Tracy A. Henke

From SourceWatch
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Tracy A. Henke, of Missouri, was nominated September 5, 2006, by President George W. Bush to be the Executive Director of the Office of State and Local Government Coordination and Preparedness, Department of Homeland Security, vice C. Suzanne Mencer, resigned.

Henke has either been appointed in a recess appointment or nominated to the same position by President Bush on three earlier occasions: nominated February 10, 2006; appointed in a recess appointment on January 4, 2006; and originally nominated on July 13, 2005. The latter nomination was sent to the Senate July 14, 2005, but was not confirmed.

It was announced January 5, 2005, that Henke would serve as the Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs (OJP), which "provides federal leadership to develop the nation’s capacity to prevent and control crime, administer justice, assist crime victims and improve the criminal and juvenile justice systems."

Patriot Act "Contributions"

"These critics trace the shift to the passage in October [2001] of the U.S.A. Patriot Act, a sweeping antiterrorism measure that removed much of the freedom the directors of the Bureau of Justice Statistics and the National Institute of Justice had long enjoyed, giving their authority to the assistant attorney general for the Office of Justice Programs, Deborah Daniels, and her deputy, Tracy Henke," Fox Butterfield reported in the September 22, 2002, New York Times.

"In a report to Congress on these changes, Ms. Daniels, whose brother, Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr., is director of the Office of Management and Budget, said there was a need to centralize control over these agencies because of the Sept. 11 attacks. Ms. Henke is a close associate of Mr. [John] Ashcroft and was responsible for inserting language in the Patriot Act undercutting the two agencies' independence, employees say."

"Fixing" the Racial Profiling Report

In April 2005, as a report was being completed by Lawrence A. Greenfeld, whom President Bush had named in 2001 "to lead the Bureau of Justice Statistics, Mr. Greenfeld's office drafted a news release to announce the findings and submitted it for review to the office of Tracy A. Henke, who was then the acting assistant attorney general who oversaw the statistics branch," Eric Lichtblau reported in the August 24, 2005, New York Times.

"The planned announcement noted that the rate at which whites, blacks and Hispanics were stopped was 'about the same,' and that finding was left intact by Ms. Henke's office, according to a copy of the draft obtained by The New York Times.

"But the references in the draft to higher rates of searches and use of force for blacks and Hispanics were crossed out by hand, with a notation in the margin that read, 'Do we need this?' A note affixed to the edited draft, which the officials said was written by Ms. Henke, read 'Make the changes,' and it was signed 'Tracy.' That led to a fierce dispute after Mr. Greenfeld refused to delete the references, officials said."

"Greenfeld refused [to make the changes] and the press release was withdrawn. The study itself, however, was released unchanged and can be viewed in its entirety on the BJS website (Contacts between Police and the Public: Findings from the 2002 National Survey, April 2005, (at Shortly thereafter, Greenfeld was brought in for questioning by the third highest ranking official in the Justice Department and then called to the White House and asked to resign," Joseph M. Bessette wrote in October 17, 2005, issue of The Weekly Standard.

"Ms. Henke, who was nominated by Mr. Bush [in July 2005] to a senior position at the Department of Homeland Security, said in a brief telephone interview that she did not recall the episode," Lichtblau wrote.

Enron-Style Spinner of Numbers

Henke, "a John Ashcroft political appointee at the Justice Department, has since been unmasked as an Enron-style spinner of numbers," Frank Rich wrote in the September 25, 2005, New York Times.

"As Eric Lichtblau of The Times reported in August [2005], it was she who ordered the highly regarded nonpartisan head of the Bureau of Justice Statistics, Lawrence Greenfeld, to delete a reference to politically embarrassing data in a government press release for a report on racial profiling. When Mr. Greenfeld complained, he was demoted.

"Imagine Ms. Henke, in her Homeland Security job, having sway over press releases about our disaster readiness. There is likely to be nothing but good news until it's too late. But if the hiring of the likes" of Henke, Julie L. Myers, and David Safavian "is half of the equation in Enron governance, the other half is the punishing of veteran civil servants like Mr. Greenfeld for doing their jobs honestly."


Beginning in 2003, Henke served as Deputy Associate Attorney General at the Department of Justice: "In this capacity, she provides oversight to several Justice Department components including OJP, the Office of Violence Against Women, the Community Relations Service, and the Community Oriented Policing Services Office." [1]

On June 25, 2001, Henke was designated by Attorney General John Ashcroft to serve as Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General: "As PDAAG of OJP, Henke will advise and assist the Assistant Attorney General (AAG), key Presidential appointees and other senior staff in fulfilling President Bush's and Attorney General Ashcroft's agenda and mandates. Henke, acting with the AAG, will exercise full responsibility for carrying out all policy, programmatic, legal and managerial matters required to assure OJP's effective and efficient operations and the proper stewardship of taxpayer dollars."

Prior to joining the Department of Justice, Henke served as Senior Policy Advisor to Senator Christopher S. Bond ("Kit" Bond): "In this position Henke was responsible for developing and implementing the Senator's policy objectives, strategies, and operating plans for a variety of issues. In addition, she served as the Senator's point person on all appropriation issues and worked on devising outreach strategies and coalition building." [2]

She also worked for Senator John C. Danforth of Missouri. A native of Moscow Mills, MO, she received her bachelor's degree from the University of Missouri, Columbia. [3][4]

SourceWatch Resources

External links