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In the wake of Donald Rumsfeld’s resignation as secretary of defense last week, the rumor mill is churning about the future of William Haynes II, the Pentagon’s general counsel. It’s expected that President George W. Bush’s chosen replacement for the job, former CIA Director Robert Gates, will want to bring in his own deputies. And Haynes, in particular, has been a lightning rod for criticism, given his key role in the authorization of the harshest and most legally questionable interrogation techniques of detainees at Guant�namo Bay and other Defense Department facilities. That role has already kept Haynes from getting one job he’d sought � that of judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit. First nominated to the bench in Bush’s first term, Haynes has seen his nomination blocked repeatedly in the Senate; it was again returned to the White House this fall. If he goes, Haynes, a sometime racquetball partner of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, could land back at his former law firm, Jenner & Block. But it’s perhaps more likely that he’ll follow the path of former Deputy Attorney General James Comey (who is now at Lockheed Martin Corp.) and former 4th Circuit Judge J. Michael Luttig (at Boeing Co.) from public service to a high-powered legal job at one of the nation’s top defense contractors. Haynes did not return a call, and a Pentagon spokesman said he had not heard whether Haynes would be staying. Jason McLure can be contacted at [email protected]

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