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A Good Week for Atty. Gen. Eric Holder Jr.

For many months now, Attorney Gen. Eric Holder Jr. has been the pinata for some Republicans, who have seldom missed an opportunity to bash him, to use him as a point man to try and prove that the Obama administration is not tough enough on terrorism, and that trying to hold the 9/11 trial in New York was just another sign of bad judgment. This week, he had reason to celebrate with the swift arrest of the New York car bomber. Could his political fortunes be changing?

holder times-square-remarks

By Anne E. Kornblut
Washington Post Staff Writer

WASHINGTON — When Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. stepped up to the lectern at 1:30 a.m. on Tuesday, it was more than an unusual middle-of-the-night appearance trumpeting the swift arrest of an alleged terrorist. It also marked a rare moment of glory for the attorney general.

Holder has been on rocky ground for months. His decision last November to try Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the self-declared mastermind behind the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, in federal court in Manhattan was quickly opposed by New York lawmakers, then reversed by the White House. He was criticized for having the suspect in the failed Christmas Day bombing read his Miranda rights soon after his arrest — and then later for quipping that the same would not happen to al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden because officials would be “reading Miranda rights to a corpse.”

A good week doesn’t necessarily make for a turnaround. But with the arrest of Faisal Shahzad in connection with Saturday’s attempted bombing in Times Square, Holder and the law enforcement agencies he oversees were able to claim a victory for the administration.

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