Charles Stimson

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Charles Douglas "Cully" Stimson (born June 13, 1963) is a former American career appointee at the Pentagon. Stimson was the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Detainee Affairs. He resigned February 2, 2007,[1][2][3][4] following a controversy about his statements on legal representation for prisoners at Guantánamo Bay.


The Pentagon created the Office of Detainee Affairs, and with it Stimson's post, in July 2004:[5][6]

An as-yet-unnamed deputy assistant secretary who will report to the undersecretary for policy will head the office. The new deputy will chair a joint committee composed of the undersecretary for intelligence and representatives from the Joint Staff, the Office of General Counsel, the Department of the Army, and others who might be involved in detainee affairs.

Stimson, an attorney by profession, was formerly a U.S. Navy JAG officer from 1992-1997.[7]

Issues during appointment period[edit]

Guantanamo Bay detention camp[edit]

Stimson first received press attention in October 2006, when he told Reuters that more than 300 Guantánamo detainees might remain there for the rest of their lives because nations refused to accept them.[8]

In January 2007 he made comments concerning the legal representation of Guantánamo detainees stating that "corporate CEOs seeing this should ask firms to choose between lucrative retainers and representing terrorists."[9] The Pentagon later issued a statement that Mr. Stimson's comments were not representative of Pentagon policy.[10][11]

On January 17, 2007 Stimson wrote a letter of apology, published in the Washington Post.[12][13][14] His apology was criticized by the New York Times in an editorial, for the appearance of insincerity.[15]


On February 2, 2007, a Department of Defense spokesman announced that Stimson had decided to resign because the controversy had "hampered his ability to be effective in" his office. Stimson said that the Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, had not asked him to resign.[16]

Work at Heritage Foundation[edit]

Stimson is currently a senior legal fellow at the Heritage Foundation and an instructor at the Naval Justice School in Newport, Rhode Island.[17] In September 2010 he authored a report entitled "Just Say No" asserting that California's proposed Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010 would "worsen the state’s drug problems— addiction, violence, disorder, and death".[18]

Stimson continues to write on detainee issues.[19] On October 17, 2011 Stimson called for the US Congress to reaffirm the original Authorization to Use Military Force from the fall of 2001.


  1. ^ Miles, Donna (2007-02-02). "Gates Recommends PACOM, NORTHCOM Successors; DoD Official Resigns". American Forces Press Service. Retrieved 2007-03-31. 
  2. ^ "Pentagon Official Who Criticized Detainee Lawyers Quits". Washington Post. 2007-02-03. Retrieved 2007-03-31. 
  3. ^ Associated Press (2007-02-02). "Official Resigns Over Gitmo Lawyer Remarks". CBS News. Retrieved 2007-03-31. 
  4. ^ Pelofsky, Jeremy (2007-02-02). "Pentagon official resigns over detainee remark". Reuters. Retrieved 2007-03-31. [permanent dead link]
  5. ^ Quigley, Samantha (2004-07-04). "DoD Creates Office of Detainee Affairs". DefenseLINK News. Archived from the original on 2007-01-16. Retrieved 2007-01-17. 
  6. ^ Porth, Jacqueline S. (2004-07-16). "Pentagon Creates New Policy Office to Review Detainee Issues". U.S. Department of State USINFO. Archived from the original on 2007-04-12. Retrieved 2007-03-31. 
  7. ^ "Eye of the Storm". Kenyon College Alumni Bulletin. Retrieved 2008-02-10. 
  8. ^ Schulman, Leslie (2006-10-29). "DOD official says some Guantanamo detainees may be imprisoned for life". JURIST. Archived from the original on 2008-09-18. Retrieved 2007-01-17. 
  9. ^ Lewis, Neil (2007-01-13). "Official attacks top law firms over detainees". New York Times. Retrieved 2007-01-17. 
  10. ^ Heilprin, John (2007-01-13). "Pentagon disavows comment on detainees". Newsvine. Retrieved 2007-01-17. 
  11. ^ Mary Pat Gallagher (January 18, 2007). "Bush Official Apologizes for Slap at Guantanamo Detainees' Lawyers". New Jersey Law Journal. Retrieved 2008-01-19. 
  12. ^ Charles Stimson (January 17, 2007). "An Apology to Detainees' Attorneys". Washington Post. Retrieved 2007-06-28. 
  13. ^ Sarah Abruzzes (February 3, 2007). "Official Quits After Remark on Lawyers". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-02-22. Mr. Stimson, a former Navy defense lawyer, wrote an apology published in The Washington Post, saying the remarks did not reflect his “core beliefs.” 
  14. ^ "Pentagon Official Apologizes for Remarks". New York Times. 2007-01-17. [dead link]
  15. ^ "Apology Not Accepted". New York Times. January 19, 2007. Retrieved 2008-02-22. 
  16. ^ Jelinek, Pauline (2007-02-02). "Defense Official Resigns Over Remarks". San Francisco Chronicle. 
  17. ^ "Charles Stimson: Senior Legal Fellow". Heritage Foundation. Retrieved 2008-02-22. He is currently a Senior Instructor at the Naval Justice School in Newport, R.I., where he teaches active duty JAGS. 
  18. ^ Charles Stimson, "Legalizing Marijuana: Why Citizens Should Just Say No", Heritage Foundation Legal Memorandum, 13 September 2010
  19. ^ Charles Stimson (2011-10-17). "Common-Sense Principles for Detainee Policy". The Heritage Foundation. Archived from the original on 2011-10-20. Retrieved 2011-10-20. 

External links[edit]



  • C-SPAN Charles Stimson footage (RealPlayer)

Photo images[edit]

  • U.S. Department of Defense DefenseLink: Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Detainee Affairs Cully Stimson on Sept. 6, 2006. DoD photo by R. D. Ward. (Released)
  • U.S. Department of State Cully Stimson, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Detainee Affairs, DOD, Lt. Gen. John Kimmons, Army Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence and Brigadier General Thomas L. Hemingway, Legal Adviser to the Appointing Authority, Office of Military Commissions
  • Washington Post Views on Detainee Representation Draw Fire