"Even before the storm struck the Gulf Coast," Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff was the "federal official with the power to mobilize a massive federal response to Hurricane Katrina, [and] could have ordered federal agencies into action without any request from state or local officials."
According to federal documents reviewed by Knight Ridder, Michael D. Brown, who resigned on September 12, 2005, as director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, "had only limited authority to do so until about 36 hours after the storm hit, when Chertoff designated him as the 'principal federal official' in charge of the storm."
Prior to his nomination, Chertoff served as a United States Circuit Judge for the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. "Judge Chertoff previously served as Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division at the Department of Justice. As Assistant Attorney General, he helped trace the terrorist attacks to the al-Qaida network after September 11, 2001 and increased information sharing within the FBI.
"In 1990, Judge Chertoff was appointed by President George H.W. Bush to be United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey. He began his career in public service in 1983, in the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York. Judge Chertoff received his bachelor's degree from Harvard University and his J.D. from Harvard Law School."
"Post 9/11, Chertoff played a key role limiting or eliminating civil rights and liberties protections by promoting actions such as: using 'material witness' warrants to incarcerate people of Middle Eastern and South Asian descent, interviewing thousands of Middle Eastern and South Asian men who entered the U.S. lawfully before and after the 9/11 attacks, denying a defendant facing the death penalty the fundamental right to face and question his accusers, and holding suspects indefinitely without counsel as enemy combatants. Some have described Mr. Chertoff as 'the driving force behind the Justice Department’s most controversial initiatives in the war on terrorism.'" Despite this record he was approved by approved as head of Homeland Security on February 15 in a 98-0 vote."
After the December 2009 bombing attempt on a Northwest Airlines flight, Chertoff, now working in the private sector, has been urging for the use of full body scanners at airports.  While publicly advocating for the use of body scanners, Chertoff failed to announce how Rapiscan, the main manufacturer of these scanners, is a client of Chertoff's security consulting agency.  ""Mr. Chertoff should not be allowed to abuse the trust the public has placed in him as a former public servant to privately gain from the sale of full-body scanners under the pretense that the scanners would have detected this particular type of explosive," said Kate Hanni, founder of FlyersRights.org, which opposes the use of the scanners." 
Resources and articles
Related SourceWatch articles
- Bush administration cronyism and incompetence
- homeland security
- Hurricane Katrina: Who's at Fault?
- "New Orleans 'Dodged the Bullet'"
- Operation FALCON
- Patriot Act
- REAL ID Act of 2005
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 News Release: Personnel Announcement, Office of the White House Press Secretary, January 11, 2005.
- ↑ "CNN: Bush Plans To Install Inexperienced, Bush Loyalist Clay Johnson At Homeland Security," Think Progress, August 27, 2007.
- ↑ Fact Sheet: Task Force on New Americans, US Freedom Corps, accessed August 30, 2007.
- ↑ TASC Advisory Board, organizational web page, accessed March 30, 2013.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Jonathan S. Landay, Alison Young and Shannon McCaffrey, "Chertoff Delayed Federal Response, Memo Shows," Knight Ridder News Service (Common Dreams), September 14, 2005.
- ↑ "Bush Shifts Top Government Positions Even Farther To The Right": Michael Chertoff, indybay.org, March 7, 2005.
- ↑ Kimberly Kindy,"Ex-Homeland Security Chief Said to Abuse Public Trust by Touting Body Scanners,",Washington Post,January 1, 2010.
- ↑ Id.
- ↑ Id.
Articles by Michael Chertoff
- "Make No Mistake: This Is War," Washington Post, April 22, 2007.
Articles about Michael Chertoff
- Articles about Michael Chertoff, The Jurist.
- David Martin, "Michael Chertoff, Master of the Cover-up," The Home Page of DC Dave, January 7, 2002.
- Greg Farrell, "Roll of dice pays off for Justice," USA TODAY Money, June 17, 2002.
- Elaine Cassel, "Michael Chertoff: Ashcroft's Top Gremlin. Spreading Mischief from DoJ to the Federal Bench," CounterPunch, June 11, 2003.
- "Homeland Security Chief Nominee Chertoff Oversaw Detention of Hundreds of Arabs and Muslims After 9/11," Democracy Now!, January 12, 2005.
- "Michael Chertoff is Bad for Homeland Security," Muslim American Society, January 12, 2005.
- Mike Whitney, "Failing Upwards. The Rise of Michael Chertoff," CounterPunch, January 22/24, 2005.
- Allan P. Duncan, "Serious Questions for Michael Chertoff; Bernie Kerik’s Not Looking So Bad Now," OpEdNews, January 30, 2005.
- "Chertoff's Role in Aug. 2002 Torture Memo Called into Question at Confirmation Hearing," Democracy Now!, February 3, 2005.
- Jeffrey Hutson, "King Michael Chertoff?" American Constitution Society Blog, February 5, 2005.
- Angie C. Marek, "A New Sheriff in Town," U.S. News & World Report, July 10, 2005.
