Top Pentagon lawyer, Obama loyalist Jeh Johnson resigns

Jeh Johnson resigned his post as the Pentagon’s top lawyer, effective December 31, 2012.   “Following some time off, I will then return to private practice,” Johnson said, in a letter to President Obama, dated Thursday.   The letter caps a week of high-profile news for Johnson, who first appeared in London to deliver a ...

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616919_132186260_02.jpg

Jeh Johnson resigned his post as the Pentagon’s top lawyer, effective December 31, 2012.
 
“Following some time off, I will then return to private practice,” Johnson said, in a letter to President Obama, dated Thursday.
 
The letter caps a week of high-profile news for Johnson, who first appeared in London to deliver a vigorous defense of the U.S. drone war on terrorists, then questioned the proper duration to continue employing the military in a global war on terrorism, before his name was floated as a potential successor to Eric Holder as attorney general of the United States.
 
Johnson’s departure from the Pentagon doesn’t prevent him from taking another post in government during the second Obama administration, but it certainly means there’s no fast track to the Department of Justice.
 
Johnson oversaw the Pentagon’s effort to end the “don’t ask, don’t tell” restriction barring openly gay service members, among other milestones. But he leaves behind one major incomplete for the Obama administration: the detention facilities at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
 

Jeh Johnson resigned his post as the Pentagon’s top lawyer, effective December 31, 2012.
 
“Following some time off, I will then return to private practice,” Johnson said, in a letter to President Obama, dated Thursday.
 
The letter caps a week of high-profile news for Johnson, who first appeared in London to deliver a vigorous defense of the U.S. drone war on terrorists, then questioned the proper duration to continue employing the military in a global war on terrorism, before his name was floated as a potential successor to Eric Holder as attorney general of the United States.
 
Johnson’s departure from the Pentagon doesn’t prevent him from taking another post in government during the second Obama administration, but it certainly means there’s no fast track to the Department of Justice.
 
Johnson oversaw the Pentagon’s effort to end the “don’t ask, don’t tell” restriction barring openly gay service members, among other milestones. But he leaves behind one major incomplete for the Obama administration: the detention facilities at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
 

Kevin Baron is a national security reporter for Foreign Policy, covering defense and military issues in Washington. He is also vice president of the Pentagon Press Association. Baron previously was a national security staff writer for National Journal, covering the "business of war." Prior to that, Baron worked in the resident daily Pentagon press corps as a reporter/photographer for Stars and Stripes. For three years with Stripes, Baron covered the building and traveled overseas extensively with the secretary of defense and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, covering official visits to Afghanistan and Iraq, the Middle East and Europe, China, Japan and South Korea, in more than a dozen countries. From 2004 to 2009, Baron was the Boston Globe Washington bureau's investigative projects reporter, covering defense, international affairs, lobbying and other issues. Before that, he muckraked at the Center for Public Integrity. Baron has reported on assignment from Asia, Africa, Australia, Europe, the Middle East and the South Pacific. He was won two Polk Awards, among other honors. He has a B.A. in international studies from the University of Richmond and M.A. in media and public affairs from George Washington University. Originally from Orlando, Fla., Baron has lived in the Washington area since 1998 and currently resides in Northern Virginia with his wife, three sons, and the family dog, The Edge. Twitter: @FPBaron

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