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February 25, 2008


"...since using their nests as a bombing range would minimize 'human intrusion'.

You have to admit that that's an accurate claim, though. Bombs aren't human, and people do tend to avoid bird-watching on bombing ranges.

Also, mine fields.

I think the conclusion we can draw from that memo is that we should mine and bomb all areas where "birds" are spotted, so as to do our utmost to protect these "birds" from human contact, and simultaneously to make all bird species as rare as possible, thus increasing the watch-value of each remaining bird.

Win-win-win all 'round. If you can't see this, it's only because you are a communist Mexican Muslim confused by the czarina's communist lies and your Muslim garb.

As someone who served as Special Assistant to a far different General Counsel at DoD many years ago, I am absolutely appalled by Haynes. As one small example, I can remember debating whether it would be a violation of the Posse Comitatus Act if DoD offered aid and manpower following a large civilian disaster in the US. Obviously there are no niceties left. I join in your celebration.

hilzoy, I have to say that I don't know anyone who is better at slicing and dicing someone while having such a smile on your face that even the victim probably doesn't mind.

When did Congress Declare War?
What country's army are we fighting?
What uniform does that army wear?

Congress authorized the use of force. We'll never have a prisoner of war because we're not fighting the Army of a country.

“A war between Christian and Christian was mild, prisoners were treated with humanity; but warned His Excellency [Tripoli], a war between Muslim and Christian could be horrible.”
-Abdrahaman to John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, 1786, McCullough

Abdrahaman was right. The idea of consulting lawyers (even those with the legal opinions of Mr. Haynes II) during wartime is laughable to the Umma, and I’m sure some of them are dancing tonight as well. How have they treated American and Israeli prisoners? The answer is mutilation and having an IED shoved into your body cavity for the rescue party. The prisoners in Guantanamo are getting fat on their special meals.

If the United States wants to maintain it’s precious ‘moral high ground’, the only answer is to withdraw to remote bases or just leave. Allow the ethnic, secretarian, tribal, racial, and economic fissures within the Islamic world work against each other to keep that area of the world in check. Set their religious doctrine against themselves.

During the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq (Shia-Sunni) War, oil prices dropped, the Jihad was kept in check, and hundreds of billions of dollars were drained from Middle Eastern treasuries. Our present action is having the exact opposite effect. It is idiocy. And we’re getting our hands dirty in the process.

Let them get on with it. Have them vote us out if it makes people sleep better.

On the other hand, I think that it is a terrible thing that liberals attempt to take away America's right to defend itself, and to prosecute those people that will attempt to protect ourselves against our enemies. This is the thing that we disagree on. America is not ecil, certainly nort more evil than its enemies, And not more evil than those we tolerate.

DaveC: as you know, I do not want to take away America's right to defend itself, nor do any liberals I know. I don't see why you go on talking as though we do.

And Bil: the Umma might laugh (I don't think they would, certainly not all of them), but to that I can only say: well, I'm not them.

"...is laughable to the Umma"

There's no "Umma" of Muslim countries or populations, all of like mind, coordinating reactions, let alone a war against the infidels. It's a fantasy of the militant extremists: why do you propagandize for their delusional worldview, Bill?

Moreover, even if there were such an ominous and threatening massive Umma, why we would want to be guided by their opinions, any more than we cared what the Nazis thought of our rule of law, and our constitution and its guarantees, and changed them in accordance with what they thought?

Moreover, encouraging wars pretty much generally tends to come back to bite people in the ass, even setting aside it being a moral evil in itself. It rarely tends to work out well for anyone in the long run, and almost always has unforseen consequences.

Moreover, relatively few Muslims are interested in committing violence, as witness even Pakistan, and the recent elections, and the near total rejection of the militant parties. Does any of that enter your consciousness at all?

No intent to suggest you are Hilzoy. We share Swedish socialist heritage (although I’ve strayed a bit) and, I’d like to think the same ideals.

