The promotion of Tony West to the No. 3 position in the Justice Department has some critics of the Obama administration scratching their heads.
As an attorney, West represented "American Taliban" John Walker Lindh, who was captured fighting with the Taliban against American allies in Afghanistan in 2001. West was a top fundraiser for Obama's 2008 presidential campaign and has been an assistant attorney general in the department's civil division.
As acting attorney general, West "will be a key counterterrorism policy maker, including on Gitmo detainees," notes former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy. Judicial Watch called that a "scary development."
Because his appointment is to an acting position, West does not face a Senate confirmation. He was approved for the civil division job in an 82-4 vote.