A New Job for a Controversial General

In May, the Pentagon canceled the assignment of Maj. Gen. Jay Hood to Pakistan, where he would've been the defense attache, over concerns that he was intimately involved with torture of detainees at Guantanamo Bay.

Then, last Thursday, the Pentagon announced that Hood would go instead to Tampa, Fla., to become the chief of staff for Central Command ("CENTCOM"). In that job, he will play a central (sorry, bad pun) role in the global war on terrorism, as Gen. David Petraeus's right-hand man, responsible for coordinating all staff operations, planning and interagency work that go through CENTCOM's headquarters.

Instead of Hood, the Pentagon is dispatching Brig. Gen. Joseph B. DiBartolomeo to Pakistan. DiBartolomeo is a National Guard officer who currently serves as the deputy commanding general for the Army's special forces command at Fort Bragg. He hails from West Virginia and has a relatively modest service record -- with no combat deployments, although it's entirely possible he has a covert combat record because of his work in special operations. He looks like a safe choice for the Pakistan job, especially because of his experience in interagency and humanitarian operations.

By Phillip Carter |  June 23, 2008; 2:45 PM ET  | Category:  Torture
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Sorry speedy, Chief of Staff is more admin than "central" by nature.

Posted by: Truth hurts | June 23, 2008 3:10 PM

Thank you fror pointing this out to a wide audience. MG Hood needs to be retired just like his predecessor at GITMO, MG Geoffry Miller.

The thousands of pages of FOIA'd documents released re: the Pentagon military analysts program are replete with references to MG Hood and his PAO. On several instances, MG Hood gave "exclusive" access and information to the right-wing media. The lunatic Jay Babbin was particularly close to MG Hood.

Posted by: IRR Soldier... | June 23, 2008 5:05 PM

"Sorry speedy, Chief of Staff is more admin than "central" by nature."

So you've apparently never dealt with a chief of staff. For a command like CENTCOM, I'd argue that nobody is more centrally involved in operations and what's going on that the chief of staff...

But it's hard to pass up a good "speedy" joke, particularly when it makes you look like an expert. Too bad it comes off as a cheap shot, high speed!

Posted by: Mike | June 23, 2008 8:39 PM

Assume the Chief of Staff assignment is Dave Petraeus's call - his motivations would be of interest. One might suspect that a decision was made (elsewhere?) to demonstrate a contuning commitment to a high level of toughness both in the treatment of captives and the application of executive power over American law and treaties.

It is somewhat Cheneyesque. Recommend that prisoners be given a copy of "Darkness at Noon" along with the Quran.

Posted by: Bill Keller | June 23, 2008 9:47 PM

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