Rich Galen

A huge proportion of the outcry demanding the government secure our borders during the immigration bill debate last month was precisely because Americans have little confidence that the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) (also an agency of DHS) is doing that very well right now.

That goofball stationed at the Canadian border who worked (and maybe still works) for Chertoff and let Andrew "TB Andy" Speaker waltz through the border crossing even though his name was flagged on a watch list did little to assuage my fears - even assuming I know what assuage actually means.

I wonder what Chertoff's gut tells him about the level of training of the people who are supposed to be protecting our borders - winter AND summer.

In addition, playing the gut card, gives real scary people like Dennis Kucinich (D-Oh) the opportunity to send out a press release saying the Administration is "is drumming up fear in order to protect its war agenda."

I absolutely don't believe that is the case, but the astonishing imprecision of Chertoff's remark gives the President's political opponents a clear field of fire.

Michael Chertoff was a senior official in the Justice Department and a Federal Judge before he took over DHS. He is smart enough and experienced enough to understand that a phrase like "a kind of gut feeling" is not what America is looking for in a threat assessment.

From my aunt's bunions I can get a weather report. From the Secretary of Homeland Security I expect something more technical.

Although, now that I think of it, my aunt's bunions are almost always right. When she says to take an umbrella...

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at