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Hamdan Lawyer - Lt Cmdr Swift - Forced Out of Navy

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kpete Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 11:31 AM
Original message
Hamdan Lawyer - Lt Cmdr Swift - Forced Out of Navy
Guantnamo defense lawyer forced out of Navy
By Carol Rosenberg
McClatchy Newspapers

NEWARK, N.J. The Navy lawyer who took the Guantnamo 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.

A Pentagon appointee, Swift embraced the alleged al-Qaida's sympathizer's defense with a classic defense lawyer's zeal, casting his captive client as an innocent victim in the dungeon of King George, a startling analogy for the attorney whose commander-in-chief is President (George) Bush.

more at:

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/20032...
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blogslut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 11:34 AM
Response to Original message
1. Swift is a hero
Sad that this is how the powers that be treat heroes.
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tblue37 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 12:15 PM
Response to Reply #1
22. Shinsheki, Yee--all of 'em.
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yellerpup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 11:37 AM
Response to Original message
2. Shame, shame, shame
All the more reason to s***can the party in power. Keep the smart ones! Retire the non-starters. As usual, they have it upside down. :kick:
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MADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 11:47 AM
Response to Reply #2
12. I suspect he's happy about it, though--to stay, you essentially work for
half pay....he'll get half his base pay in his retirement check every month. And he can go on and do better things with his degree and experience. Plus, he'll be RICH, relatively speaking, because a law firm, even a poor one, will double his salary at a minimum, and he won't have to deploy or go on lousy TAD assignments to places like GITMO.

JAGS are shitty to defense attorneys. The idea is you are supposed to do defense as a punk junior officer, then switch to prosecution in your 'field grade' years. This guy preferred defense, he didn't fit in. Of course, the fact that he won a KEY case and rubbed Bush's nose in it pretty much sealed his fate. But he knew that. He upheld his oath, and good things will come to him as a result.
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yellerpup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 11:52 AM
Response to Reply #12
16. Thanks for the clarity, MADem
Very interesting indeed. Good things will come to him. After all, he's already a hero of civil rights and that's just his jumping off point.
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hootinholler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 01:13 PM
Response to Reply #12
24. Makes him a good candidate for AG in a sane administration. n/t
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The Backlash Cometh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 05:56 AM
Response to Reply #12
32. Doesn't say a whole lot of good about JAGs.
I never liked the t.v. series from the moment that I saw Oliver North on one of their shows. I guess even bin Laden is considered a hero by his own people.
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MADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 07:42 AM
Response to Reply #32
33. The TV series is total fiction, FWIW, not even well done--from
uniforms to procedures, they got EVERYTHING wrong.

As for the promotion system, that's not just JAGS. And it's not just NAVY. Once you get past 0-3, it starts getting political. If you think it is political at 0-4, it's worse at 0-5, even more so at 0-6, and when you hit flag rank it is flat out brutal. At the topmost ranks your "board" consists of Rumsfeld and a few White House cronies--you displease them and you're dead in the water.
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grytpype Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 11:38 AM
Response to Original message
3. I knew this would happen.
He was not supposed to win that case. He embarrassed everyone right up to the President.

Winning cases isn't the way to get ahead, sucking up to the boss is.

But I do agree he's a hero.
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Solo_in_MD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 11:40 AM
Response to Original message
4. Up or Out !=Forced Out
Edited on Sun Oct-08-06 11:41 AM by Solo_in_MD
He did not get promoted. Under the up and out rules, he will retire with a pension as a Lt Cmdr. Not quite what the title would lead you to believe.

Also a dup of: http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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shadowknows69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 11:41 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. A convenient way to make sure
Edited on Sun Oct-08-06 11:42 AM by shadowknows69
that our military is staffed by sycophantic automatons.
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MADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 11:41 AM
Response to Original message
6. He's known about this for some time, and given his success in the court
room, he can look forward to seeing the Navy in his rear view mirror.

The retirement pay will be a reminder of happier times, and he'll be able to make big money now.

The Services now under the Bush regime are a very unpleasant career path. It's a challenge every day to hang on to one's integrity.
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Hotler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 11:44 AM
Response to Original message
7. I think he was on c-span awhile back ...
Washington journal and made comment that he didn't think he'd be in the military much longer. I could be wrong.
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TomInTib Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 11:53 AM
Response to Reply #7
17. You are not wrong.
I saw that, too.
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TomInTib Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 11:45 AM
Response to Original message
8. Let this be a message to anyone who defends evildoers.
I remember an interview with him where he was talking about the double-edged sword and that, if he won, his career would be over.
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shadowknows69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 11:47 AM
Response to Reply #8
11. I'll bet he would have been "dismissed"
if he even tried to win.
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MADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 11:48 AM
Response to Reply #11
14. He did win, he took the case to the Supremes and was successful NT
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shadowknows69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 11:51 AM
Response to Reply #14
15. I know he won
what I'm saying is that any air of him actually trying to find justice would make him a pariah win or lose. Shit Generals have been shuffled away for trying to do their jobs just because the facts don't gel with the administrations "Reality".
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MADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 12:02 PM
Response to Reply #15
19. See my comments elsewhere in this thread about the system
I've sat on promotion boards. They aren't fair. They're exercises in cronyism and favoritism, even if the Board President is trying like hell to insist upon weighting performance above all other aspects. The human factor overwhelms. And so-called adults can be mighty petty....

