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Fwd: Kerik nomination is a ticking time bomb

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  • Greg Cannon
    ... http://www.newsday.com/news/opinion/columnists/ny-nyhen034063947dec03,0,5853507.column
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 3, 2004
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      --- jakcarr@... wrote:

      > To: utepprogressives@yahoogroups.com
      > 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
      > list?
      >
      > 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
      > around?
      >
      > 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:
      >
      http://www.newsday.com/news/opinion/columnists/ny-nyhen034063947dec03,0,5853507.column
      >
      >
      > Visit Newsday online at http://www.newsday.com
      >
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