Ridge, Chertoff: New Authors on U.S. Security
Only three individuals have headed the Department of Homeland Security since its formation in January 2003. Two them have books coming out this week.
Tom Ridge, the chief from 2003 to 2005, caused a rumpus among former players in the Bush administration earlier this month when details emerged from his new book "The Test of Our Times: America Under Siege...and How We Can Be Safe Again" (Thomas Dunne Books, $25.99). In the book, Ridge reveals that he felt pressured to raise the color coded threat advisory system.
Michael Chertoff, who presided over the agency from 2005 to the end of the Bush administration, is releasing a similar work about the department - though he hasn't received the headlines his predecessor has.
In "Homeland Security: Assessing the First Five Years" (University of Pennsylvania Press, $24.95), he argues, among other things, that transnational gangs, cyber terrorism and improvised explosive devises detonated at home are emerging threats; the fight against terrorism should be viewed as a contest between freedom and tyranny; exercising "soft power" is the best way to prevent terrorism; FEMA should not be removed from DHS; and international law hinders the security needs of individual states.
In an interview with The Los Angeles Times, Chertoff cautioned against shutting down detention camps for detainees and prosecuting CIA interrogators. He tells the Times: "I spent four years working real hard to keep people who were trained in al-Qaeda camps from coming into the country. The idea that we [might] bring them in and let them go is not a happy prospect."
At Border Lines, a blog by the liberal advocacy group Center for International Policy, Tom Barry casts a dubious eye on the book, viewing the arguments as Chertoff's sales pitch for his security consulting company, the Chertoff Group. "The homeland security industry is emerging as the country's fastest growing government-industry complex. It's an industry where Chertoff and an array of ex-Bush administration officials are playing leading roles," Barry writes.
-- Stephen Lowman
Please email us to report offensive comments.
Posted by: lheffelkcrrcom | September 1, 2009 10:22 AM
Posted by: frluke | September 2, 2009 2:36 PM
Posted by: frluke | September 2, 2009 4:11 PM
The comments to this entry are closed.