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Friday, July 14, 2006

Haynes' Hearing No Help to Him

Judging from sources ranging from the Roanoke Times to the San Francisco Chronicle, the Washington Post to the conservative Washington Times, it's becoming increasingly clear that Fourth Circuit nominee William J. Haynes, II did not help his cause at his hearing Wednesday. Among the things that's gotten both Dems and Repubs alike concerned was what was perceived to be Mr. Haynes' lack of candor regarding the administration's formulation of now thoroughly-repudiated policies for interrogating military detainees. One thing that got South Carolina Republican Senator particularly agitated during the hearing was Mr. Haynes' insistence that career military officers from the JAG corps had been included in deliberations over a DoD working group report that authorized interrogation techniques amounting to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. Sen. Graham indicated that, contrary to Mr. Haynes' testimony, the JAGs have told him that they were utterly marginalized and that the process was "a sham." Pressing his point yesterday at an Armed Services Committee hearing on what Congress ought to do with the Supreme Court's Hamdan decision, Sen. Graham got public confirmation of that assertion: The head of the Air Force JAGs testified that neither he nor any other Air Force JAG was ever given a chance to review the working group report prior to its April 4, 2003 approval date, and in fact, never saw a copy until 14 months later -- after the Abu Ghraib scandal broke.

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