This guy KNEW he was toast, and likely knew it before he even got the case. From what I understand, he LOVED defense, and the way to move up in the JAG ranks is to love prosecution. Then, to add insult to injury, he won a case the gubmint wanted him to lose. But if you have to go, and you KNOW you have to go, what better to go than to rub their noses in it on the way out the door!
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shadowknows69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 12:54 PM
Response to Reply #19
23. And he'll be vindicated when we finally prove
that Binny boyy was probably a PNAC operative all this time anyway
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Poppyseedman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 11:46 AM
Response to Original message
9. My brother is an officer in the Navy
From our talks, this isn't surprising at all, he was passed over, many good outstanding officers are simply passed over because as you move up the positions become very exclusive. My brother will be faced with this problem very soon. He has 18 years in and is up for promotion. We have talked about what his options are. There aren't that many.

Of course the circumstances seen to be very strange. I'd like to hear what Lt. Cmdr. Charles Swift says before I think it was political hatchet job
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MADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 11:57 AM
Response to Reply #9
18. If he has 18 years in, he's safe (at least as far as his retirement goes)
At the 18 year mark if an officer is passed over he can submit what's called a continuation letter. The letter asks to be kept on active duty for two more years, in order to make it to the 20 year retirement mark, and he'll get half his base pay then.

Promotion is very political at the 0-4 and up paygrades. It's not just a question of fitness reports, the quality of the jobs held (operational, tough jobs, or desk flying) and ranking, it also depends on who sits on your promotion board. If "your" admiral is chairing the board, or if "your" commanding officer (past or present) is a board member, that can cut two ways--if they like you, they pipe up when your record goes up for review. If they think you are an asshole, they say that, too. Since all of the communications in the 'tank' (room where they make the decisions) are confidential, you will never know who screwed you, or why. It could be they just didn't like the way you looked...it happens....or they only had so many slots and wanted them for "their" guys.....OR someone way up the chain put out the order to stick a shiv in you.
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Mayberry Machiavelli Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 11:46 AM
Response to Original message
10. He has something worth far more than any promotion, beyond price:
a place in history for defending the Constitution of the United States (R.I.P.).
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Marie26 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 11:47 AM
Response to Original message
13. So unfair
He is a real hero, a real soldier, who acted w/total integrity, honor, and respect for our Constitution and system of laws.
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glitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 12:09 PM
Response to Original message
20. This is to our Navy's great shame. nt
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alittlelark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 12:12 PM
Response to Original message
21. I predict multiple offers from high powered legal defense firms
Likely an immediate partnership. His name would bring a great deal of prestige to any law firm that hired him.

What is sad is that his skills would no longer be available to those w/in the military court system.

These people are just soooo PETTY.
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ddeclue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 01:54 PM
Response to Original message
25. One might say he's been "swift boated"
Puns aside, how can the Navy pass him over for promotion, he's apparently been a highly effective JAG officer if he managed not only to get his case accepted by the SCOTUS but also to win..

Oh well, he'll make more money as a civillian and can probably write a book about it someday.

Doug D.
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pacalo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 03:09 PM
Response to Original message
26. Forced out because he did his job as though 'justice were blind' --
not so, under neocon rule. Swift can hold his head up high, knowing he was on the right side, but the fact that he was penalized for following American law is outrageous.
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mom cat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 06:25 PM
Response to Original message
27. Hope he goes to work for the Center for Constitutional Rights!
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me b zola Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 06:44 PM
Response to Original message
28. (((((((((((((( Lt Cmdr Swift ))))))))))))))))
Lt Cmdr Swift, sir, you have served your country well. The history books will remember your outstanding service. :patriot:
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Land Shark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 06:46 PM
Response to Original message
29. The Torture/anti-habeas corpus bill is largely to try to overrule Hamdan
case. (i.e. the Military Commissions Act of 2006).

They could roll Congress, but they could not roll Commander (sic) Charles Swift so they force him out.
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ms liberty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 06:53 PM
Response to Original message
30. I love this guy...
He's been on Washington Journal several times. This is a man committed to the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the rule of law. I'd love to see him continue his career with the ACLU or another civil or human rights group. He'll be successful wherever he goes, I'm sure.
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The Backlash Cometh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 05:53 AM
Response to Original message
31. Start collecting the names. These are the people the Democrats
need to give preferential treatment for jobs when they take over.
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