The only answer I can come with is a separation of the belief systems. Talked to a woman from Malmo not long ago. Things just don’t seem to be working.

Gary, that's a rhetorical question, right?

Because I presume that you've read as many of Bill's contributions here as I have, and whatever does enter his consciousness, it's safe to say it's not any of what you just mentioned.

And I think it's safe to say that anyone whose response to this post by Hilzoy is nothing but that... well, it's not a good use of your time to try to engage him in discussion.

Hilzoy: I don't know if it's accurate to say we're being trolled, because Bill may well be sincere, but I don't see that it matters. I've never been as repulsed and depressed by any comments on ObWi, no matter how hostile, as I am by his; I'm sorry that his outwardly polite style allows him to remain here, and tempts people to try to argue with him. I'm not particularly a fan of Islam, but I don't see any difference between Bill's little poison pills and any other kind of vile bigotry based on religion or race or sex or geography.

Is there a way to respect ObWi's determination to welcome diverse opinions that doesn't result in every thread being sprinkled with outtakes from Little Green Footballs?

"Talked to a woman from Malmo not long ago. Things just don’t seem to be working."

What, in Sweden generally?

Bill, if that's what you're actually saying -- and apologies if I'm misunderstanding you -- then you're deeply misinformed; a few bits of random opinion from a single person, that confirms your prejudices, is not a substitute for spending half an hour doing genuine research into objective sources. You have the whole internet available to you; there's no good reason to speak up on issues without a little fact-checking first, to see that one doesn't go embarrassingly wrong.

"Wrong" such as suggesting that Swedes are generally unhappy with their system of government, or that many believe that "things just don’t seem to be working," that is.


Pakistan just blocked YouTube for "blasphemous content, videos and documents". YouTube has been pretty good at censoring content.


First, I join you virtually in your happy dance.
And thanks for that extraordinary, unbelievable-outside-the-comedy-club legal note. The judge was much too discreet. He shoulda locked him up in a strait jacket then and there. Can we be certain he’s sane¿ Sociopaths everywhere.
The more illumination we can get, the sooner the nightmare will be over.
I guess it might be a bit like that for the Bitterguys (we’ve all been young, right?) Here I was all set to join in the spirit of festivity bubbling away before the Brothers Grinch made their appearance, but I fell myself into the well of excoriation. Blub. Blub.
Anyway big smiling YES, & beautifully composed commentary.
Thanks again.
What times.

Right, that was my other intended comment.
Have other people been noticing how George has been remaking the US in Pakistan’s image? You can see why he might feel he has a personal stake in Musharraf’s retaining power. If Musharraf can fall, who can hope for safety?
Geez. Be very careful with cornered rats. Eyes open, tendons ready. Alert. I’d think we have a good chance to effect a proper ratcatching.
O I hope I hope.

It was not my intent to draw this off-topic. My point was that if we insist on engaging the Islamic world by Western legal standards, the men on the line pay the price.

And that’s not right. Even if it makes us feel better.

Good night.

I second the thanks for reposting that bird case. "The Court hopes that the federal government will refrain from making or adopting such frivolous arguments in the future" should be printed at the top of all the White House letterhead.

Never, ever underestimate the long memories of angry birders.

I forget which birding magazine I read about that in, but when I saw Haynes' name in the torture memo stories, I thought: no, it can't be. And checked. And it was.

Yay for the internet archive. Once on the web, always on the web:


(that's the bird watching brief)

My point was that if we insist on engaging the Islamic world by Western legal standards, the men on the line pay the price.

What part of "hope for the best, prepare for the worst" don't you understand?

These are human beings we're talking about. You're not treating them as human beings--and by doing so, YOU'RE ACTING JUST LIKE THEM.

We can do better. YOU can do better.

We can do better. YOU can do better.

“These terrorist/insurgents know the rules as well as they did in Iraq. They’re not their rules. They’re our rules, the rules of Western countries, the civilized side of the world. And every terrorist knows how to manipulate them in his own favor.”

