November 24th, 2009
Following the resignation of White House Counsel Greg Craig, another Obama administration official involved in detainee policy and sympathetic to human rights is resigning “for personal reasons.” Phillip Carter, who has been Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Detainee Policy since April, suddenly announced his resignation today. His resignation is so sudden that the Pentagon spokesperson didn’t know if he was still working or had cleaned out his desk.
As the Washington Post reported:
Since taking office, he has helped craft new policies that will allow hundreds of prisoners held by the U.S. military in Afghanistan to challenge their indefinite detention under a new review system. Carter was also involved in the administration’s effort to close the military detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, which holds 215 detainees….
Carter worked on a Justice Department-led task force, which will offer recommendations to President Obama on future detention policy.
A critic of detention policy under the Bush administration, Carter filed friend-of-the-court briefs in Supreme Court cases on administration policies, including the Hamdan v. Rumsfeld case, which struck down the Bush administration’s system of military commissions for trying detainees at Guantanamo.
Carter, who worked on Vets for Obama during the president’s campaign, attempted to build relationships with the human rights community, which remains critical of the administration’s decision to employ a reformed system of military commissions.
It’s beginning to look as if the Bush II, Rahm Obama administration may be purging those officials who don’t understand that human rights take last place, after placating the intelligence community and looking strong so Liz Cheney doesn’t mock them.