Michael Chertoff was a lawyer to al-Qaeda connected people who were accused of funnelling money to bin-Laden, as well as misusing radioactive materials.
His clients had familial connections to people that were accused, and caught on tape, trying to buy stinger missiles, heavy water, and nuclear triggers.
Chertoff then became the lead investigator of 9/11.
There is no way this man should be confirmed. There is a very lenghty article on Chertoff's tangential connections to bin-Laden that I am linking here: http://www.opednews.com/duncan_0090304_NJ_terrorism1.htm
For another angle on this story see: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/1/11/101041/691
Some choice excepts below:
Between the Fall of 1998 and June 2001, a group of Middle Eastern men living in New Jersey is caught on tape in an ATF weapons sting conspiring to buy millions of dollars of weapons including components for nuclear bombs. Three years after the operation ended, all of the people involved in the deal are free.
Federal agents who worked on the case were frustrated because it was handled as a criminal case instead of a counterterrorism case. In an in depth look at Operation Diamondback I reveal that one of the suspects who was accused of skimming millions of dollars from a fraudulent HMO to offshore accounts where the money allegedly went to finance terrorism, was defended in the HMO case by a lawyer who later became the Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Criminal Division, under John Ashcroft. The lawyer, Michael Chertoff, was in his position as Assistant Attorney General when Operation Diamondback ended and his client was never arrested even though an intelligence document claimed he and his brother in Egypt had links to Osama Bin Laden.
Is this why the ATF operation was handled as a criminal case and not a terrorism case by the federal government?
a pre-9-11 weapon sting in which a 32 million dollar deal for a ship load of weapons, 500 Stinger Missiles, nuclear triggers, weapons grade plutonium and "heavy water" for a nuclear dirty bomb were the weapons of choice of Middle Eastern men seeking to arm Osama Bin Laden and the Taliban. This case never made screaming headlines when it ended in June 2001 and most people have never head about it. The attacks on 9-11 were three months away and the American press was not as eager to pounce on every story that even mentioned the word terrorist. In addition to the weapons deal, the World Trade Center was specifically mentioned as a future target by one of the characters in this drama and yet none of the people involved in this case are currently in prison. Why?
About this meeting, John Pacenti, in a Palm Beach Post article dated August 2, 2002 titled, Con Man Turned Patriot Tells All states:
"At the meeting Abbas said Americans are the enemy and they will have no problem blowing up this entire restaurant because it's full of Americans," Glass said. "As we leave the restaurant, Abbas turns and says, 'those towers (the World Trade Center ) are coming down.'"
Despite that information, available to the government two years before the World Trade Center attack, the FBI's terrorism task force didn't appear to take the threat seriously, Glass said." (4)
The August 2, 2002 edition of Dateline NBC, brought to light the story of another North Jersey character named Dr. Magdy Elamir.
"Last fall, "Dateline" obtained information about Magdy Elamir. He's a prominent doctor, a neurologist with a practice in Jersey City . Born and educated in Egypt , he moved to this country about 20 years ago and since then has built a fortune. He lives in a mansion, is generous to local charities and is an active supporter of both political parties.
Should counterterrorism investigators take an interest in Dr. Elamir? Well, "Dateline" obtained a document last fall -- foreign intelligence report, that makes a startling allegation about the doctor -- that he has had financial ties with Osama bin Laden for years. The report was given to a senior member of Congress, Ben Gilman, back in 1998, when he was Chairman of the House International Relations Committee.
"We have a former FBI person on our staff and I asked him to look it over," says Congressman Gilman. "He thought it was credible enough to turn it over to the intelligence people. And we turned it over to the FBI practically immediately."
This was in 1998.
The report alleges that an H.M.O. owned by Dr. Elamir in New Jersey was "funded by ben [sic] Laden" and that in turn Dr. Elamir was skimming money from the H.M.O. to fund "terrorist activities."
"In 1996 and 1997, Maryland Casualty Insurance Co., National Consumer Insurance Co., and Allstate New Jersey Insurance Co. cited Elamir and numerous other defendants in lawsuits alleging that they performed unnecessary medical procedures on "victims" of staged auto accidents. As a result, Allstate stopped paying for MRIs at Elamir's unlicensed centers, and his cash flow dropped, Elamir's attorneys have said.
