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Michael Chertoff

Self Description

May 2013: "Michael Chertoff, secretary of Homeland Security in the George W. Bush administration, is chairman and co-founder of The Chertoff Group, a global security advisory firm."

May 2005: "On February 15, 2005, Judge Michael Chertoff was sworn in as the second Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. Chertoff formerly served as United States Circuit Judge for the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.

Secretary Chertoff was previously confirmed by the Senate to serve in the Bush Administration as Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division at the Department of Justice. As Assistant Attorney General, he helped trace the 9/11 terrorist attacks to the al-Qaida network, and worked to increase information sharing within the FBI and with state and local officials.

Before joining the Bush Administration, Chertoff was a Partner in the law firm of Latham & Watkins. From 1994 to 1996, he served as Special Counsel for the U.S. Senate Whitewater Committee.

Prior to that, Chertoff spent more than a decade as a federal prosecutor, including service as U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey, First Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey, and Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. As United States Attorney, Chertoff investigated and prosecuted several significant cases of political corruption, organized crime, and corporate fraud.

Chertoff graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College in 1975 and magna cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1978. From 1979-1980 he served as a clerk to Supreme Court Justice William Brennan, Jr."

February 2005:

Third-Party Descriptions

April 2012: 'The task force gradually wound down when Thomson and DiGregory departed. A new administration arrived months before the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, which transformed priorities. In 2002, Michael Chertoff, then assistant attorney general for the criminal division, narrowed the review to speed its completion, dropping unspecified “small cases.”'

May 2009: "The Velvet Revolution complaint also names Steven G. Bradbury, who headed the legal counsel office from 2005 to 2009; the three attorneys general, John Ashcroft, Alberto R. Gonzales and Michael B. Mukasey; Michael Chertoff and Alice S. Fisher, who headed the Justice Department’s criminal division; two former Pentagon officials, Douglas J. Feith and William J. Haynes II; and two former White House lawyers, Timothy E. Flanigan and David S. Addington."

June 2008: "Under the Secure Fence Act of 2006, the Homeland Security Department was authorized by Congress to build up to 700 miles of fence along the 2,000-mile Southwest border, where most illegal immigrants coming into the United States cross over, and Michael Chertoff, the secretary of the department, has several times used waiver authority that Congress included in the act. (The department said 326.5 miles of fencing had been built by June 1.)"

May 2008: "More openly than at any time since the Sept. 11 attacks, state and local authorities have begun to complain that the federal financing for domestic security is being too closely tied to combating potential terrorist threats, at a time when they say they have more urgent priorities....Michael Chertoff, the Homeland Security secretary, said in an interview that his department had tried to be flexible to accommodate local needs."

April 2008: 'Last week, Mr. Chertoff issued waivers suspending more than 30 laws he said could interfere with “the expeditious construction of barriers” in Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas. The list included laws protecting the environment, endangered species, migratory birds, the bald eagle, antiquities, farms, deserts, forests, Native American graves and religious freedom.'

January 2008: "At a news conference yesterday, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said the guidelines represent a balance between security and privacy in accordance with the Real ID Act. He warned that residents in states such as Georgia and Washington, which have refused to comply with the program, may be subject to additional security checks or prevented from boarding flights once the program begins this spring."

January 2008: 'In pressing ahead, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff restated his belief that failure to act will lead to "another 9/11 Commission" investigating a future attack by foreign intruders. But he also took a shot at critics in Congress, border states and trade organizations that have opposed the program, called the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative.'

November 2007: Commenting on the report in a briefing on Tuesday, Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff said that the department is on track to 'getting over 18,000 boots on the ground [agents on the Mexican border--Ed.] by the end of calendar year 2008.'

October 2007: Citing “unacceptable risks to our nation’s security” if the fence along the border with Mexico was further delayed, Mr. Chertoff invoked waiver authority granted him under a 2005 bill that mandated construction of the fence.

September 2007: Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said the United States had averted another major attack on American soil after Sept. 11 through various steps, including increased border security and heightened screening of people entering the country, as well as aggressive measures to disrupt potential plots.

January 2007: Last year, New York and Washington officials were enraged when the Department of Homeland Security announced a reduction in antiterror grants for the two cities that were targets of the 9/11 attacks. Last week, Michael Chertoff, the secretary of homeland security, announced adjustments in the rules used to distribute the grants, but it is not clear yet whether the New York region will get more money than it did last time.

December 2006: Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff acknowledged that the November notice was an attempt 'to be even more transparent and write, in even clearer English, about what we were going to do.' But in an interview with the National Journal, he expressed frustration with critics' surprise.

February 2006: In hours-long testimony before a Senate committee, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said he took the blame for the department's failures responding to Hurricane Katrina. 'I am responsible for the Department of Homeland Security,' came the inevitable claim. 'I'm accountable and accept responsibility for the performance of the entire department.'

February 2006: The 600-plus-page report lays primary fault with the passive reaction and misjudgments of top Bush aides, singling out Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, the Homeland Security Operations Center and the White House Homeland Security Council, according to a 60-page summary of the document obtained by The Washington Post. Regarding Bush, the report found that 'earlier presidential involvement could have speeded the response' because he alone could have cut through all bureaucratic resistance.

