Jane Mayer reports on the heat Eric Holder has taken, the fight over KSM's trial, and the controversy over the handling of the undie-bomber:

Holder told me that he was frustrated by much of the criticism over the handling of Abdulmutallab. “What we did is totally consistent with what has happened in every similar case” since 9/11, he said. “There’s a desire to ignore the facts to try to score political points. It’s a little shocking.” Without exception, he noted, every previous terrorist suspect apprehended inside the country had been handled as a civilian criminal. Even so, critics such as Krauthammer were denouncing Holder for failing to send Abdulmutallab directly to Guantánamo. As a senior national-security official in the White House put it, “It’s a fantasy! Under what alternative legal system can Special Operations Forces fly into Detroit, and take someone away without court oversight?”

Scott Horton praises the article:

The article is essential reading for those who want to understand why the Holder Justice Department has shut down all efforts to secure accountability for serious crimes committed during the war on terror, potentially including homicides. Mayer gives us a step-by-step explanation of the process and the roles played by each. It leaves little doubt that the man in charge is Rahm Emanuel.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.