As we told you earlier, David Iglesias, the fired US Attorney from New Mexico, has a new assignment: prosecuting detainees at Gitmo. Given that the news came out today, it sort of sounded like this was the Obama team clearing the decks, putting a very different kind of person in charge. But it’s a bit different. He’s actually been on the job for a while. And the person who approved him for the position was Susan Crawford, who runs the Office of Military Commissions. That makes sense in terms of who in the system would make the choice. But Crawford, you’ll remember, is also the one who just unambiguously used the word ‘torture’ to describe at least some treatment of detainees in US custody.
The fact that Crawford only used that term (or allowed the words to be published) as Bush and Cheney were days from leaving office showed pretty clearly that people in the military bureaucracy were already starting to shift in expectation of the changing of the guard. And Iglesias’s appointment would seem to fall into the same category.
Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.