Navy Lawyer Who Successfully Argued Hamdan Case Before Supreme Court Is Denied Promotion. Coincidence? Some In The Military Think Not
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 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, Salim Hamdan, a Yemeni captive at Guantanamo Bay, 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.
Eugene Fidell, president of the National Institute of Military Justice, said Swift was "a no-brainer for promotion." Others in the military said the timing of Swift's denial was questionable, given his strong track record.
But this is the upside-down world we live in. Swift does the job he was asked to do, as well as can be expected, and he has no future. Meanwhile, Paul Bremer received the Medal of Freedom from President Bush -- even though by his own admission failed to tell Bush or Defense Secretary Rumsfeld that the U.S. did not have a sufficient number of troops in Iraq, and in 2003 wrongly assumed the U.S. could "overpower" an insurgency.