Controversial Pentagon Official Resigns

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Last week, Col. Morris Davis, the former prosecutor told reporters that he’d had a conversation with the Pentagon’s general counsel William Haynes, during which Haynes had said about the Gitmo tribunals that “We can’t have acquittals, we’ve got to have convictions.”

It made Haynes, already a controversial figure because of his role crafting the Pentagon’s interrogation policies, even more controversial. Davis said that he resigned when he was put under Haynes’ chain of command.

And now Haynes is gone.

A press release this afternoon from the Department of Defense:

The Department of Defense announced today that General Counsel of the Department of Defense William J. Haynes II is returning to private life next month.

Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates said of Haynes, “I am sorry to see Jim leave the Pentagon. I have valued his legal advice and enjoyed working with him. Jim held this important post longer than anyone in history and he did so during one of America’s most trying periods. He has served the Department of Defense and the nation with distinction.”

Said Haynes, “I thank the President and the Secretary of Defense for their confidence and for the opportunity to serve. I leave the Pentagon humbled and inspired by the selfless sacrifices of the men and women, uniformed and civilian, who defend our country. And, I thank their families.”

Haynes had already tried to move out of the Pentagon once — the White House nominated him to be a federal appeals court judge, a nomination that ultimately failed due to Democratic opposition.