He beat the government in the Supreme Court. He zealously represented his client in an historic case. He’s widely considered to be one of the top lawyers in the US. And the Navy thinks Lt. Cmdr. Charles Swift is not good enough to promote to full Commander: Paper: Detainee Lawyer Must Leave Navy.
Commander is equivalent in rank to a lieutenant-colonel in the army; it’s a big step up but it’s very hard to see this move as merely short-sighted and not as revenge for poking the Secretary of Defense and the Commander in Chief in the eye with a stick. Which was exactly Lt. Cmdr. Swift’s duty at the time, and he did it superlatively well.
The Navy, and the country, are much poorer for his piece of spite or stupidity. At least Lt. Cmdr. Swift — who wanted to stay in the Navy — will have his 20 year pension and the pick of work in the private sector.