Phil Carter Resigns: Key Pentagon Appointee Worked On Gitmo Detainee Issues

Phillip Carter, the top detainee affairs policy appointee at the Pentagon, has quit his post after just seven months on the job, a Defense Department spokesman said Tuesday. Carter told the Washington Post that he was leaving for "personal and family reasons."

Carter, an Army captain who served in Iraq, had been an outspoken critic of the Bush administration's detention policy. He wrote extensively on national security and intelligence issues on his blog, IntelDump, before joining Barack Obama's presidential campaign last year to oversee outreach to veterans.

Carter's resignation appears to have caught the Department of Defense off guard, according to the Miami Herald:

Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman declined to say precisely when Carter submitted the resignation, or where he last traveled in a job that took him frequently to Afghanistan, Iraq and the U.S. Navy base in southeast Cuba.

"He has submitted his resignation,'' Whitman said, brushing aside a question of whether Carter was still reporting to work or had already spent his last day on the job. "A replacement has not yet been named." [...]

It was not known whether Carter's service in uniform as a civil affairs officer in Iraq helped him fit in to the Defense Department culture where pockets of senior leadership were holdovers from the Bush administration.

Carter's move comes days after President Obama acknowledged publicly for the first time that his administration would not meet its goal to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay by January 2010.

White House counsel Greg Craig, who played a major role in setting detainee policy for Obama, also announced his resignation this month.