Remember the case of Kathie Olsen, the Bush political appointee who's now safely ensconced
in a suspiciously junior position at the same agency where she was once the No. 2?
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) thinks she's uncovered a similar situation at the Pentagon's Office of Detainee Affairs, where former Bushies are still involved in politically sensitive debates over the Guantanamo Bay prison. Feinstein wrote to Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Wednesday seeking an inquiry into whether two political appointees "have been improperly converted to career positions within the Department of Defense." From her letter:
I ask that you immediately review the circumstances behind the conversion of these positions and the hiring of any former Bush administration appointees as career or temporary officials within the Office of Detainee Affairs.
Feinstein did not unmask the alleged burrowers, but the AP reports that they are deputy assistant defense secretary Sandy Hodgkinson and special assistant Tara Jones.
According to the AP, Hodgkinson retains the right to convert to a civil service position based on her prior work for the State Department -- making her situation similar to the one TPMDC reported on at the National Science Foundation. But Jones seems to be a special case, resigning as a political appointee last month before mysteriously re-emerging as a "temporary" civil service employee.
As he follows through with plans to close Guantanamo by next year, President Obama has enough challenges already without Bush political loyalists remaining in the mix.