A year ago, I ran the story: Barack Obama Picks a Bajan for Post of Attorney General. A year later, Eric Holder is the forefront of the news. He is regarded as one of the most influential men in America, and his decision to bring the 9-11 suspects to trial in New York has rattled many people. (see Eric Holder’s Profile on WhoRunsGov.com)

 

Reuters, 13 Nov 2009: Sept. 11 suspects to be tried in New York

Civil liberties advocates hailed the decision to transfer the men to criminal courts but Republicans lashed out, arguing that bringing them to U.S. soil could make New York a magnet for new attacks and that the men deserved military trials.

Obama’s decision opened him to risks — should the prosecutions fail, or if it prompts further attacks, it could anger the victims’ families and prompt a public backlash.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder expressed confidence that the cases were strong and said the trials would not be impaired by the harsh interrogations of Mohammed and others.

Miami Herald, 11/11/09: The Guantánamo developments

Attorney General Eric Holder has announced a series of developments in the Obama administration’s bid to shut down the prison camps at Guantánamo, chief among them plans for a 9/11 trial in New York City.

Here are the highlights:

The Pentagon’s military commission case against five captives accused of mass murder in the Sept. 11, 2001 will be withdrawn. New charges and a new federal trial will take place in New York City.

Eric Holder’s Profile on WhoRunsGov.com

Holder was raised in Elmhurst, Queens, by his father, a real-estate agent who emigrated from Barbados, and his mother, a secretary for his parish priest.

At age 37, Holder moved on to just his second job after law school. President Ronald Reagan nominated him to become an associate judge of the D.C. Superior Court.

Others, especially Republicans, question Holder’s decision to help President Bill Clinton pardon longtime fugitive Marc Rich on the last day of Clinton’s presidency. Even Holder thought he would never return to public service after he was plagued by the scandal in 2001. “I’m done,” he pronounced after congressional hearings investigating the Rich pardon. “Public life’s over for me. I had a moment in time. That moment has passed.”

In 2004, Holder met Obama at a dinner party hosted by former White House aide Anne Walker Marchange, niece of Clinton friend Vernon Jordan. In the spring of 2007, shortly after announcing his presidential campaign, Obama asked Holder to join him. Holder served as a legal adviser and strategist and led Obama’s vice presidential search committee. After Obama won the presidency, he appointed Holder to be the first black Attorney General of the United States.