you, he had three tries to get promoted to the next rank. What happened the other two years? The percentage of people getting promoted in their third look is extrememly low. Let me know please.

    Re: Hamdan Lawyer Forced Out of the Navy (none / 0) (#40)
    by soccerdad on Tue Oct 10, 2006 at 07:31:56 AM EST
    Willie My post had nothing to do with the points you bring up. So I take it that you dont dispute my point. To your new points. I never claimed that they served at the Presidents discretion but thanks for the misdirection. Promotion in the military as in any large organization involves work place politics. No one will ultimately get promoted who Rumsfeld doesn't want promoted. Rumsfeld is a key member of the of the Bush administration. There have been many incidents of other military and civilian people not getting promoted or being forced out after criticizing the administration. Certainly you are not going to try and coinvince me that there are no work place politics in the military, because that would be an absurd claim. Do you know that he has had his 3 reviews or is he leaving because he was told that it would never be promoted? If he had 3 reviews do you know that any occured when he was not vigorously working on Gitmo cases?