Friday, January 1, 2010

It Looks Like a Conflict, Smells Like Conflict...

It is a Conflict of Interest!

Elaine Thompson/Associated Press

The Washington Post
has an article about Michael Chertoff, the former Homeland Security secretary, and his relationship with the Chertoff Group, his security consulting agency.

Since the attempted bombing of a U.S. airliner on Christmas Day, former Homeland Security secretary Michael Chertoff has given dozens of media interviews touting the need for the federal government to buy more full-body scanners for airports.

What he has made little mention of is that the Chertoff Group, his security consulting agency, includes a client that manufactures the machines. The relationship drew attention after Chertoff disclosed it on a CNN program Wednesday, in response to a question.

The only criticism of Chertoff comes from the group

An airport passengers' rights group on Thursday criticized Chertoff, who left office less than a year ago, for using his former government credentials to advocate for a product that benefits his clients.

"Mr. Chertoff should not be allowed to abuse the trust the public has placed in him as a former public servant to privately gain from the sale of full-body scanners under the pretense that the scanners would have detected this particular type of explosive," said Kate Hanni, founder of, which opposes the use of the scanners.

In the name of 'Homeland Security,' money is a mighty motivator.


eli said...

I think if another company makes similar machines,it would be an issue

rross said...

I believe there are several companies that manufacture these full-body scanners.

So what?

The issue is the conflict of interest that exists. The fact that Michael Chertoff has been using his position as the former Homeland Security Secretary to promote these scanners as necessary in airport security without acknowledging his involvement with representing a manufacturer.