WASHINGTON (AP) — The Pentagon has named Paul M. Lewis as its special envoy for closing the Guantanamo Bay prison for terror suspects.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced the appointment on Tuesday. It fulfills a plan announced by President Barack Obama in May when he also ordered the Pentagon to designate a site in the United States where military trials could be held for Guantanamo detainees.
Lewis has been an attorney for the House Armed Services Committee where he oversaw Guantanamo-related issues. In his new position, he will work with the State Department on transferring Guantanamo detainees to other countries; he also will oversee efforts to transfer third-country nationals held by the U.S. in Afghanistan.
He is to begin work Nov. 1.
There currently are 164 terror suspects in detention at Guantanamo.
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