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DHS Secretary Chertoff Outlines Transition Efforts

By Spencer S. Hsu
Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff added his voice to those Bush administration officials welcoming Barack Obama, issuing a statement this afternoon on DHS transition efforts and noting that his department has put itself at heightened alert through mid-2009 because of the potential disruption and distraction caused by the changeover.

Chertoff said he expected aides to begin meeting members of Obama's team "in a matter of days" and was finalizing briefing books and plans for a table-top exercise for incoming officials.

In remarks to reporters yesterday, Chertoff added, " I would like to extend my congratulations to the President-elect for a very well run, masterfully run campaign."

Chertoff's full statement follows.


President Bush has demonstrated extraordinary leadership in directing that every effort be made to facilitate a smooth transition in government for the incoming administration. At the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), we are actively planning to leave the department strong in January 2009, an effort that has been a priority for my leadership team since early last year. Historically, we know transitions may be periods of increased vulnerability. We are keenly focused on ensuring a smooth hand-off to the new administration and working closely with the incoming transition team.
DHS has been aggressive in preparing internally for the upcoming transition, to ensure there are no gaps in the leadership team or in our planning efforts. Our transition is led by the Under Secretary for Management, who appointed U.S. Coast Guard Rear Admiral John Acton as the Director for DHS Presidential Transition in June 2008 to implement the department's internal efforts, as well as coordinate with the new administration's appointees.

Last year, we established a succession plan for all component agencies, ensuring that the top leadership in each component includes career executives who will preserve continuity of operations before, during and after the administration transition. We've trained and exercised those senior career employees to ensure that each component and office within DHS has capable leadership ready to move up and take the reins during an administration transition, and assist new appointees to be ready on day one. In addition, we are going beyond briefing materials to develop and implement improved processes to equip the new appointees with the tools they need, and the information and relationships required to be effective in their jobs.

In the coming weeks and months, we intend to include the transition team in the ongoing series of tabletop exercises that we have been running for some time, to educate the new administration on incident response procedures. On behalf the department, I extend my congratulations to the President-elect, and stand ready to work with the Senate and new appointees to quickly confirm the new senior leadership for the department.

By Web Politics Editor  |  November 6, 2008; 8:07 PM ET
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Barack, I have known I wanted you to be our next president since you spoke what I believe more eloquently than I can in 2004 and ever since. And I chose your VP as well. Joe was still standing.

I am 75, husband 83, mother is 93. We don't fit the demographics. oo bad they did not perceive you as we did and do.

Never have I been able to say I was proud of America: Europeans killed indigenous persons; destroyed their food, homes, etc.; took land from Mexicans; slavery; treated women as 2nd class citizens and many other injusticies.

FINALLY, many Americans got it right - they voted for you.

Thank you for being yourself. I admire and respect you for being comfortable with your self.

Posted by: wilkestraphill | November 7, 2008 4:45 PM | Report abuse

2012 election has already begun for some candidates, Seems supporters are not waiting

Posted by: pastor123 | November 7, 2008 10:58 AM | Report abuse

There are few figures from the Bush administration aside from Bush and Cheney I will be happy to see ride off into oblivion more than Chertoff. Why he ever got appointed to the position has always been a mystery to me. Well, except I suppose when you consider how Brown got appointed to head FEMA.

Maybe Chertoff can join "Brownie" now raising Arabian horses. Good riddance!

Posted by: wes1155 | November 7, 2008 10:46 AM | Report abuse



Not as long as government-supported extrajudicial "vigilante injustice" squads are "community stalking" American citizens, making a mockery of the rule of law:

Posted by: scrivener50 | November 7, 2008 9:33 AM | Report abuse

So the code speak for Republicans is that Obama won because of a masterful campaign or because of a freak bad streak in the economy or because minorities (actually college educated young people) came out of the woodwork to vote.
And by some strange coincidence old people stayed home.

This is the myth they need to spawn because otherwise they would be held accountable for losing the election precisely for their bad performance that is directly attributed to policy and philosophy.

They will sacrifice anything or anyone but mostly the truth to preserve their faith in Conservatism.

Chertoff, we do not need to descend into your layers of fear anymore.

Posted by: ricinro85212 | November 7, 2008 7:40 AM | Report abuse

Centerpeice of the Bush Presidency:


Makes us proud W. Don't let the door hit you in the ... on the way out.

(a little pent up anger, you think?)

Posted by: thenotoriousflavio | November 7, 2008 7:17 AM | Report abuse

From the look of things, it is becoming clearer that the Bushee hacks assembled over the last 8 years want the new administration to accept and follow the GOP agenda. One would hope that Obama will have serious, open minded viable people that will burn the midnight oil to start looking at these mid level Bushee hacks that have these screwed up policies of hate, fear and harassment of innocent citizens in place.

Posted by: winemaster2 | November 6, 2008 9:38 PM | Report abuse

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