Thursday, November 20, 2008

Eric Holder, Obama's pick for Attorney General

The good:

Holder also advocated closing the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, transferring the remaining prisoners to the US and adopting an "expedited and procedurally fair" review process.
The bad:
Quick! Name the veteran Department of Justice insider who, shortly after the USA Patriot Act was signed into law and at a point when the Bush administration was proposing to further erode barriers to governmental abuses, argued that dissenters should not be tolerated?

Who invoked September 11, explicitly referencing "the World Trade Center aflame," in calling for the firing of any "petty bureaucrat" who might suggest that proper procedures be followed and that the separation of powers be respected?

John Ashcroft? No.

Alberto Gonzales? No.

It was Eric Holder, the man who has reportedly been selected by President-elect Barack Obama to serve as the next Attorney General of the United States.
The ugly:
Alongside the claims that Guantánamo will be closed in a new administration, and that the sham military commissions will cease, have come proposals that Guantánamo's closure will require a radical reworking of our justice system in order to ensure that those who the government asserts need to be imprisoned will continue to be held. Frankly, this is the same assertion that in 2002 created Guantánamo for the alleged "worst of the worst," without charge or process.
Although I haven't heard anything Holder has said about a new preventive detention law, I think, given the advice Obama's getting, we can look forward to Holder figuring out new ways to hold people without charges in the name of "fighting terror."