Chertoff Misleads on Laptop Searches

Surprising nobody, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Mike Chertoff mouthed statements that could be considered misleading in polite company, or out and out lies here in the Big Potato. Senator Russ Feingold calls Chertoff on Chertoff’s bs.

Pip and his MBA

[Pip investigates a laptop]

Secretary Chertoff’s description of the newly published DHS policy on laptop searches was not just misleading – it was flat-out wrong. In an interview with, the Secretary stated that “[w]e only do [laptop searches] when we put you into secondary [screening] and we only put you into secondary [screening] … when there is a reason to suspect something.”

But the actual policy that DHS published says the exact opposite. It does not even mention secondary screening, let alone limit laptop searches to those cases, and it expressly states that Americans’ laptops may be searched “absent individualized suspicion.”

Secretary Chertoff’s blatant mischaracterization of the DHS policy contradicts his claim to be engaging in greater “openness and transparency” on this important issue. His statements make it clearer than ever that as we work to protect our national security, Congress must also act to protect law-abiding Americans against highly intrusive searches.

[From Chertoff Misleads on Laptop Searches, Feingold Charges | Threat Level from]

I’m glad Senator Feingold didn’t run for President – he wouldn’t have won, and instead he can concentrate on doing good in the Senate.

bonus, and totally unrelated, except in a vague sort of totalitarian way:

How to properly pronounce the Chinese capital, Beijing.


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