Holder To Visit Gitmo Next Monday
Attorney General Eric Holder, whom President Obama has tasked with overseeing the closure of the Guantanamo Bay detention center, will be visiting the facility next Monday,CBS News' Stephanie Lambidakis reports.
(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Holder told reporters about the trip following a speech on Black History Month at the Justice Department today.
"We need to have our feet on the ground to really see what is going on down at the facility to see how people are being detained, to talk to people down there about the interrogation techniques that are being used," Holder said. "I think that will be an important first step as we try to resolve the issues that the president has put before me as the chairman of those review committees."
Separately, a report from the department's ethics' watchdog, OPR, currently sits on Holder's desk, which reportedly rebukes 3 former Bush administration lawyers for their legal advice allowing the use of water-boarding and other "enhanced interrogation technique" at the prison, CBS News' Andrew Cohen writes.
On his third day in office, President Obama ordered that the notorious prison camp be closed within one year. The pressing questions: where the prisoners would be transferred, where will they be tried and detained, and what constitutes the American definition of "torture ."
The attorney general was also asked why the Justice Department has not moved to file charges against Texas financier R. Allen Stanford who federal SEC investigators charged with "massive" fraud centering around high-interest-rate certificates of deposit, Tuesday.
Holder said he could not comment on the specific case.
He did say, however, that "this department will be vigilant in the detection of that kind of fraud and that is especially true given the magnitude of the stimulus effort and the recovery effort. We want to make sure that the money gets into the right hands for the right reasons and to the extent that people try to misuse the program that is being put in place...we will do all we can to make sure we hold those cases accountable."
After 2 weeks on the job, Holder is maintaining his rock star status. He spent 10 minutes signing autographs on the programs for the Black History Month event after his very personal speech on race in America. At the end of his brief press conference, one department employee implored him, saying "please Mr. Holder, one more picture please."
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