What do you do for a living gwangung?

Gwangung, I don't care what you do for a living, but I regret to inform you that you appear to be mistaken.

Bill, it seems, cannot do better.

What do you do for a living gwangung?

If the implication is that gwangung is somehow a terrorist supporter because of his employment, this seems to be coming pretty close to a line that I don't think comments should be getting close to.

Jacob Rus: Thank you!

Refusing to convict the innocent along with the guilty does not constitute being manipulated by terrorists.

I had read the birding case before, but on rereading it I found a reference to another amazing bit of Haynes' argument that I hadn't noticed before. The argument is about whether a birder, who goes to nearby islands to birdwatch, has standing to sue, on the grounds that he is injured by the Navy killing birds. From p. 24 (emphasis in original):

"Defendants’ suggestion that standing requires proof that “every migratory bird of every species on FDM visits every other island in the 500 mile chain of the CNMI, including the four islands Mr. Frew visited,” is totally unsupported by standing precedent."

-- He argued that? Wow.

I wish you all a good night. Thoughts with those walking the streets.

Okay, this is fun and stuff, but I have to raise a voice in (very limited) defense of Haynes.

As General Counsel to the DoD, he signs off on dozens if not hundreds of briefs every month. It's very unlikely he actually wrote that one. Yes, the arguments were stupid, but people make stupid arguments in legal briefs all the time -- you throw stuff and hope it sticks, especially if your case is weak. And sometimes (as the lawyers here know) your client insists.

So, it's very unlikely Haynes wrote this silly brief, and even if he did it doesn't much reflect on him. I'd move to dismiss, counsel.

BTW, I have a nodding acquaintance with the case. There's an interesting political backstory. The DoD was using Farallon de Medinilla (FDM), an uninhabited island, as a bombing range. FDM is part of the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands (CNMI), which is a US Commonwealth (like Puerto Rico).

The CNMI government didn't care about the bombing as such, but they refused to grant DoD a permit to "take" (kill) the FDM birds. Why? Because they wanted the threat of a lawsuit as a bargaining chip with DoD in other discussions, especially about military land elsewhere in the CNMI (the island of Tinian).

So both sides were pretty annoyed when the damn environmentalists showed up and upset their delicate negotiations by filing a lawsuit saying the DoD had no right to bomb a wildlife sanctuary.

(How do I know this? I used to live in the CNMI.)

Final thought: getting Haynes kept off the federal bench was a victory. This... well, there are thousands of Hayneses out there, you know.

Doug M.

Rrring, Rrring..


Hey Bill, there's a call for you on line 146.

Some guy named Nietzsche.
He said something about an abyss that's looking for you.

I wish you all a good night. Thoughts with those walking the streets.

What, you mean hookers? Well, a man's free to fantasise about what he wants, but you don't have to share it with the rest of us.

So why is DaveC not banned yet, again?

Not fair. I’m happy to imagine Bill was hoping to convey courtesy and (I honestly don’t think I’m pushing it) respect.
Bill is human too, just like those incomprehensible Muslims of all races. He just forgets the height of Arabic civilization back when Europeans were little more than what we would call savages. To which Arabs we owe our Plato and Aristotle; during our Dark Ages Ibn-al-Nafis was performing the first exploration of the circulatory system. And whole big bunches of other things. Algebra is kind of transparently a word derived from Arabic.
Blind raving savages all.
We call it projection. Kind of an empathy turned cancerous and too painful to examine.

And withal, courtesy (for which you may recall desert cultures are noted) is a mark of civilization, enabling people to work together with a measure of (yes, sometimes misplaced) trust. Sticking out my neck a tad, I suggest that law lays down the enabling groundwork for courtesy.

One other note on the political backstory: the environmentalists won summary judgment, but before the judge could order injunctive relief, Congress acted.

