On Why Both Giuliani and Bush Loved Bernard Kerik So Much, April 29, 2007
The Post-911 Star Couple
There are only a few public figures deserving of charter membership of the 911 Cabal, by which I mean not only those who plotted to bring down the three towers, but also those who worked mightily to benefit themselves in the wake of disaster. As we will recall, the lying and the looting started right there at Ground Zero, and local New Yorkers were the first to make bank on their own behalf. Let’s ask a few questions:
Who attempted to cast himself as a heroic Police Commissioner, even though everything went wrong on his watch, from the moment the planes hit the Trade Center Towers?
Who failed to secure any evidence or procure a single prosecution for the largest single mass homicide in US history?
Who built a secret hideaway where he could boff New York City police employees in a boudoir overlooking Ground Zero?
Who lied about having organized crime redecorate that love-nest for free?
Who stood ready to take the office of the head of Homeland Security?
Who went off to found a partnership with former Mayor Giuliani, to provide “security consulting?”
Who profited from the sale of TASER stock after flogging the product to police chiefs all over the country?
Bernard Kerik did all these things. And he did all of it working in close association with Republican Presidential Candidate Rudolph Giuliani.
Giuliani’s Partner and Loyal Bushie
Recently, I discovered a little detail about Kerik’s charmed life as a Republican Sleazoid — aka, a “Bushie,” according to Kyle Sampson, a guy who should know. I was reading about how the “Coalition Provisional Authority” in Iraq had turned into a summer camp for politically-correct Republicans, incapable of doing anything useful for Iraq, beyond promulgating inane, impractical policies. There, in the midst of the danger and privilege of the Green Zone, I spotted Kerik’s bombastic profile, helping Bush inflate the Big Lie that we were rebuilding Iraq. So important was Kerik’s work that on October 4, 2003, Bush told the nation in his morning radio address, that Iraqi police are “instructed by professionals like New York City’s outstanding former police chief, Bernard Kerik.” Talk about giving Iraq access to our nation’s best people — but what could he teach the Iraqis about graft and corruption that they didn’t already know? Then again, maybe Bush didn’t want to take any chances.
Painting Baghdad Red
Undoubtedly, Kerik reminisces fondly about the good old days in Baghdad. What did Kerik actually do in Iraq? At that time, Kerik was a partner at Giuliani-Kerik, LLC, that was collecting money from the Pentagon as a “security consultant. It turns out he spent his days sleeping, and his nights prowling around doing ”raids“ with ”security forces“ all night in Baghdad. Closely associated with organized crime in New York, Kerik decided to try his hand at hardassing organized crime in Baghdad, and formed a paramilitary unit for that purpose. Apparently, the crime scene wasn’t all that promising, possibly because there’s so much chaos in Baghdad even criminals can’t get organized, because after a 90-day stint of kibitzing with other gun-toting tough guys, he blew the hell right out of town. Kerik’s announcement was delivered completely without prior notice, at a meeting of local police chiefs in Baghdad’s Convention Center. Explaining his behavior, Kerik said, ”I did my own thing.” Read more about how Kerik and other Bushies live it up while getting no real work done inside the Green Zone. One year later, Bush nominated Kerik to be Secretary of Homeland Security.
Flying Too Close To the Sun
Giuliani and Kerik — what a star couple they were! How happy their association for so many years, until Bush, excited about the prospects for getting a genuine criminal to be the nation’s top law enforcement officer, proposed a ménage a trois. Poor Kerik, who had the misfortune to catch the monarch’s admiring gaze, drawing the dreaded Media Eye to focus on him, inciting reporters to dig until they found damning shit. Then the worm Giuliani had kept under wraps in the Big Rotten Apple crawled out and smiled. It was that darned old Italian Mafia, up to its corrupting ways again, and Kerik, who’d risen from being Giuliani’s driver to having a ringside seat at 911, came plummetting down from the skies, another fat Icarus who flew too close to the sun. Surprisingly, it was one of those scandals that somehow passed most people by, as if they couldn’t understand why having a criminal as the nation’s head of security would be a bad idea. Then again, you can’t blame people who watch TV too much. When Kerik said he was withdrawing his candidacy for the job because he’d failed to pay taxes on his immigrant nanny, there were actually news outlets that gave this story a full run, without sniggering. Soon thereafter, Giuliani kicked Kerik out of their security company, Giuliani & Kerik, LLC. Bush never said a bad word about Kerik, and didn’t even try to explain how with all the spying on American citizens, his people couldn’t even vet a resume for a Cabinet-level position. The “Decider” just turned away from the spectacle and let shit roll downhill.
