Defense Department General Counsel William Haynes has resigned after a disclosure by the former chief prosecutor for the Guantanamo military commissions, Col. Morris Davis, involving Haynes’ view of the true function of the military trials: to blindly impose guilty verdicts. Davis revealed that Haynes insisted that the military tribunals only produce convictions and no acquittals — leading to the demand of various military lawyers to be transferred. Haynes is the very same person that the White House and GOP fought to be made a federal judge.
Davis recently recalled how Haynes confronted him after he noted that in 2005 that there was a chance that some detainees could be acquitted:
“I said to him that if we come up short and there are some acquittals in our cases, it will at least validate the process. At which point, (Haynes’) eyes got wide and he said, ‘Wait a minute, we can’t have acquittals. If we’ve been holding these guys for so long, how can we explain letting them get off? We can’t have acquittals, we’ve got to have convictions.'”
Three prosecutors, Maj. Robert Preston, Capt. John Carr and Capt. Carrie Wolf, asked to be transferred from the Office of Military Commissions in 2004, saying they had been told the process was rigged, Davis said.
For that story, click here.
Haynes has long been a central figure in the torture and detainee scandals. His years to blind loyalty to Bush (over any commitment to the law) led to the award of a nomination for an appellate judgeship. There were collective howls of opposition from lawyers across the country, but Bush officials and GOP activists insisted that Haynes was the perfect candidate to mete out justice from one of our highest courts. Click here
Even after a filibuster, Bush renominated Haynes as his ideal of a judge. Haynes eventually asked Bush to withdraw his nomination but stayed on at the Defense Department.