Elamir ran afoul of the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission in 1997 after applying for a license to perform radioactive imaging in another of his offices. The NRC found that he had listed a Long Island doctor as his office's radiation safety officer and the sole authorized user of the material without the doctor's knowledge, NRC disciplinary records show. The physician was not licensed in New Jersey , according to the state Board of Medical Examiners.
As a result, the NRC has prohibited Elamir from any involvement
with nuclear medicine until 2002." (11)
To make matters worse, Dr. Elamir's own brother, Mohamed El Amir, was implicated in Operation Diamondback:
Mohamed El Amir is Mohamed Atta's real name. (Just a little coincidence).
The same article states that Dr. Elamir's lawyer, Michael Chertoff,
also represented him in the fraudulent HMO case:
"Chertoff, who has represented Elamir at court hearings on the state takeover of APPP, said he did not know why the MRI centers did not
provide financial help for the troubled HMO, as envisioned in the agreement.
Elamir has been accused by the state of diverting state Medicaid funds to other businesses he owns. In a civil proceeding, the state alleges that American Preferred Provider illegally "loaned" more than $4 million to two start-up HMOs in Michigan and Washington , D.C., also owned by Elamir, and that APPP paid Elamir and various other businesses he owned more than $5 million out of Medicaid funds." (13)
I didn't know who Michael Chertoff was when I ran across his name as the attorney who defended Dr. Elamir in his fraudulent HMO and MRI cases, so I did some research. I was completely blown away by what I discovered about Michael Chertoff.
As it turns out, Michael Chertoff was appointed Assistant Attorney General, under John Ashcroft, in early 2001 and was placed in charge of the Criminal Division. (16) Since Operation Diamondback was an active case when he took office, and culminated in arrests in June of 2001, the case would have fallen under his pervue since it was handled as a criminal case and not as a counterterrorism case. This means that one of his former clients, Dr. Magdy Elamir, along with his brother Mohamed El Amir, were now involved in a case under his supervision.
When the attacks on 9-11 occurred, Michael Chertoff was placed in charge of the investigation. On Oct. 25, 2001 , CBS reported that the Feds had launched Operation Green Quest in an attempt to stop the financing of terrorism. Here's what Dr. Magdy Elamir's former attorney had to say on the subject:
"The lifeblood of terrorism is money, and if we cut the money we cut the blood supply," said assistant attorney general Michael Chertoff, the head of the Justice Department's criminal division. (17)
The next day, on October 26, 2001 , Michael Chertoff testified before Congress and had this to say:
"As an integral part of this national effort, the Department of Justice and the FBI have established an interagency Financial Review Group to coordinate the investigation of the financial aspects surrounding the terrorist events of September 11th and beyond. All members of this Committee recognize the importance of understanding the financial components of terrorist and criminal organizations. These financial links will be critical to the larger criminal investigation, while also providing a trail to the sources of funding for these heinous crimes. The importance of "following the money," in this instance, as well as in the investigation of all criminal enterprises, cannot be overstated.
The members of this Committee are also well aware that money laundering constitutes a threat to the safety of our communities, to the integrity of our financial institutions and to our national security." (18)
On March 25, 2002 , CNN reported:
"Assistant Attorney General Michael Chertoff is the Dick Cheney of the Justice Department. Brainy, intense and well connected, the former federal prosecutor can usually be found at Attorney General John Ashcroft's elbow as the department's top counterterrorism tactician. And last week Chertoff vanished to an undisclosed location.
With no deputies along and no publicity, Chertoff was on a stealthy swing through France , Belgium and the Netherlands . His mission: sell Western European governments on a new Bush Administration plan to post U.S. Justice Department prosecutors overseas in unprecedented numbers. "The sinews that hold a terrorist network together are money, communications and transportation," Chertoff told TIME before his trip. To help sever those sinews, Chertoff wants to have American prosecutors stationed in key capitals, where they can work behind the scenes with their counterparts to overcome the legal and cultural obstacles to shipping evidence to the U.S. for use in court."
Perhaps Chertoff could have saved some time and effort and looked in his own backyard for evidence of terrorist financing. To date, Dr. Magdy Elamir and his brother have not been arrested and are still free.
Read the whole article here: http://www.opednews.com/duncan_0090304_NJ_terrorism1.htm
This man should be investigated. He should not become out Protector in Chief.