Eric Holder Responds To Cheney, Giuliani, And Defends 9/11 Civilian Trials

On January 11th, a few weeks before his plans for a trial at Foley Square fell apart, Holder flew to Boston, to preside over the installation of a new U.S. Attorney. That evening, he returned to Washington in the Justice Department's Gulfstream jet. Holder, who had jokingly lamented that such perks wouldn't last forever--"I'm missing it already!"--sat down, put on headphones, and blasted one of his favorite songs, Jimi Hendrix's "Purple Haze." Holder, who is fifty-nine, seemed determined not to let the tensions of Washington politics poison his mood. He was equally determined not to capitulate on the idea of holding a 9/11 trial. "I don't apologize for what I've done," he told me at one point. "History will show that the decisions we've made are the right ones." Holder said that he regarded trying Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in a courtroom as "the defining event of my time as Attorney General." But, he added, "between now and then I suspect we're in for some interesting times."