The Next Big Thing in the War On Terror and airport security is the full-body scanner. You’ve heard about it. This is the machine that will expose everyone – you, me, everybody who passes through it – as if we were naked. You may think that’s a good idea. A highly trained security expert would be able to spot hidden explosives and other such terrorist dangers. Who will examine and interpret our full-body scans? Who will look at our exposed bodies with an eye to making the American People safer? You know who. Our nakedness will be seen by and interpreted by at least one and perhaps a whole group of minimum wage TSA employees. Real security experts, right? If you have been in an airport lately you know exactly who I’m talking about. Do you think those new full-body scans will make you feel more comfortable flying? More secure? Safer? Sure they will.
Did you know that President Obama’s Dept. of Homeland Security has already purchased more than $50 million worth of these new airport machines, and that they have ordered another $25 million more, which are yet to come? You didn't hear about Congress approving this? That's because they never did. They took the money right out of the Stimulus Package. Exactly what you thought that program was meant for wasn't it?
Guess who the most vocal supporter of this new technology is. How about Michael Chertoff, the former head of The Dept. of Homeland Security under George W. Bush. That fact, I’m sure, makes you feel better, doesn’t it? Chertoff is a security expert. He knows what works and what doesn’t. Right? He has your safety and your interest as his personal goal, doesn’t he? Why else would he be on every television show he can find talking up the need for these full-body scanners at every airport in America and all around the world? Chertoff wouldn't have a personal, private agenda, a special interest here - would he?
Well, maybe. It’s called The American Way.
Michael Chertoff served his country – and now his country is damn well going to serve him. Isn’t that The American Way? Sure it is. Chertoff is now part of the "private sector." Ever hear of The Chertoff Group? Here is what they have to say about themselves. These are their words. This is how Michael Chertoff is selling his services today.
"For deals in the security industry, Chertoff Group offers unparalleled subject matter expertise and contacts to give you the competitive advantage."
"We have overseen billions of dollars of technology development and acquisition for the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice, the National Security Agency, and the CIA. We have keen insight into which new technologies are likely to transform the landscape, and our experience allows us to predict which ones may be headed for obsolescence."
"We have proven success, not only in the domestic U.S. market; members of our team have years of experience in completing international transactions, as well."
"The security and risk management market is large, growing and resilient, even in this economic downturn. Despite its potential value of over $200 billion per year, the market is highly fragmented. Together, these realities provide many opportunities to leverage economies of scale and enhance returns through operational improvements."
"The Chertoff Group partners with compatible private equity firms across the investment spectrum, by providing our sector knowledge to help monitor and manage target companies during periods of transition. Regardless of our role, we are committed experts at aligning interests and maximizing value for our clients."
Impressive, isn't it? So, exactly who are The Chertoff Group?
Michael Chertoff is a Co-Founder and Managing Principal of The Chertoff Group. No surprise there. As they say, it’s his name on the door. Who are some of his partners and colleagues? Take a look.
Charles E. Allen: Formerly at The Dept. of Homeland Security along with Chertoff and before that, 40 years at CIA - the Central Intelligence Agency.
Larry Castro: 44 years at the NSA - the National Security Agency.
Jay M. Cohen: Former Chief of Naval Research at the Dept. of the Navy under George W. Bush.
Michael Hayden: General US Army. Former Director of NSA and former Director of the CIA under George W. Bush.
Nathaniel T. G. Fogg: Top executive at FEMA under George W. Bush.
Paul Schneider: Senior Acquisitions Executive at the National Security Agency under George W. Bush.
Chad Sweet: Former Chief of Staff at The Dept. of Homeland Security under George W. Bush. Previously, a top executive at both Morgan Stanley and Goldman-Sachs.
Imagine having your "interests aligned" and your "values maximized" by such a group.
Now, take a wild guess. Who do you think represents the company that manufactures and sells the full-body scanner? Did you say, The Chertoff Group?
It’s called The American Way.