In the Defense Authorization Act of 2003, Congress passed a special exception allowing the DoD to use Farallon de Medinilla for bombing, notwithstanding the Migratory Wildlife Act. This was supposed to be a temporary, one-year-only thing, but I believe it's been renewed in subsequent acts. Certainly the bombing is still going on.

In fairness to the DoD, there aren't that many small Pacific islands suitable for bombing practice. Anything much smaller than Farallon de Medinillas (1.5 square miles) is inconveniently small, and anything bigger is probably inhabited.

But anyway: this might tend to explain why the DoD filed a crappy brief -- they may just have been litigating as a delaying action until Congress could give them an exemption to the Migratory Wildlife Act.

Doug M.

Yep: bombing birds' nesting grounds is good for the birds, and for birdwatchers too! Who knew?

We bomb them over there so that we don’t have to bomb them over here. Did you miss the point that these are migratory birds? We can’t manage to stop people at the border – you think we can control which birds are getting into the country? You think I want them to have to carpet bomb Assateague to clear out a bunch of them? NIMBY sister. Besides, I’ll bet they are on a deck of cards for identification purposes so you know they are evil. Fregata minor? Sula dactylatra? Gygis alba? Phaethon rubricauda? With names like that you just know they are some bada**es. Why the average American can’t even pronounce those names. Besides – they taste like chicken.

Is there a way to respect ObWi's determination to welcome diverse opinions that doesn't result in every thread being sprinkled with outtakes from Little Green Footballs?


this can do wonders. people can have all the crazy opinions they can manage to stuff into their bony little heads, and they can shout about them till they burst their lungs, but to me, they're only talking about pie.

"if we insist on engaging the Islamic world by Western legal standards, the men on the line pay the price."

Well, yes. That's their job! They're called to "defend freedom and the American way," not to reject the American way in favor of something easier. Yes, of course they pay the price.

OT - speaking of crazy wingnut lawyers, I believe this marriage is one of the signs of the apocalypse. But all the best to them.

"May William Haynes enjoy a pleasant retirement as far away from the law as it is possible to be. "
On a chain gang.

As General Counsel to the DoD, he signs off on dozens if not hundreds of briefs every month.

Doug M., that's true, but signing a brief is not just a formality, or shouldn't be to a decent lawyer. It attests that the arguments in the brief are made in good faith and are not, for example, "frivolous."

Just because there's no appellate counterpart to Rule 11 doesn't mean that anything goes.

(For law nerds, I see that Judge Easterbrook thinks that FRCP 11 does cover appellate briefs -- 782 F.2d 1151, 1153 -- but that seems to ignore FRCP 1, which expressly confines the scope to proceedings in district courts. Even Homer nods.)

I take this as evidence that Robert Gates is beginning to return to some semblance of normalcy post-Rumsfeld. He's been pretty good overall thus far, and very, very good by Bush administration standards.

I think he's even gonna keep us out of Iran.

"They're called to "defend freedom and the American way," not to reject the American way in favor of something easier. Yes, of course they pay the price."

Speaking of which, during the last debate Obama said something that I was sorely disappointed in. He said that as CiC his #1 job was to protect the American people. Now I don't think that his idea of "protection" is the same as Bush's/McCain's, but it does play right into their theme.

His #1 job isn't to protect the American people, it's to defend the Constitution and American ideals. I really wish that Obama had said this and then said that the defense of those things are the best protection of the American people.

“These terrorist/insurgents know the rules as well as they did in Iraq. They’re not their rules. They’re our rules, the rules of Western countries, the civilized side of the world. And every terrorist knows how to manipulate them in his own favor.”

And we're too stupid to know that? And we're too stupid to manipulate the rules in our favor as well?

Your limitations are not OUR limitations.


I think I like Bill. I can read his posts without them raising my blood pressure at all. That is already doing better than most people can manage in a politically unfriendly comments thread.

With all due respect and politeness, I'm darned if I can see a legitimate difference between Bill and Osama bin Laden, other than opportunity.

