Today’s Wall Street Journal has an excellent editorial on former Pentagon Counsel Jim Haynes, who would be an appeals court judge right now if it weren’t for the vendett-based opposition of South Carolina quasi-Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, backed by John McCain playing Skipper to Graham’s version of Gilligan’s evil twin.
Short version: Haynes approached his job thoughtfully, carefully weighing the need for information from terrorists against the legal and moral standards that should apply to interrogations. It is no less than I reported in these two columns in 2006, and in many subsequent blog entries, The WSJ today rightly blames lib Carl Levin for his hearings attempting to smear Haynes and the administration — and Levin does NOT deserve to be let off the hook. But again, the real tragedy is that Haynes isn’t already a judge. Anyway, the WSJ editorial gives a much-needed defense of Haynes, who was blitzed last week by one of the nastiest snark columns ever by a pathetically informed Dana Milbank (but I repeat myself), who was so high up on his moral high horse that his back pockets were serving as the horse’s blinkers. Milbank, who with each passing column tries even harder to become the male version of Snark Queen Maureen Dowd — which means, inevitably, that he becomes more vapid and less substantive, as well as less fair or moored in reality each time — does not even begin to consider any of the relevant facts or background that I or the WSJ have pointed out.
Again, Haynes acted honorably, decently, thoughtfully, diligently and, yes, judiciously. The nation was protected, and the end result of Haynes’ actions were a set of interrogation methods that anybody with half a brain would recognize as being reasonable. Or almost anybody. Graham clearly has at least half a brain — which leaves him no good excuse whatsoever for his perfidy.
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