Charlie Savage, at the NYTimes:
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration on Monday is expected to name Cliff Sloan, a Washington lawyer and confidant of Secretary of State John Kerry, as the new diplomatic envoy for the shutdown of the military prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, an official said on Sunday…
The new appointment was first reported by The Associated Press on Sunday. An administration official confirmed the move, and the State Department circulated a statement by Mr. Kerry praising Mr. Sloan, whom he was said to have recommended.
“I appreciate his willingness to take on this challenge,” Mr. Kerry said. “Cliff and I share the president’s conviction that Guantánamo’s continued operation isn’t in our security interests. In Iraq we’ve turned over prisoners, and we’ve transferred facilities to the Afghan government. Our fidelity to the rule of law likewise compels us also to end the long, uncertain detention of the detainees at Guantánamo.” …
The larger questions now are what to do with low-level prisoners who are from countries with troubled security conditions, like Yemen. Of the 166 remaining detainees, 86 have long since been cleared for transfer if security conditions can be met; 56 of them are Yemenis. As part of his speech last month, Mr. Obama lifted an executive branch moratorium on transfers to Yemen.
Mr. Obama also pledged to name a new “envoy” in the Pentagon to handle Guantánamo transfer issues, apparently removing that authority from William K. Lietzau, the Defense Department’s top official for detainee policy. No one has yet been designated for that role….
More at the link. From what I can gather, Mr. Sloan doesn’t seem the type to take a purely ornamental job just to add another line to his CV, so this is progress, yes?
Anybody know whether this particular slot requires Congressional approval?