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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:  [Previous 20] [Next 14]

Date Resource Read it at:
Aug 14, 2007 US crackdown on hiring illegals irks business community: As the US steps up border security and work-site enforcement, businesses that rely heavily on illegal immigrants worry that they won't be able

QUOTE: the Bush administration is shifting to a plan the president once said could not work: stepped up enforcement of existing laws. What concerns many of the nation's businesses and farms that use undocumented labor is that it might work all too well.

Aug 08, 2007 States Feel Left Out Of Disaster Planning

QUOTE: A decision by the Bush administration to rewrite in secret the nation's emergency response blueprint has angered state and local emergency officials, who worry that Washington is repeating a series of mistakes that contributed to its bungled response to Hurricane Katrina nearly two years ago.

Washington Post
Aug 02, 2007 In Terrorism-Law Case, Chiquita Points to U.S.: Firm Says It Awaited Justice Dept. Advice

QUOTE: On April 24, 2003, a board member of Chiquita International Brands disclosed to a top official at the Justice Department that the king of the banana trade was evidently breaking the nation's anti-terrorism laws.

Washington Post
Jul 20, 2007 Radiation Detector Program Delayed: DHS May Have Misled Congress, GAO Audit Finds

QUOTE: [Michael Chertoff] said [new radiation monitors] would improve radiation scans at borders and ports, while sharply reducing the number of false alarms .... But the department's Domestic Nuclear Detection Office did not know whether the detectors would work effectively, according to documents and interviews.

Washington Post
Jul 19, 2007 D.C., New York Get Biggest Increases in Counterterrorism Aid

QUOTE: The Department of Homeland Security increased counterterrorism funding for Washington and New York City yesterday but warned that doling out more federal cash to the nation's largest urban areas would require the virtual elimination of aid to mid-size cities.

Washington Post
Jul 04, 2007 U.S. Withdraws Offer of 60,000 Job-Based Visas, Angering Immigration Lawyers

QUOTE: the State Department and the immigration service abruptly withdrew tens of thousands of job-based visas ....the American Immigration Lawyers Association accused the two agencies of perpetrating a “hoax” and a “bait and switch” against hopeful legal immigrants who played by the book.

New York Times
May 20, 2007 No Easy Path to Immigration Reform: Senate's Comprehensive Proposal Raises Concerns About Implementation

QUOTE: But many aspects of the [immigration overhaul] proposal pose enormous implementation challenges, whose consequences would be felt not just by an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants but by every U.S. employer, worker and new legal immigrant in coming years.

Washington Post
Mar 01, 2007 National ID Card Rules Unveiled

QUOTE: Critics, such as American Civil Liberties Union attorney Tim Sparapani, charge that the bill increases government access to data on Americans and amplifies the risk of identity theft, without providing significant security benefits.

Feb 22, 2007 DHS Proposes More Lenient Passport Regulations for Children: Change to Affect Youths Crossing Canadian Border

QUOTE: The U.S. Department of Homeland Security said Thursday that it will propose allowing teenagers 18 and younger traveling with teams or organizations, and all children 15 or younger, to use a certified birth certificate to cross the border, instead of a passport.

Washington Post
Jan 09, 2007 Bloomberg Criticizes Security Fund Distribution

QUOTE: Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg criticized the way federal antiterrorism money is distributed, testifying today at a crowded Senate hearing that New York City had been shortchanged compared with other cities, given too little money for bioterrorism preparedness and denied financing to upgrade its communication systems.

New York Times
Dec 09, 2006 Traveler Data Program Defied Ban, Critics Say: Congress Barred Funds for DHS Development

QUOTE: The Department of Homeland Security violated a congressional funding ban when it continued to develop a computerized program that creates risk assessments of travelers entering and leaving the United States...several key members of Congress said that they were in the dark about the program and that it violated their intentions.

Washington Post
Oct 01, 2006 U.S., E.U. Miss Deadline on Data-Sharing Agreement

QUOTE: In the aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the U.S. government began requiring all airlines flying to the United States to share passenger data, such as name, address and credit card information, with Customs and Border Protection. The European Court of Justice, the highest European court, annulled the deal...

Washington Post
Sep 14, 2006 Cost may kill travel program

QUOTE: A government proposal that would force air travelers to pay up to $200 a year for a fast pass through airport security could kill the program, advocates and lawmakers said Wednesday.

Aug 22, 2006 Officials Seek Broader Access to Airline Data

QUOTE: United States and European authorities, looking for more tools to detect terrorist plots, want to expand the screening of international airline passengers by digging deep into a vast repository of airline itineraries, personal information and payment data.

New York Times
Jul 27, 2006 Louisiana Governor Criticizes U.S. Evacuation Plan

QUOTE: Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco of Louisiana sent a...letter...asking the federal government to honor its commitment to help evacuate and care for thousands of New Orleans area residents in the event that another major hurricane blows into the region this year...“We have received no indication from you that staffing, logistics and security for additional shelters have been addressed,”

New York Times
Jul 12, 2006 Top Cyber Security Post Still Unfilled After a Year

QUOTE: One year after the Department of Homeland Security created a high-level post for coordinating U.S. government efforts to deal with attacks on the nation's critical technological infrastructure, the agency still has not identified a candidate for the job...[some candidates--Ed.] were apparently knocked out of the running for political or professional considerations.

Washington Post
Jul 08, 2006 News Analysis: In Zeal to Foil Terror Plots, Cases May Be Missing Something Important, Lawyers Say

QUOTE: In Miami last month and now in New York, terror cases have unfolded in which suspects have been apprehended before they lined up the intended weapons and the necessary financing or figured out other central details necessary to carry out their plots.

New York Times
Jun 19, 2006 Illegal Hiring Is Rarely Penalized: Politics, 9/11 Cited in Lax Enforcement

QUOTE: The Bush administration, which is vowing to crack down on U.S. companies that hire illegal workers, virtually abandoned such employer sanctions before it began pushing to overhaul U.S. immigration laws last year, government statistics show.

Washington Post
Jun 09, 2006 E-mail allegedly shows Bush glad FEMA took blame

QUOTE: The former emergency management chief who quit amid widespread criticism over his handling of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina said he received an e-mail before his resignation stating President Bush was glad to see the Oval Office had dodged most of the criticism.

CNN (Cable News Network)
Mar 22, 2006 Chertoff Seeks to Improve Chemical Plants' Security

QUOTE: Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said yesterday that the time has come for the federal government to regulate security at chemical plants, but that it should rely on the industry to devise its own way to meet targets and use private contractors to audit compliance. Addressing an American Chemistry Council forum, Chertoff stopped short of endorsing a Senate bill that would authorize his department to shut down high-risk plants that fail to submit adequate security plans. But he backed its approach of assigning 15,000 U.S. plants to one of four risk groups, setting performance goals for each category and leaving details up to operators.

Washington Post

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