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Chertoff pledges to balance security, rights if confirmed as Homeland Secretary

[JURIST] Federal appeals judge Michael Chertoff [JURIST report] told a Senate committee Wednesday that if he were confirmed as Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security [official website] he would balance "the imperatives of security with the preservation of liberty and privacy." Testifying before the Senate Homeland and Governmental Affairs Committee [official website; today's agenda] in the wake of news reports that as head of the Justice Departments Criminal Division after 9/11 he had been instrumental in framing the Bush administration's policy on interrogations and torture - allegations which have since been denied by the White House [JURIST report] - he insisted that since the day of the terror attacks "the challenge of our generation has been to defend our country against the evil of terrorism while honoring our fundamental commitment to our liberties and privacy." Chertoff is expected to face stiff questioning from some Committee members, although his nomination at this stage seems politically assured. Read Chertoff's prepared testimony to the Committee [PDF]. AP has more.

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