South Carolina's The State reported yesterday that Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has successfully thwarted the Fourth Circuit nomination of William J. Haynes, II, who infamously contributed to memos "justifying the use of water-boarding, sleep deprivation, stress positions and other aggressive interrogation techniques on detainees." Invoking a little theme language ("gun" and "kill," for example) to make its point, the authors quoted conservative activist Sean Rushton and Haynes' dad as, uh, witnesses to the "homicide." Of course, as we noted in a post on the subject, Haynes' nomination is not actually dead, since the president is free to renominate him once the Senate returns from its recess.
In the interest of appearing balanced, perhaps, The State did mention the support Graham has enjoyed for bucking his party, much of it from military lawyers and other senior officers, like retired admiral and former judge advocate general of the Navy John Hutson. Hutson is one of 19 retired military officers who signed a letter to Judiciary Committee Chair Arlen Specter opposing the Haynes nomination. Hutson told The State, "Senator Graham is doing exactly what he was elected to do and constitutionally is required to do. ... If he is voting his conscience, then that's what we want U.S. senators to do. We don't want them to just automatically follow the party line. I admire him for it."