A Statement by Former DHS Assistant Secretary for Policy Stewart Baker: US Leadership in Secure Documents

By Stewart Baker, Janice Kephart, and Bryan Griffith on March 26, 2009

There is no doubt that there has been a sea change in priorities in the US in the past year due to a severe down turn in the world economy and a new President that disagrees with much of the past administrations programs and policies. While there remains a no comment on much of the Bush administration work on secure documents and IDs, one thing is clear: we cannot understand where the US needs to be in the area of secure documents without looking at where we have been.

Chertoff, as you may recall, felt the need to coordinate the departments document and ID programs under one roof. Baker did this from a policy perspective, making these policies come to life was the next step. Indeed, what Chertoff and Baker did was take the overarching elements of the 9/11 Commission recommendations about terrorist travel and worked to assure those recommendations were fulfilled in spirit as much as by law.