September 2005: At the same news conference, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff once again praised Michael D. Brown, who resigned as FEMA director on Monday after being yanked back to Washington amid withering reviews of the agency's performance the first week of the disaster. 'As I said previously, I believe Mike Brown did everything that was within his capability to manage this crisis effectively,' he said. Tyson reported from New Orleans. Staff writers Dan Balz and Spencer S. Hsu in Washington contributed to this report.

September 2005: As recently as three weeks ago, state emergency managers urged Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and his deputy, Michael P. Jackson, to ease the department's focus on terrorism, warning that the shift away from traditional disaster management left FEMA a bureaucratic backwater less able to respond to natural events such as hurricanes and earthquakes.

February 2005: "Michael Chertoff, President Bush's nominee for secretary of homeland security, said at his Senate confirmation hearing yesterday that he did not give intelligence officials any specific advice in 2002 when they asked him which interrogation techniques used on alleged terrorists might someday be prosecuted as illegal torture."


RoleNameTypeLast Updated
Organization Head/Leader (past or present) Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Organization May 22, 2005
Student/Trainee (past or present) Harvard University Organization May 22, 2005
Organization Executive (past or present) Justice Department/Department of Justice (DOJ) Organization May 22, 2005
Employee/Freelancer/Contractor (past or present) US Senate Organization Sep 12, 2005
Subordinate of (past or present) Judge William J. Brennan Jr., Esq. Person May 22, 2005
Family Member Prof. Meryl J. Chertoff Esq. Person Dec 12, 2008
Cooperation (past or present) Alice S. Fisher Esq. Person Nov 23, 2007
Supervisor of (past or present) Julie L. Myers Esq. Person Sep 21, 2005
Succeeded by Gov. Janet Napolitano Person May 24, 2009

Articles and Resources

54 Articles and Resources. Go to:  [Next 20]   [End]

Date Resource Read it at:
May 01, 2013 Google Glass, the beginning of wearable surveillance

QUOTE: imagine that millions of Americans walk around each day wearing the equivalent of a drone on their head: a device capable of capturing video and audio recordings of everything that happens around them. And imagine that these devices upload the data to large-scale commercial enterprises that are able to collect the recordings from each and every American and integrate them together to form a minute-by-minute tracking of the activities of millions....default mode is for all data to be automatically uploaded to cloud servers, where aggregation and back-end analytic capacity resides. So, who owns and what happens to the user's data?

CNN (Cable News Network)
Apr 17, 2012 DOJ review of flawed FBI forensics processes lacked transparency

QUOTE: Attorney General Janet Reno and FBI Director Louis J. Freeh decided to launch a task force to dig through thousands of cases involving discredited agents, to ensure that “no defendant’s right to a fair trial was jeopardized,”...The task force took nine years to complete its work and never publicly released its findings. Not the results of its case reviews of suspect lab work. Not the names of the defendants who were convicted as a result. And not the nature or scope of the forensic problems it found. Those decisions more than a decade ago remain relevant today for hundreds of people still in the U.S. court system, because officials never notified many defendants of the forensic flaws in their cases and never expanded their review to catch similar mistakes.

Washington Post
May 18, 2009 Advocacy Groups Seek Disbarment of Ex-Bush Administration Lawyers

QUOTE: A coalition of left-wing advocacy groups filed legal ethics complaints on Monday against 12 former Bush administration lawyers, including three United States attorneys general, whom the groups accuse of helping to justify torture. The coalition, called Velvet Revolution, asked the bar associations in four states and the District of Columbia to disbar the lawyers...

New York Times
Dec 11, 2008 Cleaning Service Used by Chertoff Calls Immigration Laws Unfair

QUOTE: unreasonable to expect businesspeople to distinguish between fake and real driver's licenses and Social Security cards. Immigration laws are unevenly enforced, he added, allowing big companies to stay in business while crushing small-business owners and workers. He said the rules punish "scapegoats" such as him while inviting people at every level -- customers, subcontractors and contractors -- to look the other way while benefiting economically from cheaper labor.

Washington Post
Jul 06, 2008 Employers Fight Tough Measures on Immigration

QUOTE: Business groups have resisted measures that would revoke the licenses of employers of illegal immigrants. They are proposing alternatives that would revise federal rules for verifying the identity documents of new hires and would expand programs to bring legal immigrant laborers.

New York Times
Jun 25, 2008 You're On Candid Camera: The Bush administration now wants to watch you from the sky. (Terror Watch)

QUOTE: expanding domestic use of picture-taking spy satellites...[Secretary Michael Chertoff] promised strict procedures to protect the rights of Americans, including obtaining court authorization for law enforcement-related surveillance operations where appropriate. Despite Chertoff's assurances, however, Harman said that Congress probably would not fully approve the program until the administration is more explicit about how it would operate.

Jun 24, 2008 Case of sonar's effects on whales heads to high court: At issue: Can a judge enforce environmental rules at the expense of national defense training?