Doug M: getting Haynes kept off the federal bench was a victory. This... well, there are thousands of Hayneses out there, you know.

True. The Hayneses currently seeded throughout the judicial system under Reagan, H.W., and W. is one basis for my deep pessismism and dread about the next several decades.

On the other hand, if you don't celebrate the victories, even minor ones, you go mad.

While we're being all fair-minded and such, too: Even though he's a member of the Fraud Caucus and someone who's on the wrong side of things 99% of the time, Lindsey Graham gets a share of the credit for keeping Haynes out of a lifetime job on the federal bench. [The bulk of the credit goes to the JAGs and former JAGs who lobbied Graham as one of their own.]

And thanks very much, Doug, for the political backstory.

Applause also for comments of OCSteve at 8:31 and James Wimberley at 9:36.

The sad thing is that Col. Morris Davis resigned in protest of Haynes' appointment. What a shame that someone of his character isn't still involved in this mess. Sure, it's great Haynes is gone, but it's people like Davis we need in there.

Good riddance to William Haynes. Wish he had left seven years ago.

@kurzbein: The political show trials "mess" is such a shameful undertaking that it requires people of character to shun it. Participation will not improve the process, only stain the participants.

To the extent that Col. Davis' resignation helped get rid of Haynes, it was well worth the sacrifice.

This entire, appalling show-trial setup needs to be dismantled, with the active participation of the cowardly Democrats who permitted it to go forward. Sens. Brown, Stabenow, Menendez and others: Feeble gestures at recovering habeas corpus won't cut it.

"Even though he's a member of the Fraud Caucus"

The problem with using ingroup names is that most people don't know what you're talking about then (which isn't a great way to persuade anyone not already persuaded). I have no idea what "the Fraud Caucus" refers to; could you put it in terms I'd recognize, please?

(Someday I may find out what "the Village" is, too, but meanwhile, please don't tell me; I prefer to maintain perspective on language that is incomprehensible to everyone who doesn't already fanatically follow the usages of a handful of writers. Nothing personal intended, Nell, and my apologies for venting; this sort of thing has always bugged me; I think it's an inadvisable practice for political bloggers, useful as shorthand is with those one is already in full agreement with.)

Yeah, don't ban Bill or DaveC., for crying out loud.

I mean, look, if birds persist in nesting on a bombing range, who are we to make them go elsewhere? Plus, it takes the fun out of the bombing. I view it as target practice so I can keep my chops fresh for fouler fowl.

Not that Bill or DaveC. are foul in any way, but sometimes I forget to put my safety on, and the feathers fly. ;)

To switch species, they are like those little fish who live in the mouths of the big fish.

Besides, DaveC. is merely doing a fly-by to lure the we birdwatchers over to TIO, where the birds shoot back. He's a little like Daffy Duck. Just when you think you have a bead on him, you notice he's standing beside you looking at you through the wrong end of the binoculars, his shotgun fully cocked, and there's a picture of you in a thought-bubble above his head with a puzzled look on your face, and you have the body of a fully cooked turkey.

I'm a little like Napoleon Dynamite -- all I really want to know about chickens is "Do they have talons?"

I have to admit William J. Haynes discombobulates even my confused neural pathways. He forges a perfect unity between absolute absurdity and perfect rationality.

He confirms my sense that it's not me who needs the little pills, it's the world at large that should be medicated and put under close observation, because being crazy is the only way to remain sane.

He's like a roundtable discussion between Yossarian, Emmanual Kant, and the early Beatles, with General Ripper as moderator, all wearing little sock puppets that look like Samuel Beckett but sound like Groucho Marx.

Dick Cheney, James Audobon, and Big Bird walk into a bar. A rabbi bartender dressed as a chicken takes a gun out and shoots the pelican minding his own business at a far table. Big Bird asks: "What's the special today?"

Free-bombing-range chickens: counter-intuitive but tender.

