'War court czar' wants to retire

GUANTANAMO BAY NAVY BASE, Cuba -- A controversial general at the war court has submitted paperwork to retire from the Air Force just months after he was removed from the top legal job and reassigned to logistics, The Miami Herald has learned.

Under his timetable, Air Force Reserves Brig. Gen. Thomas Hartmann, 53, would officially leave the post in February, five months after it was created. With credit for vacation time, he would be gone from the Pentagon before the next U.S. administration.

Hartmann, a corporate counsel at a Connecticut energy company in civilian life, is director of operations for military commissions, a job that was created in mid-September after he was sidelined as legal advisor to the Convening Authority for Military Commissions.

His current duties include meeting weekly with the deputy decretary of defense, Gordon England, overseeing war court staff and proposing changes to the rules that govern the terror trials.

His boss is the Pentagon's acting general counsel, Daniel J. Dell'Orto, whose spokeswoman did not respond to repeated requests for comment on Hartmann's retirement plans.

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