Homeland Security Secretary
MONDAY, AUGUST 27, 2007
MICHAEL CHERTOFF: UNCONSTITUTIONAL, UNDEMOCRACTIC & INCOMPETENT
several news articles about the Secretary of Fatherland Security: shredding of constitutional liberties, the "War on Terror," and deliberately failing to help Katrina victims (FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, is part of Homeland Security)
Friday, January 14, 2005
Michael Chertoff and the sabotage of the Ptech investigation
Did Bush's New Homeland Chief Shield Terror Ring in New Jersey?
January 12, 2005 - Venice, FL
Michael Chertoff, appointed by President Bush to head the Homeland Security Department, may have shielded from criminal prosecution a former client suspected by law enforcement of having funneled millions of dollars directly to Osama Bin Laden while in charge of the U.S. Government’s 9.11 investigation.
January 20, 2005
by: Melissa Johnson and Sander Hicks, News Reporter and Special to the Star -
President George W. Bush, left, introduces Michael Chertoff as his nominee
for Secretary of Homeland Security on Jan. 11 to replace current Secretary
Federal Appeals Court Judge Michael Chertoff’s ties to the financiers of the Sept. 11 attacks may prevent his confirmation as Homeland Security Chief.
According to a June 20, 2000 article in the The Record of Bergen County, New Jersey, Chertoff defended accused terrorist financier Dr. Magdy Elamir.
Elamir’s HMO was sued by the State of New Jersey to recoup $16.7 million in losses. At least $5.7 million went “to unknown parties... by means of wire transfers to bank accounts where the beneficial owner of the account is unknown,” according to the article.
Foreign intelligence reports given to then chairman of the House International Relations Committee Ben Gilman,
R-New York, in 1998 accused Magdy Elamir of having “had financial ties with Osama bin Laden for years,” according to an Aug. 2, 2002 Dateline NBC broadcast.
In 1999, Magdy Elamir and brother Mohamed were named suspects in Operation Diamondback, an FBI/ATF undercover infiltration of Pakistani arms merchants who sought to arm Osama bin Laden with conventional and nuclear weapons, according to independent researcher and former New Jersey police officer Allan Duncan and taped transcripts with FBI informant Randy Glass.
Mohamed Elamir tried to purchase “small arms and ammunition” in a recorded telephone conversation with Glass, according to Dateline.
Dateline confirmed that Elamir and his corporations had paid at least $5,000 to Egyptian arms dealer Diaa Mohsen, who Elamir referred to on camera as a family friend. Moshen was sentenced to 30 months for his involvement in Operation Diamondback. However, Elamir was never convicted.
Duncan, who was hired by family members of the Sept. 11 victims to research government ties to the attacks, said the reason Magdy Elamir was never convicted was because he was never charged with a crime.
“By the time Operation Diamondback culminated in arrests in the summer of 2001, Michael Chertoff was the Assistant Attorney General in charge of the criminal division and Operation Diamondback would have fallen under his prevue since it was a criminal case and not a counterterrorism case,” Duncan said.
From 1990 to 1994, Chertoff was U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey, during the period when the first attack on the World Trade Center took place.
Omar Abdel-Rahman preached at the Al Salam mosque and was later arrested for his role in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, according to Dateline. Magdy Elamir was one of the Al Salam mosque’s financial supporters.
“The Jersey City area and particularly the Al Salam mosque were allowed to continue to be one of the major hubs of terrorist activity in the United States,” Duncan said.
In October 2001, Chertoff was appointed head of Operation Green Quest, a multi-agency initiative to target sources of funding for terrorist organizations, according to a U.S. Customs Service press release. Chertoff told the Associated Press on Oct. 25, 2001 that, “The lifeblood of terrorism is money, and if we cut the money we cut the blood supply.”
Chertoff served in the capacity of Assistant Attorney General of the criminal division at the Department of Justice from 2001 to 2003.
