Washington- The Bush administration is pushing to take control of the promotions
of military lawyers, escalating a conflict over the independence of uniformed
attorneys who have repeatedly raised objections to the White House’s policies
toward prisoners in the war on terrorism.
The administration has proposed a regulation requiring “coordination”
with politically appointed Pentagon lawyers before any member of the Judge Advocate
General corps – the military’s 4,000-member uniformed legal force – can be promoted.
A Pentagon spokeswoman did not respond to questions about the reasoning behind
the proposed regulations. But the requirement of coordination – which many former
JAGs say would give the administration veto power over any JAG promotion or
appointment – is consistent with past administration efforts to impose greater
control over the military lawyers.