- Debbie Schlussel, "Glad Chertoff Finally Noticed: Cosmetic Homeland Security 'Plan' on Illegal Immigrants Does Nothing," DebbieSchlussel.com, August 24, 2005.
- Sam Coates and Dan Eggan, "A City of Despair and Lawlessness. Thousands Stranded in New Orleans; Troops Pour In," Washington Post, September 2, 2005.
- Debbie Schlussel, "No Confidence: DHS Agents Agree Chertoff is a Failure," DebbieSchlussel.com, September 4, 2005.
- "Chertoff: Katrina scenario did not exist. However, experts for years had warned of threat to New Orleans," CNN, September 5, 2005.
- James Carney, "4 The Secretary," TIME Magazine, September 14, 2005.
- "Chertoff AWOL As Katrina Strikes," BuzzFlash Alert, September 19, 2005.
- "Chertoff Speaks. ...discusses the administration's response to Hurricane Katrina and what can be done differently in another natural disaster," PBS Online NewsHour, February 15, 2006.
- Eric Lipton, "Chertoff Hears Harsh Criticism From Senators," New York Times, February 16, 2006.
- Paul Farhi, "Calling On Hollywood's Terrorism 'Experts'. Homeland Security Chief Compares Reality and '24'," Washington Post, June 24, 2006.
- "Homeland Security Chief Calls Plot 'Comparable to 9/11'," PBS Online NewsHour, August 10, 2006.
- "Web could be terror training camp: Chertoff," Reuters (PrisonPlanet.com), October 17, 2006.
- "US Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff debates data protection with MEPs," European Parliament, April 14, 2007.
- Ivan Eland, "Exaggerating al-Qaeda's Threat," Consortiumnews.com, April 25, 2007.
- Allahpundit, "Chertoff: Some people think anything less than capital punishment is amnesty," Hot Air Blog, May 21, 2007.
- James Meek, "Homeland Security Chief: Bin Laden 'in Pakistan'," Mouth of the Potomac Blog/New York Daily News, June 20, 2007.
- Brian Bennett, "The Perseverance of Michael Chertoff," TIME Magazine, June 21, 2007.
- Michelle Malkin, "Et tu, Michael Chertoff?" MichelleMalkin.com, June 21, 2007.
- Michelle Malkin, "Special Delivery for Michael Chertoff," MichelleMakin.com, June 27, 2007.
- Toby Harnden, "Britain 'could stage another September 11'," The Telegraph (UK), July 4, 2007.
- Martha Zoller, "Whose Side Is Michael Chertoff On?" Human Events Online, July 10, 2007.
- "Chertoff remark on terror risk elicits little alarm. Cities already on alert, regardless of homeland security chief‘s ‘gut feeling’," Associated Press (MSNBC), July 11, 2007.
- William M. Arkin, "Chertoff is Groovin'," Early Warning Blog/Washington Post, July 11, 2007.
- David Edwards and Josh Catone, "Olbermann lays into Chertoff's 'remarkable counter-terrorism stomach'," The Raw Story, July 12, 2007.
- Frank Rich, "Don't Laugh at Michael Chertoff," New York Times (Truthout.org), July 15, 2007.
- Keith Olbermann, "Al Qaeda in Michael Chertoff's Stomach: The Terror of a 'Gut Feeling'," Countdown/MSNBC (AlterNet), July 16, 2007.
- "Exclusive: Chertoff On Terror Threat. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff Discusses New Intelligence Report," CBS News, July 17, 2007.
- Farhad Manjoo, "Should national security depend on Michael Chertoff's gut?" Salon, July 30, 2007.
- "Michael Chertoff looked other way on Chiquita payments to terrorists," Lone Wacko Blog, August 2, 2007.
- "Homeland Security Chief Michael Chertoff Disappointed With Stall in Passing Immigration Reform," Associated Press (Fox News), August 14, 2007.
- Jim Kirwan, "Michael Chertoff: The Man & His Star-Crossed Past," ThePeoplesVoice.org, August 26, 2007.
- Nicole Gaouette, "Immigration crackdown will hurt economy, Chertoff says," Los Angeles Times (The News & Observer), August 11, 2007.
- BooMan, "No to Chertoff as AG," Booman Tribune, August 27, 2007.
- "If nominated as AG, Chertoff could face questions on Katrina," CNN, August 27, 2007.
- Amanda Terkel, "Flashback: Chertoff’s Incompetence At DHS Prompted Repeated Calls For Resignation," Think Progress, August 27, 2007.
- Bio: Michael Chertoff, Secretary of Homeland Security," WhiteHouse.gov, last accessed August 27, 2007.
- Biography: Michael Chertoff, Jewish Virtual Library.
- Bio: Judges of the U.S. Courts: Michael Chertoff, Federal Judicial Center.
- Profile: Michael Chertoff, BBC News (UK), January 11, 2005.
- Profile: Michael Chertoff, RightWeb.
- Profile: Michael Chertoff, NNDB.com.
- "Michael Chertoff" and duct tape alert in the Wikipedia.
- Condoleezza Rice, "Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff Secure Borders and Open Doors in the Information Age," U.S. Department of State, January 17, 2006.