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Michael (why didn't you?) Row the Boat Ashore

09.14.2005 11:23 | DISPATCHES

From the Dossier of an Ex-Patriot.

As by now everyone knows, thanks to Knight-Ridder, Michael Chertoff, "not Brown was in charge of managing the national response to a catastrophic disaster, according to the National Response Plan. . . a power which he didn't shift to Brown until late on Aug. 30, about 36 hours after Katrina made landfall."

"That same memo," the story continues, "suggests that Chertoff may have been confused about his lead role in disaster response and that of his department."

Who really is this guy, who, frankly, could pass for Mephistopheles? Sander Hick provides some insight in his new book, The Big Wedding: 9/11, the Whistle-Blowers and the Cover-Up (Vox Pop). As a private attorney Chertoff successfully defended Dr. Magdy Elamir, financial supporter of the mosque where 1993 World Trade Center bomber the Blind Sheikh preached. Dr. Elamir's HMO was sued by the state of New Jersey to recoup $16.7 million in losses, at least $5.7 million of which was thought to have been funneled to fund terrorists.

Then as Senate Counsel he aided and abetted the Senate investigation cover-up of Clinton White House attorney Vince Foster's possible murder. Later, as an adviser to the CIA he made a deal with the lawyers of John Walker Lindh, the American Taliban, to gag him just as he was about to testify that he was tortured by his jailers.

This Michael is no archangel.


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