While acting in this position, Chertoff played a central role in formulating U.S. anti-terrorism policy — from increasing the FBI’s authority to conduct domestic surveillance at religious gatherings to the effort to secretly detain hundreds of Middle Easterners in the United States.
Chertoff was one of the chief architects of the Title III of the USA PATRIOT Act, also known as the International Money Laundering Abatement and Financial Anti-Terrorism Act of 2001.
Chertoff was then nominated to the Third Circuit U.S Court of Appeals in June 2003. Though there is no formal career path for federal judges, it is common for appellate judges to have served as district judges prior to appointments, according to the Administrative Office of the United States Courts.
Despite having never served in the judiciary, Chertoff was made a federal judge whose jurisdiction includes Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and the Virgin Islands.
After 19 months, President Bush nominated Chertoff to the position of Secretary of Homeland Security.
Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, a government advocacy watchdog agency, has noticed Chertoff’s advancement from Assistant Attorney General of the Department of Justice to Secretary of Homeland Security nominee over the past four years.
“It’s an exceptional rise to power,” said Fitton.
Whether or not Chertoff had prior knowledge of Elamir’s alleged connections to Diaa Mohsen and bin Laden is unknown. Calls to Chertoff’s office were not returned.
Senate confirmations hearings for Chertoff have yet to be scheduled, according to the office of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.
Michael Chertoff: Ashcroft's Top Gremlin --Spreading Mischief from DoJ to the Federal Bench --by Elaine Cassel, June 11, 2003
CHERTOFF BACKED TORTURE
NY TIMES - Michael Chertoff, who has been picked by President Bush to
the homeland security secretary, advised the Central Intelligence Agency
on the legality of coercive interrogation methods on terror suspects
under the federal anti-torture statute, current and former
administration officials said this week. Depending on the circumstances,
he told the intelligence agency, some coercive methods could be legal,
but he advised against others, the officials said. . .
Asked about the interaction between the C.I.A. and Mr. Chertoff, now a
federal appeals court judge in Newark, Erin Healy, a White House
spokeswoman, said, "Judge Chertoff did not approve interrogation
techniques as head of the criminal division.". . .
One current and two former senior officials with firsthand knowledge of
the interaction between the C.I.A. and the Justice Department said that
while the criminal division did not explicitly approve any requests by
the agency, it did discuss what conditions could protect agency
personnel from prosecution. Mr. Chertoff's division was asked on several
occasions by the intelligence agency whether its officers risked
prosecution by using particular techniques. The officials said the
C.I.A. wanted as much legal protection as it could obtain while the
Justice Department sought to avoid giving unconditional approval.
One technique that C.I.A. officers could use under certain circumstances
without fear of prosecution was strapping a subject down and making him
experience a feeling of drowning. Other practices that would not present
legal problems were those that did not involve the infliction of pain,
like tricking a subject into believing he was being questioned by a
member of a security service from another country.
But in other instances Mr. Chertoff opposed some aggressive procedures
outright, the officials said. At one point, they said, he raised serious
objections to methods that he concluded would clearly violate the
torture law. While the details remain classified, one method that he
opposed appeared to violate a ban in the law against using a "threat of
Mr. Chertoff and other senior officials at the Justice Department also
disapproved of practices that seemed to be clearly prohibited, like
death threats against family members, administration of mind-altering
drugs or psychological procedures designed to profoundly disrupt a
detainee's personality. It is not clear whether the C.I.A. or any other
agency proposed these techniques.
But Mr. Chertoff left the door open to the use of a different set of far
harsher techniques proposed by the C.I.A., saying they might be used
under certain circumstances. He advised that they could be used
depending on factors like the detainee's physical condition and medical
advice as to how the person would react to some practices, the officials
Published on Friday, February 4, 2005 by the Los Angeles Times
A Whistle-Blower's Inside View of the Homeland Security Nominee
by Jesselyn Radack
On Wednesday, in hearings on his nomination to be head of Homeland Security,
Michael Chertoff had this to say: "If you are dealing with something
that makes you nervous, you'd better make sure that you are doing the
right thing. And you'd better check it out…. You had better be very
careful to make sure that whatever it is you decide to do falls well within
what is required by the law."
