In Charlie Savage's story from last year on the sidelining of Laurence Tribe as head of an "Access to Justice" program at DOJ, he reported that Tribe originally believed he would serve as counselor for "rule of law" issues in Obama's Administration.
There was also concern over how his presence might play out internally, several administration officials said. Some officials feared that he might be unmanageable, intruding into all manner of policy areas and able to call on Mr. Obama as a trump card.
"He has an ego," said Charles Fried, a former solicitor general in the Reagan administration and a fellow Harvard law professor. "He's entitled to it. He's earned it."
Several friends and administration officials said Mr. Tribe had initially sought and believed he would be given a far broader title and assignment: counselor for "rule of law" issues, which would have come with a mandate to help shape matters of national security and foreign policy. That did not happen, but Mr. Tribe came to Washington anyway.
After less than a year in that position, Tribe left last December, citing medical issues.
Now, the guy Obama sidelined to make sure he didn't impose too much rule of law on his Administration has strongly criticized Bradley Manning's treatment, not only signing a letter condemning Manning's treatment, but elaborating on why that treatment was unconstitutional.
[Tribe] told the Guardian he signed the letter because Manning appeared to have been treated in a way that "is not only shameful but unconstitutional" as he awaits court martial in Quantico marine base in Virginia.
The US soldier has been held in the military brig since last July, charged with multiple counts relating to the leaking of thousands of embassy cables and other secret documents to the WikiLeaks website.
Under the terms of his detention, he is kept in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day, checked every five minutes under a so-called "prevention of injury order" and stripped naked at night apart from a smock.
Tribe said the treatment was objectionable "in the way it violates his person and his liberty without due process of law and in the way it administers cruel and unusual punishment of a sort that cannot be constitutionally inflicted even upon someone convicted of terrible offences, not to mention someone merely accused of such offences".
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