Secretary of Homeland Security

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

President Bush has named a former top prosecutor to be his secretary of homeland security in his second try at filling the post.

Announcing his choice of appeals court Judge Michael Chertoff, the president called him a "key leader in the war on terror" -- as well as a "brilliant thinker" and "practical organizer."

Chertoff was head of the Justice Department's criminal division on Nine-Eleven -- and led the government's legal response.

Before that, Chertoff was a prosecutor in New Jersey, and also helped investigate President Clinton as GOP counsel to the Senate Whitewater committee.

Chertoff says if confirmed by the Senate, he'd proudly "stand again" with those on the "front line against terror."

Bush turned to Chertoff after his first choice, ex-New York Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik, withdrew his name. Revelations about Kerik's history included the fact he'd employed a nanny who may have been an illegal immigrant.


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