The Henhouse Is Secure In Enemy Hands
It is often said of the Republicans that they are loyal. Being loyal to other gangsters is not a virtue. When we rate Bush and Giuliani, we must remember that they jointly endorsed Kerik as a candidate for Head of Homeland Security, and both overlooked Kerik’s mob connections even as they sought to elevate him to the position of the nation’s Top Cop. Giuliani had a hard time convincing a New York prosecutor that he really didn’t know about Kerik’s cozy friendships with the Gambino Crime Family. Why? For the same reason that they put foxes in charges of the henhouse everywhere — to do PR and eat fried chicken!
Heroes of The Big Lie
Kerik is an aggressive bullshiter, the type of guy Bush and Giuliani rely on to get things done. Or rather, to get nothing done, when it comes to investigating 911, or rebuilding Iraq. If you think Kerik failed to do his job through incompetence, you misunderstand him, and Giuliani, and Bush. You would make a poor Republican. Kerik was a good Bushie because he remembered he was working for Bush at all times. It was his job to prop up fairy stories, to feed the public a flow of comforting tough-guy attitude. Regarding 911, he did a hero act that distracted people from pursuing any real investigation. Regarding Baghdad policing, he supplied phony evidence that security was getting a jumpstart in Iraq.
Let’s Give This Man A Comeback!
Kerik performed well, like Mike Chertoff, who ended up running Homeland Security and let New Orleans drown first and rot later, another Giuliani protege who received a warm welcome at the White House. Remember, Chertoff will still be there when Bush walks out, either due to impeachment or under his own power, ready for employment under the next President. Do you want four more years of Big Lies, patronage appointments, corruption and waste? You’ll get them from Giuliani. And just imagine if Kerik, a loyal Bushie who has been unfairly convicted of crimes by the People of New York, scores a pardon from Bush. (Don’t tell me Bernie won’t ask!) Then Giuliani, put into office by a third Republican-rigged election, can bring Kerik back in from the cold, like Bush did to Admiral Poindexter, making him head of “Total Information Awareness.” That would be comforting for fascists from Saudi Arabia to North Carolina, and might spark a boom in love-nest construction worldwide.
Cost of the War in Iraq
To see more details, click here.
Giuliani Testified He Was Briefed on Kerik in ’00
March 30, 2007
By WILLIAM K. RASHBAUM
New York Times
Rudolph W. Giuliani told a grand jury that his former chief investigator remembered having briefed him on some aspects of Bernard B. Kerik’s relationship with a company suspected of ties to organized crime before Mr. Kerik’s appointment as New York City police commissioner, according to court records.
Mr. Giuliani, testifying last year under oath before a Bronx grand jury investigating Mr. Kerik, said he had no memory of the briefing, but he did not dispute that it had taken place, according to a transcript of his testimony.
Mr. Giuliani’s testimony amounts to a significantly new version of what information was probably before him in the summer of 2000 as he was debating Mr. Kerik’s appointment as the city’s top law enforcement officer. Mr. Giuliani had previously said that he had never been told of Mr. Kerik’s entanglement with the company before promoting him to the police job or later supporting his failed bid to be the nation’s homeland security secretary.
In his testimony, given in April 2006, Mr. Giuliani indicated that he must have simply forgotten that he had been briefed on one or more occasions as part of the background investigation of Mr. Kerik before his appointment to the police post.
He said he learned only in late 2004 that the briefing or briefings had occurred, after the city’s investigation commissioner reviewed his own records from 2000. To this day, Mr. Giuliani testified, he has no specific recollection of any briefing or the details of what he was told. But he said he felt comforted because the chief investigator had cleared Mr. Kerik to be promoted.
“He testified fully and cooperatively,” a statement from Mr. Giuliani’s consulting firm said of the former mayor’s grand jury appearance. The statement added: “Mayor Giuliani has admitted it was a mistake to recommend Bernie Kerik for D.H.S. and he has assumed responsibility for it.”
