July 12th. 2006
Sent to but not published in the New York Times

The President should withdraw the nomination of William Haynes for a judicial appointment.

If appointed he will prove to be the Judge Jeffries of American jurisprudence.

He is really too stupid to serve on the bench. Unlike his military lawyer colleagues, he did not grasp that for the US to adhere to the Geneva conventions in all dealings with prisoners and detainees is not simply to protect those prisoners. American adherence to the rules also protects, or should, Americans who fall into enemy hands.

To the extent that we fail to live up to the tenets of international law, our opponents are encouraged to do likewise.

This pattern of activity by the administration, beginning in the early months of its accession to power clearly shows a contempt for international law, a contempt for the Geneva Convention (encouraged by Mr Haynes) and an arrogance that is stupefying in its stupidity. All of these decisions will come back to haunt the United States as other groups and other nations start to play by the US rules. We will come to regret the day we turned our back on the world.

The administration has taken one step in the right direction by declaring itself bound by the Geneva Conventions, let it take another by withdrawing the nomination of Mr Haynes.