Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Another Freedom Fighter For Freep

Hilary Clinton may have a special interest in making life hard for yet another of Bush' nominee's for the head of Homeland Security. The New York Observer casts an interesting light on Michael Chertoff's upcoming consideration for rhe post: his history as Alfonse D'Amato's attack dog during the Watergate investigations, and in particular, his involvement in the snoop into Vince Foster's suicide:

"The bad blood between Mrs. Clinton and the 51-year-old prosecutor stems from the tangled days when he served as chief counsel to Senator Alfonse D’Amato’s Senate Whitewater investigation committee. For more than two years, he chipped zealously away at the investigation that would ultimately metastasize into the Monica Lewinsky affair. Mr. Chertoff personally delved into the suicide of deputy White House counsel Vince Foster. He also chased—and ultimately uncovered—the missing law-firm billing records that led directly to Mrs. Clinton’s testimony before Kenneth Starr’s grand jury."
And meanwhile, over at The Village Voice, Chertoff is considered by James Ridgeway to have the potential to become another Ashcroft, only moreso:

"Steven Brill, in his book After reports sources saying that in strategy sessions at the Justice Department, Chertoff went along with holding detainees for long periods of time, and even argued that if some of them got hearings, the proceedings "could not only be done in secret, but also could be delayed, and that even after the hearings were held and they were ordered deported [usually for only minor immigration violations], there was nothing in the law that said they absolutely had to be deported immediately. They could be held still longer."
Brill reports that, under immigration rules, the prisoners "were entitled to call a lawyer from jail, but the lists the INS provided of available lawyers invariably had phone numbers that were not in service."
Wrote Brill: "Chertoff reasoned that while they were being held they would be discouraged from calling lawyers, and could be questioned without lawyers present because they were not being charged with any crime.”
Like I said before: Americans like continuity, and Chertoff will certainly fill that bill.

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