Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld has issued Military Commission Order No. 5 officially delegating appointing authority responsibility to John D. Altenburg Jr. and rescinding the previous delegation in Military Commission Order No. 2.
The appointing authority is responsible for overseeing many aspects of the military commission process, including approving charges against individuals the President has determined are subject to his Military Order of Nov. 13, 2001. Among other things, the appointing authority is responsible for appointing military commission members, approving plea agreements, and supervising the Office of the appointing authority.
Altenburg retired from the Army as a Major General in 2002, but will serve in this capacity as a civilian. His last military assignment was assistant judge advocate general for the department of the Army. Altenburg was selected to serve as the appointing authority in late December 2003, and Military Commission Order No. 5 officially delegates the responsibility to him. His biography is available at:http://www.defenselink.mil/news/Dec2003/d20031230altenburg.pdf. Military Commission Order No. 5 is available at: http://www.dod.mil/news/commissions.html.