Mr. Kerik pleaded guilty last summer to improperly allowing the company, Interstate Industrial Corporation, or its subsidiaries, to do $165,000 worth of free renovations on his Bronx apartment in late 1999 and 2000. The company has denied paying for the work, and has disputed any association with organized crime. But the two brothers who run it have been indicted in the Bronx on charges they lied under oath about their dealings with Mr. Kerik.
There is no evidence that Mr. Giuliani knew about the apartment renovation before promoting Mr. Kerik to police commissioner. But the top investigator who briefed Mr. Giuliani in 2000, the transcript shows, was aware that Mr. Kerik’s brother and a close friend had been hired by an affiliate of the company, which for years had been struggling to secure a city license.
For Mr. Giuliani, who is seeking the Republican nomination for president and who has done well in early polls, his history with Mr. Kerik looms as a likely issue in the campaign. His own aides have anticipated that questions are likely to arise about Mr. Giuliani’s judgment in, among other things, promoting Mr. Kerik for one of the country’s most important national security posts.
Now, Mr. Giuliani, whose private company provides background checks for companies as part of its services, may have to explain his response to the information that was provided to him in 2000.
His company’s statement yesterday said that Mr. Giuliani was not concerned that issues surrounding Mr. Kerik would become a liability to his presidential campaign.
The transcript of Mr. Giuliani’s testimony was not given to The New York Times by any rival campaign.
In his testimony, Mr. Giuliani suggests he might have been presented with only limited information about Mr. Kerik’s issues. And he said the city investigators who did the background check on Mr. Kerik ultimately cleared him to be hired as police commissioner.
Mr. Giuliani testified that the background investigators’ approval might explain why he, and aides who were involved, could not recollect any briefing, according to the 101-page transcript of his April 20, 2006, testimony.
“We may have filed it away somewhere that it wasn’t as significant,” Mr. Giuliani testified. Mr. Giuliani said Edward J. Kuriansky, the commissioner of the city’s Department of Investigation, had also forgotten about the briefings until he checked his records days after Mr. Kerik’s withdrawal from consideration as homeland security secretary in late 2004.
Mr. Kuriansky did not return phone calls seeking his account of what he remembered telling Mr. Giuliani.
According to the grand jury transcript, a prosecutor for the Bronx district attorney’s office told Mr. Giuliani that Mr. Kuriansky and his investigators had compiled a considerable body of knowledge about Mr. Kerik’s relationship with the company before his August 2000 appointment as police commissioner.
Mr. Kerik, who was then the city’s commissioner of correction, had himself come forward months earlier to tell the investigators that the company had recently given jobs to his brother, Donald, as well as the best man from his wedding, Lawrence Ray, and that he himself had interceded on the company’s behalf as it sought a city license, the prosecutor told Mr. Giuliani.
Mr. Kerik even told the investigators that his friend Mr. Ray had recently been indicted on federal criminal charges, along with Edward Garafola, a reputed Gambino soldier, the brother-in-law of Salvatore Gravano, the former underboss known as Sammy the Bull.
An Interstate affiliate was at that time seeking a license to operate a waste transfer station on Staten Island. City officials refused to license the transfer station because of the organized crime allegations, which stemmed in part from the fact that the transfer station was bought in 1996 from two organized crime figures.
Interstate is a construction company based in New Jersey that undertakes large public and private projects in the metropolitan area.
The company has long denied the accusation of mob ties, and New Jersey regulators issued a license to the company in 2004, allowing it to do construction work on Atlantic City casinos, after a lengthy review of the same material. That license was suspended after the owners were charged with perjury last summer.
By 2000, Mr. Kerik had known or worked for Mr. Giuliani for close to a decade. Mr. Kerik first came to know Mr. Giuliani when he provided security during his second mayoral campaign. Mr. Giuliani later became godfather to two of Mr. Kerik’s children and promoted him to lead the Correction Department. Mr. Kerik was one of two candidates Mr. Giuliani seriously considered to succeed Howard Safir as police commissioner as Mr. Giuliani neared the final year of his administration.
