Bush’ forslag til ny leder av Homeland Security, Michael Chertoff, hadde ansvaret for anholdelsen av mistenkelige utlendinger etter 911.
Her tok man i så man var sikker, og enkeltpersoners rettssikkerhet sto ikke i første rekke. Hvor Chertoff sto i dag, vites ikke, men like etter 911 forsvarte han politikken:
At a Senate hearing in November 2001 about Justice’s aggressive counterterrorism efforts, Chertoff said, «Are we being aggressive and hard-nosed? You bet. . . . In the aftermath of September 11, how could we not be?»
As an assistant attorney general in the months after the attacks, Chertoff helped oversee the detention of 762 foreign nationals for immigration violations; none of them was charged with terrorism-related crimes. A subsequent report by the Justice Department’s inspector general determined that Justice’s «no bond» policy for the detainees — a tactic whose legality was questioned at the time by immigration officials — led to lengthy delays in releasing them from prison, where some faced «a pattern of physical and verbal abuse.»
Civil liberties groups soon denounced the policy, which caused the men to be held incommunicado for weeks at a time. Detainees were held an average of three months before being cleared of suspicion and released. Administration officials acknowledged later that the FBI at the time was so overwhelmed with terrorism investigations that many of the detainees languished in jail before agents cleared their names.