WASHINGTON, Aug. 9 (UPI) -- President Bush appointed veteran diplomat Eric Edelman to a top Pentagon post Tuesday, doing an end run around a Senate block on his confirmation.
Edelman, once America's top envoy to Turkey and a national security adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney, will be secure in his post as undersecretary of defense for policy until a new Congress convenes in January.
Edelman was officially nominated to replace Douglas Feith last May, but his confirmation was blocked in the Senate by Michigan Democrat Carl Levin. Levin, the ranking member on the Senate Armed Services Committee, is feuding with the White House over his demand for a release of documents related to the Iraq war.
The Constitution provides for a president to make appointments during a congressional recess to posts that would normally require Senate confirmation.
Bush used the same tactic last week on another stalled nomination to the Pentagon. Bush earlier roiled Democrats by appointing John Bolton as ambassador to the United Nations after Senate Democrats and a few Republicans blocked Bolton's up-or-down confirmation vote amid allegations that he had mistreated subordinates while working at the State Department and had twisted intelligence to boost his own policy views.