WASHINGTON (JTA) — The Obama administration named as its official in charge of shutting down the Guantanamo Bay detention facility a lawyer representing the family of a teenager killed in Israel.
Lee Wolosky “will assume lead responsibility for arranging for the transfer of Guantanamo detainees abroad and for implementing transfer determinations, and overseeing the State Department’s participation in the periodic reviews of those detainees who are not approved for transfer,” Secretary of State John Kerry said Tuesday in a statement.
Wolosky, 46, was a lawyer for the parents of Daniel Wultz, an American teenager killed in a 2006 suicide bombing in Tel Aviv. The Wultzes are suing the Bank of China, alleging that Israel intelligence a year before the killing had informed Chinese authorities of money transfers to terrorist organizations such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
In a Miami Herald profile published Tuesday, Sheryl Wultz lavished praise on Wolosky.
“He has learned firsthand the havoc that terrorism wreaks on families, communities, countries and the world,” she told the newspaper. “Yet he also understands the need to work out reasonable resolutions to difficult issues.”
Wolosky will be on leave from his practice as a partner at the leading New York law firm Boies, Schiller & Flexner while he works for the government.
Wolosky, a former staffer on the National Security Councils of Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, assumes responsibility for making good on Obama’s pledge to empty the prison of 116 captives held without trial. The Bush administration opened the facility in 2002, months after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, to house prisoners captured in the War on Terror.
The Republican-led Congress has fiercely resisted the closure of the enclave on U.S.-held land in Cuba, banning any effort to bring the captives to U.S. soil for trial and throwing up obstacles to transferring them to other countries.