Eric Holder to become first Black U.S. Attorney General

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U.S. President-elect, Barack Obama, will appoint Eric Holder as Attorney General. According to a party official the former deputy attorney general accepted Obama’s offer Wednesday. As Attorney General Eric Holder will be in charge of sensitive civil rights issues and also see to the closure of the Guantanamo Bay detention centre.

Eric Holder’s parents immigrated to the United States from Barbados. He becomes the first African-American to occupy the office.

Barack Obama is bringing the change he promised. He will be naming Eric Holder as head of the U.S. Attorney General’s office. A Democratic Party official confirmed, Wednesday, that the 57 year-old had accepted the President-elect’s offer.

Mr. Holder is an experienced attorney who graduated from Columbia Universtiy, New York. He served as deputy attorney general, between 1997 and 2000, in the Clinton administration.

Eric Holder known for his unwavering support for Barack Obama during the Presidential campaign was co-chairman, alongside Caroline Kennedy, of the team that selected the Democratic Party’s vice-presidential candidate. His appointment to this high profile office will be a nice way for Mr. Obama to thank him for his support. Mr. Holder will undergo a microscopic scrutiny from the President-elect’s vetting team, after which the Senate will give its approval.

According to Newsweek, the pressing need for an Attorney General calls for an urgent appointment, possibly within the week, before the appointments of both Secretaries of Treasure and State. This announcement comes at a time when the justice department has been marred by scandals that have led to the resignation of two secretaries in the Bush administration.

The end of Guantanamo

In what concerns George Bush’s war against terror, Eric Holder and Barack Obama share the same convictions. Both men want to turn the page on the “disastrous” decisions that the U.S. was forced to put up with. As Attorney General, Eric Holder, will be playing the unequivocal role with respect to civil rights – as dictated by the Patriot Act -, as well as the closure of the Guantanamo Bay detention centre, with its 250 inmates.

Barack Obama’s only hesitation before his choice of Eric Holder, according to Newsweek, was connected to a controversial pardon delivered by Bill Clinton toward the end of his term. NBC further explains that Eric Holder backed the former President’s pardon of Mark Rich – A businessman who had taken refuge in Switzerland after he was charged for fiscal fraud.

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