I could hardly believe my ears.
In 2001, Chertoff was the head of the Criminal Division of the Justice Department and I was legal advisor to the department on matters of ethics. When I "did the right thing," and gave the department advice that conflicted with what it wanted to hear, I was forced out of my job, fired from my subsequent private sector job at the government's behest, placed under criminal investigation without any charges ever being brought, referred for disciplinary action to the state bars where I'm licensed as a lawyer, and, so I've been told as I've been searched time and again at airports, put on the "no fly" list.
Here's what happened. In 2001, I was a legal advisor in the Justice Department's Professional Responsibility Advisory Office. On Dec. 7, I fielded a call from a criminal division attorney named John DePue. He wanted to know about the ethical propriety of interrogating "American Talib" John Walker Lindh without a lawyer being present. DePue told me that Lindh's father had retained counsel for his son.
I advised him that Lindh should not be questioned without his lawyer. That was on a Friday. Over the weekend, the FBI interviewed him anyway. DePue called back on Monday asking what to do now.
I advised that the interview might have to be sealed and used only for intelligence-gathering or national security purposes, not criminal prosecution. Again, my advice was ignored.
Three weeks later, on Jan. 15, 2002, then-Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft announced that a criminal complaint was being filed against Lindh. "The subject here is entitled to choose his own lawyer," he said, "and to our knowledge, has not chosen a lawyer at this time." I knew that wasn't true.
Three weeks later, Ashcroft announced Lindh's indictment, saying his rights "have been carefully, scrupulously honored." Again, I knew that wasn't true.
At about the same time, I was given an untimely, unsigned, unprecedented and blistering performance evaluation, despite having received a performance award and a raise during the preceding year. I was told that the vitriolic review would be placed in my permanent personnel file unless I found another job.
I was shocked, but I didn't put two and two together until a few weeks had passed. On March 7, I inadvertently learned that the judge presiding over the Lindh case had ordered that all Justice Department correspondence related to Lindh's interrogation be submitted to the court. Such orders routinely go to everyone with a connection with the case in question, but I heard about it only because the Lindh prosecutor contacted me directly.
There was more. The prosecutor said he had only two of my e-mails. I knew I had written more than a dozen. When I went to check the hard copy file, the e-mails containing my assessment that the FBI had committed an ethical violation in Lindh's interrogation were gone.
With the help of technical support, I resurrected the missing e-mails from my computer archives. I documented and included them in a memo to my boss and took home a copy for safekeeping in case they "disappeared" again. Then I resigned.
Months later, as the Justice Department continued to claim that it never believed that at the time of his interrogation Lindh had a lawyer, I disclosed the e-mails to Newsweek in accordance with the Whistleblower Protection Act.
My story has been backed up. The New York Times recently reported that DePue confirmed that he had contacted my office at the Justice Department and passed along the fact that the questioning of Lindh could be an ethical violation.
Moreover, DePue told the Times, his superiors were "unhappy" that he had sought advice. Chertoff's name wasn't used, he said, but "I certainly inferred … that the unhappiness was coming from Chertoff."
In Wednesday's hearings, Chertoff was asked by Sen. Daniel K. Akaka (D-Hawaii) about the retaliation against me. Chertoff responded, "Senator, first, I had no part in any way, shape or form in any retaliation against this individual for any reason, let alone giving advice."
I don't believe him now, just as I didn't in 2003 when he told Congress that my office and I had not been "asked for advice" about Lindh's interrogation. When Chertoff was later confronted with e-mails that contradicted him, he acknowledged our involvement but said he didn't consider my advice "official."
Chertoff and the Justice Department mishandled Lindh's interrogation, then tried to cover it up and went after me for doing my job. Chertoff should not be confirmed as director of Homeland Security.
Jesselyn Radack writes on legal ethics. She has filed a whistle-blower lawsuit against the Justice Department. Her website is www.cradl.info.
© 2005 LA Times