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June 2022


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Tag: Michael Chertoff

Ex-Homeland Security Chief: Trump’s Wall Is a ‘Symbol’ and Waste of Tax Dollars

Michael Chertoff

By Steve Neavling

Former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff called President Trump’s border wall “a symbol” and a waste of tax dollars.

Chertoff, who led the country’s Homeland Security Department from February 2005 to January 2009, told Newsweek that a border wall would “fulfill some sort of visual image” for Trump but would do little to prevent undocumented immigrants from coming to the U.S.

“I think the idea of a wall in and of itself is a symbol. It’s not a real tool,” Chertoff said. “It is not an efficient or effective tool.” 

Chertoff said the better alternative to a wall would be comprehensive reform.

“The right way to do border security is to look at the entire system,” Chertoff said. “And that begins with what is pushing people to leave their countries and come to the U.S. in the first place. In some cases, it’s violence and the rule of law not being in existence.” 

Ex-Homeland Chief Michael Chertoff Concerned Militias Could Copycat Terrorist Tactics

Michael Chertoff Sunday on Meet the Press

Michael Chertoff Sunday on Meet the Press

By Allan Lengel

WASHINGTON — Ex-Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said Sunday he has concerns that local terrorist groups or militias could pick up ideas from violent groups overseas.

“I agree with Sen. Lieberman, this is not of the order of magnitude of what we see global terrorists,” Chertoff said on Meet the Press. “But look,the fact that people can get on the Internet and they can see the tactics that are being used in Iraq and Afghanistan creates a risk that those will be copycatted here.”

“In fact we’ve see that … in northern Mexico, the criminal groups which are not politically motivated have adopted beheadings and other tactics of terrorism as part of pushing their agenda against President Calderon.”

His comments came in response to a discussion about militias like the  Michigan-based Christian militia which allegedly had plans to us IEDs (Improvised Explosive Device) — used by insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan —  to kill police officers at a funeral in Michigan.  Nine members of the group, the Hutaree, have been charged in Detroit in the plot.

Is Our Homeland Any Safer With Homeland Security?


Author Edward Alden talks about books by former Homeland Security chief Tom Ridge and Michael Chertoff and raises some legitimate questions about the direction of the sprawling agency. Is it working? Was it worth creating a whole new bureaucracy?

By Edward Alden
Washington Post Outlook Section

In a single week last month, the U.S. government broke up an alleged al- Qaeda cell in Colorado, rushed aid to flood victims in Georgia and opened fire on three vans filled with illegal immigrants trying to break through the nation’s busiest border crossing.

The incidents were all reminders, as if we needed any, of the many threats to what we now call “homeland security,” a big, sprawling idea that spawned a big, sprawling department to stop bad things from happening and clean up when they inevitably do.

Just over six years since its creation, the Department of Homeland Security is still too young for any definitive verdict on its success or failure.


With its component agencies scattered around D.C. and some of its operations outsourced to private companies in Virginia, it has yet to become a whole that adds up to more than its parts. Its first two secretaries, Tom Ridge and Michael Chertoff, left no consistent legacy to guide what the government’s third-largest department should be doing — and more important, why. For Janet Napolitano, the secretary now sorting through that inheritance, the reflections of her predecessors leave more questions than answers.

To Read More


Former Homeland Chief Chertoff Says Politics Never a Factor in Raising Color-Coded Terror Alert

Former Homeland Security Chief Tom Ridge has said politics played a role in the color-coded terror alerts. It sure seemed that way. Then again, it’s always easy to play it safe and raise the color code. The color code was immediately raised whenever the administration learned of a terrorist threat, even if it was several years old.

Michael Chertoff

Michael Chertoff

By Chris Strohm
Congress Daily
WASHINGTON — Former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff Thursday said politics was never a factor in determining whether the nation’s color-coded terror-alert level should be raised.

“Politics never entered into raising the alert during my tenure in any way, shape or form,” said Chertoff, who led DHS from 2005 until last January.

For Full Story

Ex-Homeland Chief Michael Chertoff Praises Obama’s Security Measures

Michael Chertoff

Michael Chertoff

It’s refreshing to see a former Bushee voice an independent opinion that is not steeped in bitterness or total partisanship.

By The National Journal

In a recent interview with, former Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff differed with two of his Bush administration colleagues — backing away from statements by former Vice President Dick Cheney that President Obama had made the country less safe and slamming former FEMA Director Michael Brown as “obviously bitter.”

Chertoff had nicer things to say about the current White House, praising the Obama administration for continuing Bush-era policies like the Merida Initiative to fund anti-drug efforts in Mexico and invoking the state secrets privilege.

Since leaving government, the former secretary has started his own security consulting firm, the Chertoff Group. Edited excerpts of his conversation with Alina Selyukh follow.

NJ: One of the issues you work on with the Chertoff Group is cybersecurity. Who do you think was behind the recent online intrusion onto the U.S. electricity grid?

Chertoff: The issue of attacks or intrusions on networks has been an issue we’ve been talking about for several years now. And without getting into things that are classified, obviously, some of these kinds of intrusions do come from other countries. Some of them come from criminal groups. Some of them just come from people who are hackers who want to prove that they can intrude in a network…. The key is to try to create a system that protects you from all of these groups.

To Read the Rest


Ex-Homeland Chief Michael Chertoff Joins Covington & Burling Law Firm in D.C.

Michael Chertoff

Michael Chertoff

By Allan Lengel

The AmLaw Daily is reporting that ex-Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff has joined the law firm Covington & Burling’s white-collar defense and investigations practice.

The website said Chertoff is senior of counsel in the Washington office. He started earlier this week.

“I’m really looking forward to coming back as a working lawyer, not just as a rainmaker,” Chertoff told AmLaw. “And while it’s been a bit of a transition [this week], I’m happy to be doing real legal work as I genuinely love being a lawyer.”

Sec. Chertoff Advises Not to Change Homeland Security Immediately

Michael Chertoff

Michael Chertoff

Many critics are calling for major changes in the Department of Homeland Security.  But Sec. Michael Chertoff’s Advice is : Don’t — at least not right away.

Federal Times
WASHINGTON — Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff has some advice for his successor: Don’t tinker with the Homeland Security Department. At least not right away.
“I would stop reorganizing,” he said in an interview last week. “Every time there’s a reorganization, it sets you back a year. People don’t know where they’re going to go, what their future is, what their job description is going to be.”
Last week, President-elect Barack Obama named Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano as his choice to head the Homeland Security Department.
Chertoff applauded the choice; he said he would encourage her to wait two years and then decide on any organizational changes.
“If she then decides she wants to tweak things, you know, that’s fine, but she needs to have the experience,” he said.
For Full Story

Read ticklethewire columnist James G. Huse Jr.’s column on Changing Homeland Security