WH Withdraws Torture Judge Nominee

The White House is ending its push to make a federal judge out of the senior Pentagon lawyer who crafted his department’s controversial interrogation policies — and allegedly coerced other senior officials to support the measures.

William J. Haynes II won’t get to be a federal appeals court judge after all, according to anonymous Republican sources for USA Today. Facing a Democratic-controlled Senate approval process, the White House appears to be picking its battles.

Haynes wrote the Pentagon’s infamous 2002 policies endorsing physical and mental duress on terror prisoners, and reportedly cut top military lawyers out of the loop if they were likely to object.

When the Senate undertook pre-election legislation to authorize torture and endorse those policies last fall, Haynes allegedly coerced several senior military law officials into signing a letter which appeared to express support for the measure.