Wednesday, July 12, 2006

What Becomes A Torturer Most? Medal of Freedom, Lifetime Court Appointment....

William Haynes, nominated for seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, leaves the British Attorney General's Office in London, in this Aug. 12, 2003 file photo. Haynes, an architect of the Bush administration's policy toward detainee treatment, which has since been abandoned, struggled Tuesday to save his nomination to an appellate judgeship. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant, File)

He looks so banal for being so evil

Bush nominates torture advocate and Pentagon general counsel William Haynes for 4th Circuit judgeship with lifetime appointment. Will Democrats stand up and filibuster, or go along yet again? MoDo actually takes on a serious subject in today's Times:

Maureen Dowd, NYTimes: He Let the Dogs Out! (TimesSelect wall), full article at Ed Strong

As three female protesters in Abu Ghraib-style orange jumpsuits and black headscarves stood vigil in the back of the Senate Judiciary hearing room, like the supernatural chorus in “Macbeth,” William Haynes was grilled about his worthiness to ascend to the federal bench when his main claim to the promotion is complicity in letting Dick Cheney dance a jig on the Geneva Conventions.

“The State Department characterizes the use of dogs as an interrogation aid as torture, cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment,’’ Senator Dick Durbin, a Democrat, said to the Pentagon general counsel. “We publicly condemned the countries of Libya and Burma for using dogs in interrogation. In November of 2002, you recommended that Secretary Rumsfeld approve the use of dogs to intimidate detainees at Guantánamo.

“The Department of Defense’s own investigation concluded that this technique migrated from Guantánamo to Iraq and Abu Ghraib. At least two members of the armed forces have now been convicted under the Uniform Code of Military Justice for using dogs to frighten detainees. It is striking that as these soldiers were prosecuted, you were being promoted. What message are we sending our troops? And what message are we sending the world, in light of your role in promulgating abusive interrogation techniques, like the use of dogs, stress positions and forced nudity. What message are we sending if we promote you to the second highest court in the land?”....."Well, we’re going to dispatch a few privates, a few corporals, a sergeant, maybe it will get to a lieutenant, but it’ll never get upstairs. ... Apparently, upstairs there’s a promotion party. Downstairs people are being sent to prison.’’

Mr. Haynes, 48, lamely resorted to the argument that Abu Ghraib was simply a few bad apples, “the work of the night shift, without any authority whatsoever.”....


A group of 20 retired military officers sent a letter to Senator Arlen Specter, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, expressing “profound concern” about Mr. Haynes and arguing that he promoted policies that “compromised military values, ignored federal and international law, and damaged America’s reputation and world leadership.’’

They asserted that the policies “fostered animosity toward the United States, undermined rather than enhanced our intelligence-gathering efforts, and added significantly to the risks facing our troops serving around the world.’’

Lindsey Graham, a Republican senator who is a military lawyer, a member of the Armed Services Committee and is close to the JAG Corps lawyers, is reported to oppose Mr. Haynes behind the scenes. Speaking to reporters in the hallway, he echoed Senator Durbin’s fear that soldiers should not take the fall for superiors’ decisions: “We just need to make sure that what we do in terms of promotion, of a civilian, who was part of policies that have led to military members being prosecuted and having their careers ruined, needs to be thoughtfully considered.”

WaPo: Bush judicial nominee struggles to win Senate OK

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