Ashcroft's Man On a Mission

Assistant Attorney General Michael Chertoff is the Dick Cheney of the Justice Department. Brainy, intense and well connected, the former federal prosecutor can usually be found at Attorney General John Ashcroft's elbow as the department's top counterterrorism tactician. And last week Chertoff vanished to an undisclosed location.

With no deputies along and no publicity, Chertoff was on a stealthy swing through France, Belgium and the Netherlands. His mission: sell Western European governments on a new Bush Administration plan to post U.S. Justice Department prosecutors overseas in unprecedented numbers. "The sinews that hold a terrorist network together are money, communications and transportation,"...

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