Friday, September 25, 2009

White House Counsel Greg Craig to get the axe --- for his ineptness on Guantanamo

The Washington Post reports today that Greg Craig has been replaced as the point man on Guantanamo and will likely leave the White House. The story places the blame for crafting the Guantanamo strategy for a date certain shutdown, of convincing The One of its wisdom and the failure to follow through, squarely on Craig’s shoulders. It hinted that Obama may now, not be able to meet his January 22 deadline.

With four months left to meet its self-imposed deadline for closing the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the Obama administration is working to recover from missteps that have put officials behind schedule and left them struggling to win the cooperation of Congress. Even before the inauguration, President Obama's top advisers settled on a course of action they were counseled against: announcing that they would close the facility within one year. Today, officials are acknowledging that they will be hard-pressed to meet that goal.

After blaming the Bush administration in March for not having detainee files in one place (a normal procedure so codeword intelligence files at CIA or NSA are not comingled with unclassified files at Justice and accessible to uncleared personnel), the White House added more cooks to stir the pot.

In May, one of the senior officials said, Obama tapped Pete Rouse -- a top adviser and former congressional aide who is not an expert on national security but is often called in to fix significant problems -- to oversee the process. Senior adviser David Axelrod and deputy communications director Dan Pfeiffer were brought in to craft a more effective message around detainee policy, the official said.

After publicly playing the blame game on the files six months ago, it appears the dysfunctional White House is just getting around to reviewing them. The Post drops this little gem at the end of the story

In coming weeks, officials say, they expect to complete the initial review of all the files of those held at Guantanamo Bay.

Buh-bye Greg.

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