If Terry Schiavo had ivory tusks, think how the calculus might have been different for everyone, especially Tom Delay, who might have thought up a market solution involving Terry Schiavo seasonal hunting licenses. Then again, I might have decided a Terry Schiavo Sanctuary would have been in order, because I don't how anyone could kill Terry Schiavo just for the ivory. William Haynes would have said get her to a bombing range, where she'll be safe.

If one of the endangered highland gorillas suddenly began painting one perfect Van Gogh per week while Van Gogh was alive, would Theo Van Gogh have saved the gorilla's letters? Would Vincent have decided there was no point in cutting off his ear? Or would he cut off the gorilla's ear? If the gorilla painted the masterpieces today, would Van Gogh collectors become gorilla hunters on account of the former's depreciating collections, or would Diane Fossey call in an airstrike on the gorilla sanctuary and begin quietly buying up depreciated Van Goghs on the open market, incentives being what they are?

If the last individual of the human species was vivisectioned and posed in a glass case at the Smithsonian, would millions of dodo bird visitors (were they not extinct) feel at all wistful that the aeronautical wing of the museum would lose its funding?

If a terrorist hiding behind an old woman carrying a baby prohibited civilized people from shooting the terrorist because the victims' lives were sacrosanct under the rules of war, how is it that the deaths by collatoral damage of an old woman and a baby 1000 yards from the terrorist, who has been taken out by an airstrike, elicit little more than a mildly regretful shrug of the shoulders by the same folks who felt so strongly about the value of the victims lives while the terrorist was hiding directly behind them.

Inquiring minds probably need to be medicated for fear of the answers.

If Terry Schiavo had ivory tusks


beautiful !

RE: Terry Schiavo

I've said this before, but I seem to have lucked into being out of the country for the whole Terry Schiavo madness.

It's good to know that we don't have to worry about global warming because we will just appreciate that much more the dwindling part of the biosphere that remains unaffected.

"It's good to know that we don't have to worry about global warming because we will just appreciate that much more the dwindling part of the biosphere that remains unaffected."

All part of the plan.

Thullen delivers. How, sir, do you not have your own blog, or at least a guest spot a Sadly, No?

Froomkin links right back.

Little bleg that came up over at the Volokh thread on Haynes:

I thought that Susan Crawford was the "convening authority" according to Col. Davis's op-ed explaining why he quit.

The Nation article has Haynes as overseeing both prosecution & defense, which is what I thought the convening authority does.

Anyone got anything on whether Haynes was indeed overseeing both sides as the Nation reported?

this title is a little wasted here...

Wicked White Witch of the West = Hillary

might be better as the Wizard of Oz....

I could not agree more with your final paragraph, Hilzoy. I'd also recommend the New Yorker article on Alberto Mora from a few years back. The Cheney gang lie even to people supposedly on their own team.

Anderson, yes. See Horton, who has much more on this:



"this title is a little wasted here...

might be better as the Wizard of Oz...."

Or maybe "Haynes' Briefs."

Thanks, Batocchio! Just what I needed!

Gary, thanks for inquiring what I meant by 'Fraud Caucus'. Agreed that the use of someone else's shorthand can be distancing and doesn't tend to persuade. But sometimes, especially in comments at someone else's blog, I'm not a "political blogger" trying to persuade anyone, just a woman expressing herself. And I don't think that the substantive point of my comment was seriously diminished by my use of the phrase.

But your question deserves an answer. I'm mellowed out enough by the belly laughs from John T's post, a living argument that persuasion is not the only point of blog commenting, that I'll do so without further defensiveness.

The Fraud Caucus is the group of supposedly moderate Republicans who've presented symbolic opposition to Bush policies, but who have gone along enthusiastically with the program when the substantive chips are down. John Warner, Lindsey Graham, and John McCain are the most prominent members of the group.