Mr. Kerik served in that post for 16 months, and was at Mr. Giuliani’s side on the morning of Sept. 11 when the World Trade Center collapsed.
In their questioning of Mr. Giuliani last April, Bronx prosecutors sought repeatedly to determine how much the mayor remembered being told about Mr. Kerik’s problems, and what, if anything, he had done about the information.
Throughout his questioning, Mr. Giuliani said he remembered close to nothing about what he had been told about the broader background investigation of Mr. Kerik or what he had done after hearing it. He testified that he remembered being told something about Mr. Kerik’s experience as a security consultant in Saudi Arabia, but little else.
He testified, as well, that he could not remember if he had ever discussed the issues with Mr. Kerik directly.
At one point, a senior Bronx prosecutor, Stephen R. Bookin, asked Mr. Giuliani, “As you sit here today, your testimony is, and correct me if I am wrong, that you don’t recall ever being told that a close friend of your correction commissioner had been indicted in a federal case?”
Mr. Giuliani responded: “I don’t recall that until 2004. I can’t tell you that it wasn’t, but I don’t — I don’t — I don’t remember.”
The prosecutor also explored whether Mr. Giuliani would find it odd that the city’s top investigator, with whom he met almost daily, would not have fully shared what appeared to be rather alarming information with him.
“Do you know of any reason why Mr. Kuriansky, who met with you every day that you were in town, part of your core group as you put it, would not have briefed you on these facts?” the prosecutors asked.
Mr. Giuliani, in the end, replied that the facts about Mr. Kerik might not have been presented to him in as much detail and with as much emphasis back in 2000.
The prosecutor then asked Mr. Giuliani whether, if the information had been presented to him with as much emphasis, he would have appointed Mr. Kerik police commissioner.
“If he told it to me the way you described it to me, no,” Mr. Giuliani replied. “If he had told it to me in a different way because, maybe he didn’t know all of the facts, or had come to a different conclusion about the facts, then maybe I would have — I can’t tell you that.”
Mr. Giuliani was a key backer of Mr. Kerik when President Bush nominated him to be homeland security secretary in December 2004. Mr. Kerik withdrew his name a week later, citing possible tax and immigration problems involving his family’s nanny.
Several newspapers at the time were already pursuing stories about his relationship with Interstate, which were published in the succeeding days. It is unclear to what extent Mr. Kerik’s relationship with the company was made clear to the White House before his nomination.
But Mr. Giuliani testified that Mr. Kerik had assured him that he had briefed presidential aides about the matter.
Mr. Kerik also assured him, Mr. Giuliani testified, that there was no reason for concern when questions later arose as to whether Interstate had paid for the renovations to his apartment.
“He told me that Interstate didn’t do the work, that another company had done it legitimately, that he had the checks to show he paid for it,” Mr. Giuliani said.
Mr. Giuliani testified that he took Mr. Kerik’s word for it and did not ask to see the canceled checks.
Last year, when Mr. Kerik admitted in court that the renovations had actually been largely underwritten by Interstate or its subsidiaries, Mr. Giuliani released a statement that displayed no irritation at having been misled.
“Bernard Kerik has acknowledged his violations,” the statement said, “but this should be evaluated in light of his service to the United States of America and the city of New York.”
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Edwards Calls Giuliani “Bush On Steroids”
Giuliani is a criminal, like his partner Bernard Kerik, who built a love nest overlooking Ground Zero from which to watch people getting cancer down below while he boffed municipal employees during working hours. Giuliani’s behavior in the aftermath of 9/11 has been harshly critized by the families of firemen for his misplaced priorities. Giuliani handed Bloomberg a debt-burdened NYC government, and a tradition of hard policing that has lead to many unarmed minority men going down in a hail of bullets or being abused like Amadou Diallou by savage, bigoted officers.
Edwards has been ridiculed as a showboat. My suggestion is he ditch the tie and dress down a lot more. Also, an old trick of mine as a trial lawyer — always use pencils, never a pen. Pencil-users are trustworthy people, like carpenters and electricians. Pencil-users aren’t ashamed to make a mistake — that’s what erasers are for. Pen-users are always trying to get you to sign your rights away. A dixie cup full of pencils is a powerful antidote to claims of elitism.