Lawyers target ex-Bush official
In an attempt to win sanctions against a former top Bush administration official over brutal interrogations of prisoners at Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib, a lawyers group deployed a strategy Monday that worked against Presidents Nixon and Clinton.
Former Defense Department General Counsel William J. Haynes II is the first of several former policymakers the National Lawyers Guild wants reprimanded, suspended or disbarred for their roles in detainee abuse, said Carlos Villarreal, executive director of the San Francisco Bay Area guild chapter that filed a complaint against Haynes with the State Bar of California.
Haynes, now an attorney with Chevron Corp. in San Ramon, “breached his duty as a lawyer” in providing legal cover for U.S. soldiers and federal agents to use dogs, nudity, stress positions and other humiliating tactics to break down terror suspects, the guild alleged.
Haynes did not return requests for comment.
Robert Hawley, deputy executive director of the state bar, said he couldn’t speak to any active case.
But he recalled that President Clinton lost his Arkansas bar license for five years because of charges of perjury in the Monica Lewinsky scandal and that President Nixon was facing charges before the California bar when he resigned.
“It doesn’t matter who you are. If you’re a lawyer and you’re licensed and you violate licensing standards, your licensing jurisdiction will pursue it,” Hawley said.
A similar complaint is being prepared in Pennsylvania against former Justice Department lawyer John C. Yoo, the UC Berkeley law professor who is currently a visiting professor at Chapman University School of Law in Orange, for his role in drafting the legal guidelines that approved enhanced interrogation techniques including waterboarding.--