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  Justice Dept. Under Obama Is Preparing for Doctrinal Shift in Policies of Bush Years
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Last EditedArmyDem  Feb 02, 2009 10:37am
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MediaNewspaper - New York Times
News DateSunday, February 1, 2009 04:00:00 PM UTC0:0
DescriptionBy NEIL A. LEWIS
Published: February 1, 2009

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department, probably more than any other agency here, is bracing for a broad doctrinal shift in policies from those of the Bush administration, department lawyers and Obama administration officials say.

Eric H. Holder Jr., whom the Senate is expected to confirm on Monday as the nation’s 82nd attorney general, plans to take the oath of office that evening to demonstrate a quick start, which will include overseeing the creation of a new detention policy for terrorism suspects.

Mr. Holder will have to contend with that and other issues rapidly. Lawyers inside and outside the department say he will face crushing time constraints. Chief among them is a pledge by President Obama to close the detention facility at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, within a year. Mr. Holder and a department task force must find a solution to the question of what to do with the remaining prisoners there and any apprehended in the future.

“This will be a sea change of what went on before,” said an Obama administration lawyer, noting that the principal authority over detention policies will move from the Defense Department under the Bush administration to the Justice Department.
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