When the trumpet soundedFrom my Facebook news feed: incoming Attorney General Eric Holder's relationship with Chiquita. I usually outsource my commentary on Chiquita to Pablo Neruda and Gabriel García Márquez, but suffice it to say, generally speaking, this is perhaps my least favorite corporate conglomerate. It's really, really unfortunate that Holder was involved with them, though I must admit that his actions as their counsel in this particular instance don't strike me as especially reprehensible in context. Glen Greenwald for the defense:
everything was prepared on earth,
and Jehovah gave the world
to Coca-Cola Inc., Anaconda,
Ford Motors, and other corporations.
The United Fruit Company
reserved for itself the most juicy
piece, the central coast of my world,
the delicate waist of America...
I've seen some attempts to criticize Holder based upon clients he has represented while in private practice, most notably his defense of Chiquita Brands in a criminal case brought by the DOJ arising out of Chiquita's payments and other support to Colombian death squads. Attempts to criticize a lawyer for representing unsavory or even evil clients are inherently illegitimate and wrong -- period. Anybody who believes in core liberties should want even the most culpable parties to have zealous representation before the Government can impose punishments or other sanctions. Lawyers who defend even the worst parties are performing a vital service for our justice system. Holder is no more tainted by his defense of Chiquita than lawyers who defend accused terrorists at Guantanamo are tainted by that.