438Fwd: Kerik nomination is a ticking time bomb
- Dec 3, 2004--- jakcarr@... wrote:
> To: firstname.lastname@example.org://www.newsday.com/news/opinion/columnists/ny-nyhen034063947dec03,0,5853507.column
> From: jakcarr@...
> Date: Fri, 3 Dec 2004 08:36:29 -0800 (PST)
> Subject: [utepprogressives] Kerik nomination is a
> ticking time bomb
> This story was sent to you by: Ann
> Kerik nomination is a ticking time bomb
> Ellis Henican
> December 3, 2004
> Campaign bodyguard to Rudy Giuliani.
> Errand boy for the Saudi royal family.
> Energetic exploiter of Sept. 11th tragedy.
> Tough-talking publicity-hound vowing to bring law
> and order to Iraq - then hightailing it out of there
> after a disastrous 14 weeks, leaving the place far
> less safe than he found it.
> Oh, the bullet points on Bernie Kerik's real-life
> resume just go on and on. But is this really the guy
> we want standing between us and the terrorists?
> George W. Bush apparently thinks so.
> White House sources were saying last night that
> Kerik, the scandal-scarred former commissioner of
> the New York Correction and Police departments, will
> be named today to take Tom Ridge's job as head of
> homeland security.
> For now, let's give the Bush folks the benefit of
> the doubt: Maybe they've been wowed by Kerik's
> shameless swing-state Kerry-bashing in Bush's
> behalf. ("I fear another attack, and I fear that
> attack with ... Senator Kerry being in office
> responding to it.")
> Maybe they've been bullied by Giuliani's bulldog
> lobbying for a loyal business buddy and after-hours
> pal. ("OK, Karl," you can almost hear Rudy say, "I
> won't be attorney general, but you gotta take Bernie
> at homeland security!")
> Or maybe it's just that the FBI background check
> isn't back from the field.
> Whatever the reason, the White House personnel
> office really ought to ask some probing questions
> around New York. You can bet they'll get an earful
> of heads-up about this hard-charging, thick-necked,
> shaved-head lightweight.
> Let this be a warning from someone who's followed
> the man's ladder-climbing career: He's a personal
> and professional time bomb the Bushies will learn to
> regret. Don't say I didn't warn you, guys!
> That's certainly the message that smart
> law-enforcement professionals in New York were
> exchanging yesterday, as they shook their heads in
> disbelief at Kerik's latest career goal.
> "He couldn't run the Rikers commissary without
> getting greedy and making a mess, in a jam," one
> correction veteran said. "Now he's gonna be in
> charge of the Department of Homeland Security? Let's
> just hope the terrorists don't decide to come back."
> This former subordinate was referring to just one of
> many petty scandals that have hung over Kerik's
> career. When he ran Correction, nearly $1 million of
> tobacco-company rebates were diverted into an
> obscure foundation Kerik was president of. This was
> for cigarettes bought with taxpayer money and then
> sold at inflated prices to jail inmates. But this
> rebate money - would kickbacks be a better word? -
> got spent entirely outside the normal rules for
> public funds.
> No one was criminally charged. But a whole rash of
> IRS rules were seemingly violated. One board member
> quit in protest when the foundation treasurer
> refused to provide him with financial reports. And
> no one has ever explained where all the money went.
> It was a typical Kerik deal. He behaved from start
> to finish like normal rules didn't apply to him.
> It isn't possible in so little space to give an
> adequate tour of the man's rise from Jersey
> high-school dropout to prospective anti-terror boss.
> As a public service, however, let me suggest a few
> ripe areas of personal inquiry that someone in
> Washington might like to pursue.
> Along the way, don't lose sight of this: The
> homeland security chief stands between Osama bin
> Laden and our good-night sleep.
> Why did he pull out of Iraq so suddenly? Does he
> think he did a pretty good job teaching the Baghdad
> police how to keep order and how to behave in "a
> free and democratic society," to use his words at
> the time?
> Was Sept. 11th Commission member John Lehman on to
> something when he called Kerik's leadership after
> the terror attack "scandalous" and "not worthy of
> the Boy Scouts."
> What exactly does he do at Giuliani Partners? How's
> that anti-crime campaign in Mexico City going? What
> companies and foreign governments are on his client
> Why did Kerik send a New York City homicide
> detective to rouse TV hair and makeup artists in the
> middle of the night when his book publisher (and
> workout-partner) lost her cell phone?
> What new job does he have in mind for John Picciano,
> his perennial chief of staff? Could Picciano really
> pass a federal background check? What about the
> complaint (later dropped) that he'd beaten up his
> correction-officer girlfriend and waved his gun
> There are answers for all of it, I am sure. Answers
> to these few questions and many racier ones.
> Over the weeks to come, Kerik will have a chance to
> answer all of them.
> I, for one, am waiting.
> So are a lot of people who've gotten to know the man
> in New York.
> Copyright (c) 2004, Newsday, Inc.
> This article originally appeared at:
> Visit Newsday online at http://www.newsday.com