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  • 12

    Giuliani's Culture of Corruption
    General; Posted on: 2007-11-26 08:23:46 [ Printer friendly / Instant flyer ]
    Why did an Israeli billionaire hand $250,000 to Giuliani protégé Bernie Kerik?

    by Justin Raimondo

    They say he's the only one who can beat the Democrats in '08, the only one who's tough enough to take on Hillary and keep the White House for the GOP, but the truth is quite the opposite. With at least two major scandals brewing under the surface, in addition to his other distinctively un-Republican peccadilloes, Rudy is the candidate with the biggest glass jaw of them all.

    The slow-burning fuse of the controversy surrounding the lack of functioning radios for the New York City firemen who suffered such heavy losses on 9/11 has already been lit by the grieving – and angry – families of those who died. The firemen's union is going to harry the Giuliani campaign until the whole, sordid story of how a no-bid contract with Motorola and that company's cozy relationship with Giuliani led to the deaths of so many – the very ones whom Giuliani invokes as key actors in his 9/11 narrative, whose heroism he bathes in as if it would rub off. The media isn't covering it yet, but the firefighters aren't going to let go of this one: hubris invites nemesis, as the ancient Greeks correctly believed, and in Giuliani's case, it's just a question of when his nemesis is going to appear – before the Republican convention or after.

    However, the trial of Bernie Kerik, a former Giuliani protégé charged with 16 counts of fraud, conspiracy, and lying on his federal disclosure forms, has a much shorter fuse and packs much more explosive potential. The indictment [.pdf] of Kerik, which I wrote about here, was long expected: the one surprise was a count of lying on his financial disclosure forms when he was being vetted for various positions with the federal government. Kerik failed to report a $250,000 "loan" from a mysterious Israeli billionaire, which had been laundered through a Brooklyn businessman. As the indictment puts it:

    "On or about June 13, 2003, 'John Doe #7,' a Brooklyn businessman, made a personal loan of $250,000 to Bernard B. Kerik ('the John Doe #7 loan'). As Kerik well knew, John Doe #7 obtained the funds with which to make the loan to Kerik by in turn taking a loan from 'John Doe #8,' a wealthy Israeli industrialist whose companies did business with the federal government."

    It turns out that John Doe #8 is Eitan Wertheimer, the richest man in Israel, whose Iscar Metalworking Companies – recently acquired by Warren Buffet for $4 billion – makes precision metal-cutting tools. Iscar maintains a global network of metalworking facilities, from Tefen, Israel, to the U.S., Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, China, India, and Brazil. Wertheimer passed the money to one Shimon Cohen, "John Doe #7," a Brooklyn dealer in marble and stone, who then handed it off, in the form of a "loan," to Kerik.

    Dan Janison, writing in Newsday's Spin Cycle blog, puts this train of circumstances into perspective:

    "A lingering question: Why would Cohen, described as a pal of Kerik, front the loan for Wertheimer as opposed to a direct transaction? Another question: Where did Kerik, who investigators portray as chronically in search of cash, get the funds to pay back the loan? Wertheimer is described in the indictment as having done business with the federal government."

    They knew they were doing something wrong. Why else try to launder the money through Cohen? Wertheimer, as the indictment says, "does business with the federal government": Iscar has government contracts with the Department of Defense. What's interesting, however, is that at the time the "loan" was made, Kerik was being vetted by federal investigators because of his appointment to the post of chief trainer of the Iraqi police – you know, the same police who turned out to be little more than Shi'ite death squads.

    In the atmosphere of New York City politics, such "loans" are part of the political culture, i.e., the culture of corruption that flourished under the Giuliani administration. The same sort of shenanigans led to the deaths of all those firemen on 9/11: a sweetheart deal between the city of New York and Motorola, which left the firefighters without working radios on that fateful day.

    Full Article
    News Source: Antiwar.com


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