William Haynes II is a senior lawyer in Chevron's general counsel office. But up until a few months ago, he was the Pentagon lawyer who helped authorize and craft a policy of torturing people detained by the American military. Yesterday, members of the Senate Armed Services Committee called him in to testify about when and how he approved the use of dogs, nudity, and other techniques during interrogations. And wouldn't you know it, one of the sharpest legal minds in the country suddenly can't remember a thing! According to the WaPo's Dana Milbank, Haynes gave the following answers to questions from the public's elected representatives:
"I don't recall seeing this memorandum before and I'm not even sure this is one I've seen before. . . . I don't recall seeing this memorandum and I don't recall specific objections of this nature. . . . Well, I don't recall seeing this document, either. . . . I don't recall specific concerns. . . . I don't recall these and I don't recall seeing these memoranda. . . . I can't even read this document, but I don't remember seeing it. . . . I don't recall that specifically. . . . I don't remember doing that. . . . I don't recall seeing these things."
"It was an impressive performance, to be sure," Milbank marveled. "But let's see him try to do that with a hood over his head, standing on a crate with wires attached to his arms."