Haynes' draft letter -- and the administration's arm-twisting -- proved too much, though. The military lawyers would only agree to sign a significantly revised letter, one that offers only tepid (and vague) support for certain sections of Bush's proposal.
Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is still in the mix, exposing the administration's strong-arm tactics and co-sponsoring a competing plan, voted favorably out of the Armed Services Committee yesterday [link]. That plan refuses to weaken American obligations under the Geneva Conventions and addresses concerns like those expressed the other day by Former Secretary of State Colin Powell:
I do not support [the administration's proposal]. ... The world is beginning to doubt the moral basis of our fight against terrorism. To redefine Common Article 3 would add to those doubts. Furthermore, it would put our own troops at risk.
Unfortunately, Mr. Haynes appears not to see things this way. Still.