Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld has decided to delegate the position of appointing authority for military commissions to John D. Altenburg, Jr.
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 the Military Order of Nov. 13, 2001. Among other things, the appointing authority is also responsible for appointing military commission members, approving plea agreements and supervising the Office of the Appointing Authority. Altenburg will serve in this capacity as a civilian.
Altenburg retired from the Army as a major general in 2002. His last military assignment was assistant judge advocate general for the Department of the Army. His biography is available at http://www.defenselink.mil/news/Dec2003/d20031230altenburg.pdf .