Advancing a Free Society

Eric Holder’s Surprise

Monday, November 15, 2010

This article in GQ has generated a fair bit of unfavorable buzz about Attorney General Eric Holder. The article is, in my judgment, rather unfair–both to Holder and to the Bush administration folks who preceded him. By magnifying the villainy of the latter and accepting the critique of them by civil libertarians at face value, it makes incomprehensible Holder’s various decisions not to prosecute them and, in key areas, not to break with their substantive judgments. For reasons I won’t rehash here, a lot of this is bunk. The continuity was both predictable and (at least by some of us) predicted. And Holder and the people under him deserve no more opprobrium for these judgments than they deserve attacks from the Right for the areas in which they have broken with the past.

That said, there are a few very interesting details in the article and, there is at least one completely arresting–and rather disturbing–quotation from Holder himself.

Continue reading Benjamin Wittes at Lawfare