They wouldn't have been able to get away with the pose if the Democratic congressional leaders had not abdicated their responsibility to pose genuine, substantial challenges to the policies of torture, lawless indefinite detention, and endless war and occupation. (I've spent a lot of blog and commenting time on this phenomenon, as has Glenn Greenwald.)

The term is Josh Marshall's, if I remember correctly, from early 2007 when Bush was proposing the "surge". Having lobbied Warner's office repeatedly since August 2002 on the whole range of these issues, I was keenly appreciative of the term's aptness.

P.S. Strongly second Batocchio's recommendation of Jane Mayer's February 2006 article detailing Haynes' despicable behavior during the bureaucratic struggle over the treatment of prisoners. It is impossible to read it and not come to the conclusion that torture is a policy of this administration.

a guest spot a Sadly, No

I always wondered why Einstein didn't get a side job building radios.

Mm. I happened to be listening to C-Span when good ol’ Tom delivered his final speech in Congress on the occasion of the final court decision. (re Terry Schiavo re Gary, whose sentiment I loudly applaud.) For sheer appalling hypocrisy it will remain in my mind the most vivid in a lifetime, now nearly elderly, of vivid encounters with proud Christian hypocrisy.
Psst; John: Whatever drugs your on, I’m buying if you’re selling.
Agreed that John needs better light, though I’m happy he’s chosen to roost here (LOOK OUT!) but if he isn’t comfortable taking sole responsibility, maybe John&Gary’s Ice Cream Stand as a licensed subsidiary of OW?

The problem with Bill's first comment above isn't necessarily that it's racist or anti-Muslim; I'm willing to grant him the benefit of that doubt. No, the problem is that he has mistakenly conflated America's right to self-protection with the anti-Saddam mania that the Bush administration brought to the table in 2000. That madness has led to the wanton destruction of an entire nation that happened to be innocent of the crime--the 9/11 attacks--that our so-called protectors took it upon themselves to prosecute, adjudicate, and punish.

That's not self-defense; that's crimes against humanity.

Hilzoy's post is great news about Haynes' fall from grace. Unfortunately though, Jay "Torture Them" Bybee is an appellate court judge. Thanks to people like Bybee, appointed for life, the Bush Administration will continue to cause additional damage to our country for decades.

Hilzoy's post is great news about Haynes' fall from grace. Unfortunately though, Jay "Torture Them" Bybee is an appellate court judge. Thanks to people like Bybee, appointed for life, the Bush Administration will continue to cause additional damage to our country for decades.

What a vile sack of rancid shit is Haynes. As incompetent as Clarence Thomas but with twice the stupidity. As for this: "Also: "Any attempt by Congress to regulate the interrogation of unlawful combatants would violate the Constitution's sole vesting of the Commander-in-Chief authority in the President." I can only respond with this little gem from Article I of the United States Constitution: The Congress shall have the power to... To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water; Now, good People, that means that it is Congress and ONLY Congress that sets the rules on the hows and whats of prisoners captured in war. End of story. The President has ZERO authority except to carry out the rules designated by the Congress. Article I, being superior to Article II, is the only place in the Constitution where mention of prisoners of war (actually ANY captures during conflict) is made and it clearly gives sole "unitary" power over such to the Congress. Sorry Bushie, sorry Cheney, sorry Haynes, sorry Mukasey, sorry Rumsfeld, sorry Gonzales. No power at all for the Executive in this regard...except the "power" to obey all the laws and regulations established by Congress (as in Constitution, Article I: To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces; meaning ALL the government, including the Executive). There is only one answer to the last 7.5 years of hell: impeachment and war crimes tribunals, in that order.

Much thanks; most excellent, and wondering why this major datum hasn’t been in any evidence elsewhere; maybe my eyesight or omniscience has failed me. If so far from the first time. No mention that I’ve noticed at Balkinization or by Scott Horton, where I think I have a Constitutional right to expect such satisfaction.
Odd. Seems pretty crucial, not to mention definitive.
Heartfelt affirmations of your final judgment.

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