QUOTE: The US Supreme Court announced on Monday it would examine whether a federal judge acted properly in ordering the US Navy to alter its sonar training procedures to protect whales and dolphins off the California coast.

Christian Science Monitor
Jun 23, 2008 Justices Refuse Checks on Border Fence

QUOTE: The Supreme Court sided with the White House on Monday in two cases involving national security and worries about the environment, strengthening the Bush administration’s drive, at least for now, for sweeping executive powers in the post-9/11 world....“This decision leaves one man — the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security — with the extraordinary power to ignore any and all of the laws designed to protect the American people, our lands, and our natural resources,” Oliver Bernstein, a spokesman for the group, said in a statement.

New York Times
Jun 02, 2008 Immigration Prosecutions Hit New High: Critics Say Increased Use of Criminal Charges Strains System

QUOTE: Officials say the threat of prison and a criminal record is a powerful deterrent, one that is helping drive down illegal immigration along the nearly 2,000-mile frontier between the United States and Mexico. Skeptics say that the government lacks the resources to sustain the strategy on the border and that the effort is diverting resources from more serious crimes such as drug and human smuggling.

Washington Post
May 27, 2008 Border Agents, Lured by the Other Side

QUOTE: The Villarreal investigation is among scores of corruption cases in recent years that have alarmed officials in the Homeland Security Department just as it is hiring thousands of border agents to stem the flow of illegal immigration. The pattern has become familiar: Customs officers wave in vehicles filled with illegal immigrants, drugs or other contraband. A Border Patrol agent acts as a scout for smugglers. Trusted officers fall prey to temptation and begin taking bribes.

New York Times
May 26, 2008 States Chafing at U.S. Focus on Terrorism

QUOTE: More openly than at any time since the Sept. 11 attacks, state and local authorities have begun to complain that the federal financing for domestic security is being too closely tied to combating potential terrorist threats, at a time when they say they have more urgent priorities.

New York Times
Apr 08, 2008 Power to Build Border Fence Is Above U.S. Law (Sidebar)

QUOTE: The delegation of power to Mr. Chertoff is unprecedented, according to a report from the Congressional Research Service. It is also, if papers filed in the Supreme Court last month are correct, unconstitutional.

New York Times
Jan 22, 2008 ID Rules To Change For Canada Crossings: DHS Defies Congress By Going Forward Now

QUOTE: Defying Congress, the Department of Homeland Security is pushing to tighten identification requirements at U.S. land borders starting Jan. 31, when it no longer will allow Americans or Canadians to enter the country by presenting a driver's license or declaring their citizenship.

Washington Post
Jan 12, 2008 ID Plan Is Broadly Criticized: Bipartisan Objections Cite Security, Costs and Privacy

QUOTE: The critics said the new licenses anticipated under the plan [to create national standards for driver's licenses] could still be forged. They also complained that the program, known as Real ID, would be costly for states to implement, potentially restrict summer travel, and allow private companies access to the personal data of most U.S. citizens.

Washington Post
Nov 09, 2007 Border issue vexes Congress: Facing a tight budget, lawmakers are struggling to pass even popular issues like a border fence.

QUOTE: With time running out, the best prospect for any immigration measure is to be added to one of the must-pass spending bills for fiscal year 2008. But even measures with broad-based support, such as strengthening borders, are becoming grist for partisan firefights.

Christian Science Monitor
Oct 23, 2007 Environmental Laws Waived to Press Work on Border Fence

QUOTE: Citing “unacceptable risks to our nation’s security” if the fence along the border with Mexico was further delayed, Mr. Chertoff invoked waiver authority granted him under a 2005 bill that mandated construction of the fence.

New York Times
Sep 11, 2007 New U.S. Law Credited in Arrests Abroad

QUOTE: The government’s ability to eavesdrop on terrorism suspects overseas allowed the United States to obtain information that helped lead to the arrests last week of three Islamic militants accused of planning bomb attacks in Germany, Mike McConnell, the director of national intelligence, told senators on Monday.

New York Times
Aug 17, 2007 Liberties Advocates Fear Abuse of Satellite Images

QUOTE: a new plan to allow emergency response, border control and, eventually, law enforcement agencies greater access to sophisticated satellites and other sensors that monitor American territory has drawn sharp criticism from civil liberties advocates who say the government is overstepping the use of military technology for domestic surveillance.

New York Times
Aug 16, 2007 Review of Radiation Detectors Questioned

QUOTE: The Government Accountability Office has questioned the department's testing of the detection equipment, spurring Congress to delay funding last year pending further review and certification of the department's test results this fall.

Washington Post
Aug 15, 2007 Airport screening raises privacy issue: The terrorist-watch program, scaled back after protests, will be run by the US government.

QUOTE: Earlier proposals included plans to create a massive data mining operation that would match passengers' names not just against the terrorist watch list, but also commercial and law enforcement data, court filings, and other public records....That raised the hackles not just of civil libertarians, but also of the business and leisure travel industries.

Christian Science Monitor

54 Articles and Resources. Go to:  [Next 20]   [End]