NPR logo Eric Holder Tells Us How Obama Would Handle Gitmo And More

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Eric Holder Tells Us How Obama Would Handle Gitmo And More

Former Deputy Attorney General Eric Holder is President-elect Barack Obama's top choice to be the next attorney general. Susan Walsh, Associated Press hide caption

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Susan Walsh, Associated Press

Amid the news that President-elect Obama has decided to nominate Eric Holder as attorney general, let's take a look back at Farai Chideya's interview with Holder, as he talks about some of the issues facing the nation's next top law enforcement official.

Holder on the future of Guantanamo Bay:

"Well, I think the utility of Guantanamo has long since passed. It is a place now that has given, I think, this nation a black eye around the world. It has an impact on our ability to interact with our allies. It certainly gives fuel to our adversaries, who would say that we are a nation that is not governed by law. And so I think the need for it to be closed and to come up with alternatives is pretty clear."

On overhauling the Justice Department:

"When you look at the other issues that I think the next president is going to have to deal with, chief among them is going to be trying to revitalize and remake a Justice Department that has been really sullied in the last four, eight years or so by people who tried to politicize. And I want to make very clear, I am excluding the present Attorney General [Michael Mukasey], who I think is doing a good job, as well the people who served as Deputy Attorneys General, who I also think have done a good job. But other people at the Justice Department have not necessarily done what has always happened under Republican and Democratic administrations, where the Department has essentially been seen as something not political, and really kind of left to its own. That was not the case in this past administration."

On investigating corporate malfeasance:

"Well, I think some really intense, vigorous investigation needs to be done to see if any laws were broken. We're facing the greatest economic calamity since the Great Depression and to the extent people have done anything — either by fraud, conspiracy or broken any federal laws — I think that needs to be uncovered, and people need to be held accountable. The United States taxpayers are going to be paying substantial amounts of money for a good many years in order to make this thing better and to prevent this thing from getting worse. And to the extent that people have profited illegally, or done things illegally, they need to be found out and they need to be prosecuted. And I think that should be a priority for the next Attorney General."

Read the rest. If confirmed, Holder would be the country's first African-American attorney general.