Priorities for next Attorney General

The World

One big reason the Department’s reputation has been sullied is its role in authorizing the interrogation techniques that have been criticized as torture. This human rights analyst says a completely new tone needs to be set from the top. She says that includes revoking the Justice Department memos that authorized torture. This analyst agrees. He says the new attorney general will play a role in deciding what of those materials and memos become public as well. It’s not clear how aggressive the Obama administration will be about revising or revoking past decisions, but this analyst is expecting any decisions will be less dramatic than organizations like the ACLU might want them to be. Holder already has some experiences with terrorism from working with the Clinton Administration. Holder was at the Justice Department at a watershed moment in counterterrorism policy during the Clinton administration when Clinton decided we need to go after these people. He says that experience will no doubt play into the way Holder assesses how to deal with the detainees at Guantanamo Bay. So far perception is that Holder would be a solid pick for the job of Attorney General.

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