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  • 31


     
    Kerik Indicted
    News; Posted on: 2007-11-09 12:55:56 [ Printer friendly / Instant flyer ]
    Former New York Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik hit with 16-count federal indictment

    Bernard Kerik, former New York Police Commissioner, once a Bush nominee for Homeland Security Secretary, has pleaded not guilty to federal corruption charges contained in a recently-unsealed indictment. Among the 16 counts, Kerik stands accused of mail fraud, wire fraud, cheating on his taxes and conspiracy.

    Kerik gained national prominence on September 11, 2001, when New York came under attack. As the "Commish" Kerik was in charge of the New York Police Department under his patron, then-Mayor Rudy Giuliani, and manned a command post as the Twin Towers crumbled. In the wake of the disaster Kerik was hailed as "America's Cop" for his perceived steadfastness and courage, acclaim he shared with Giuliani.

    Just as Giuliani parlayed his fame into his current attempt to win the White House, Kerik also seemed destined for greatness.

    Kerik's capitalized on the praise and built his image; he made a number of successful media appearances and speeches in front of august bodies, presenting himself as a rock of courage in the face of the swelling sea of hysteria that swept America in the aftermath of 9/11. He also issued a bestselling autohagiography, entitled The Lost Son: A Life in Pursuit of Justice, complete with a number of politically correct and victimological bells and whistles. Both of his parents were described as alcoholics, while his mother sold herself on the street, a career that ended with her murder at the hands of her pimp. Kerik bemoaned the scourge of racism, which he says scarred him because his mother "had sex with black men" as part of her vocation. Eventually, the former highschool dropout and bankrupt became Police Commissioner of New York after less than a decade on the NYPD.

    A starstruck George Bush appointed "America's Cop" the Interim Minister of Interior of Iraq in May 2003, where he also served as Senior Policy Advisor to U.S. Presidential Envoy L. Paul Bremer. Aside from 9/11, Kerik had some experience with the Middle East. He served as a mercenary in Saudi Arabia (and was deported), went on at least one requisite official visit to Israel to examine local antiterorism measures, and his third wife is a Syrian. However, Kerik proved to be unpopular in Iraq, with charges that his fame led to a haughty demeanor. Journalist George Packer found that "Kerik spent his time in Baghdad going on raids with mercenaries while his house in New Jersey underwent renovation. He went home after just three months, leaving almost nothing behind..."

    Late in 2004 Kerik was named by George Bush as his nominee to replace Tom Ridge as head of the newly formed Department of Homeland Security, on the urging of Giuliani, with whom he also enjoyed a business relationship in Giuliani-Kerik LLC.

    As he awaited the expected coronation as DHS head, Kerik underwent a background check and renewed media attention that sank his hopes in less than a week. He withdrew his name, admitting to having employed an illegal alien (albeit unknowlingly) as a servant. Other questions were raised about a sexual harrassment suit, a sexual affair, and various shady financial dealings. Among the questions about Kerik were his connections to organized crime.

    The present DHS head Michael Chertoff, who has had close links with the powerful Anti-Defamation League, quickly replaced Kerik as nominee, and was recommended by a Senate panel unanimously to fill the sensitive post.

    Eventually, Kerik was charged as a result of the investigations into his life, and in 2006 he pled guilty to a pair of misdemeanors, paying fines of $221,000.

    Kerik's latest charges stem from the same investigations. The government maintains that he took payoffs from a company with "organized crime links" and told lies to the feds. He faces a prison sentence of 142 years and fines totalling $4.7 million if convicted.

    As expected, not only are Giuliani's rivals blasting him for his connections to Kerik, but Giuliani himself is distancing himself from the man, despite his business relationship and the fact that he is godfather of two of Kerik's offspring. Many observers have little surprise at the level of corruption at the top of the regime.
    News Source: Western Voices correspondents

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