On February 15, the Senate confirmed Bush’s nomination of Michael Chertoff to head up Homeland Security.
The vote was shamefully unanimous.
He sailed through 98 to nothing.
Not a single Democratic Senator stood up to oppose him.
Not Barbara Boxer.
Not Ted Kennedy.
Not Russ Feingold.
Not Frank Lautenberg.
Not Richard Durbin.
Not John Kerry.
They all took a dive, even though Chertoff doesn’t deserve the post.
A chief Ashcroft aide, Chertoff was in on some of the most anti-liberty policies of this Administration, as the ACLU notes in a devastating memodated January 28 and available on its website at www.aclu.org.
Chertoff was instrumental in the policy of rounding up Arab and Muslim men on mere pretexts after 9/11.
Chertoff was instrumental in holding them on specious material witness grounds.
Chertoff was instrumental in lifting the thirty-year ban on the FBI spying on public meetings or in houses of worship without probable cause.
Chertoff was instrumental in drafting Ashcroft’s edict to allow the government to eavesdrop on prisoner-client conversations.
And Chertoff, according to The New York Times, told the CIA it was OK to subject detainees to such torture tactics as waterboarding.
Even on procedural grounds, at least one Democrat or two should have voted against Chertoff because the Bush Administration withheld an FBI document on him that may have shed light on his knowledge of torture at Guantanamo.
Democratic Minority Leader Harry Reid said the withholding of this document “prevents us from truly understanding Judge Chertoff’s role.”
Then why, Harry Reid, did you vote for the guy?
Like the approval of Gonzales for Attorney General, the Senate’s confirmation of Chertoff sends all the wrong signals.
But at least some Senators had the courage to stand up and oppose Gonzales.
There’s no excuse for all of them to then go and lie down for Chertoff.
© 2005 The Progressive