Eric Holder, portrait of a man who matters – Part two: what the cables revealed about him

by Eva Blum-Dumontet

While the release of the Cablegate has unveiled his resentment against Wikileaks, Eric Holder was already known for his actions in the war against terrorism. A partisan of the “shoot first, ask question later” theory, he reminds the executive branch must make “real-time decisions” when handling terrorist.

Wikileaks cables have also revealed that when the Spanish interior minister visited Eric Holder they had signed an agreement allowing the sharing of fingerprints and other data of terrorists and criminals, “while protecting individual privacy”. The cable did not mention what measures had been taken to protect individual privacy…

Another cable from Madrid has shed light on the case of a NGO, which attempted to file a complaint against six US official who had created a legal framework to allow torture in Guantanamo. Since Spanish citizens had been tortured the NGO had hoped to see the American officials judged in Spain. Chief Prosecutor Javier Zaragoza acted as an informant, providing information on the case and potential flaws in the complaints. Eventually Spain declared that the NGO would have to file the complaint in the United States. The cable mentioned that meetings would be organised between Chief Prosecutor Javier Zaragoza and Eric Holder.

A cable from Rome showed Eric Holder was involved in discussions with other countries regarding the “relocation” of Guantanamo detainees.

However the cables mainly reveal the important influence of the US in law enforcement and criminality questions abroad. Eric Holder has thus been found helping Iraq in reinforcing its fight against criminality  and in “strengthening the Iraqi judiciary.”

A cable from Barbados, where Holder is originally from, depicted a similar desire to “modernize” the judicial system of other countries and develop cooperation in crime and security.

This intervening attitude the US have adopted toward other countries’ judiciary is an element that has already played an important part in Julian Assange’s legal fight against the United States, with the refusal of Australia to show any form of support, and may well influence his future battles.