Michael Chertoff, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, has little regard for the law.
Chertoff is the co-author of the USA PATRIOT Act, a law that has little regard for the rights of law-abiding American citizens.
He is also the face of the government’s inadequate response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
DownsizeDC chronicles how Chertoff threatened Montana Governor Schweitzer. When Montana passed a resolution against REAL ID implementation, Chertoff warned the Governor that Montana residents would be banned from airplanes, or subjected to severe, time-consuming inspections at airports.
The Governor countered with his own threat, “How about we both go on 60 Minutes a few days after the DHS starts patting down Montana driver’s license-holders who are trying to get on the planes and both of us can tell our side of the story.” Chertoff didn’t like that suggestion. He said, “I see the problem. We need to get this fixed.”
So far, the “fix” involves granting Montana and all other rebellious states an extension of the deadline for complying with the REAL ID Act.
Have you protested to your elected representatives that the Secretary of Homeland Security has been threatening the citizens of states that don’t comply with REAL ID? If not, please do so. You can mention the Chertoff-Schweitzer exchange in your personal comments. Ask Congress to repeal the REAL ID Act. You can send your message here.
Chertoff’s latest brilliant move is defending an official policy by Customs and Border Protection that allows agents at the nation’s borders to look through laptops–including reading their email or searching through digital snapshots–to look for incriminating evidence. According to the misguided policy, agents don’t need any reason to search, seize or copy travellers’ laptop or phones. The Ninth Circuit U.S. Appeals Court has upheld the constitutionality of this ridiculous law.
Senator Russ Feingold (D-Wisconsin) responded correctly: “[Chertoff's] statements make it clearer than ever that as we work to protect our national security, Congress must also act to protect law-abiding Americans against highly intrusive searches.”
Why does the man in charge of protecting our security have such little regard for the rights and liberties of law-abiding American citizens?