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Bush's Giuliani-sidekick Kerik hit by links to Mafia, bribery, infidelity, arrest warrants

...story reported Friday evening just before Bernard Kerik withdrew his name as Bush's HLS nominee. Bernard Kerik has been hit by allegations about his connections to the Mafia, as the White House scrambles... --- The company, Interstate Industrial, hired Mr Kerik's close friend Lawrence Ray, the best man at Mr Kerik's wedding, to help with its licensing problems. --- Mr Ray said on Sunday that he gave Mr Kerik more than $US7000 in gifts while he was commissioner of corrections and later of the Police Department. The gifts were first reported in the New York Daily News. --- ...serving as New York City corrections commissioner, Mr Kerik spoke to the city's Trade Waste Commission ***on behalf of that close friend*** who paid him the money who was helping a company suspected of Mob connections try to get a licence from the city,... Mr Kerik and one of the owners of Interstate, Frank DiTommaso, acknowledge they were friends... --- ...[despite the bribe] in January New York City regulators recommended denying the licence, citing what they said were the company's known ties to organised crime known over many years. --- The paper also reported yesterday that Mr Kerik, who is married with two children, conducted two extramarital affairs simultaneously, using a secret Battery Park city apartment for his liaisons. --- Newsweek uncovered an arrest warrant issued for Kerik as recently as six years ago over disputes involving unpaid bills. 1998 warrant for Kerik's arrest issued as part of lawsuit relating to unpaid bills on his condominium in New Jersey.

AMY GOODMAN: You were asking the questions when we had you on last week at a time when there were no democrats in Washington, no democratic senators certainly, saying that they were going to oppose this nomination. Is it because all of this just came out over the weekend?

ELLIS HENICAN: No. No, no, no, no. This stuff has floated around for a long time.
"Mafia ties, crimes, infedelity make him uniquely qualified for HLS," Bush said.
Bush didn't actually say that. Though just look at the pack of thieves!


--------------------------------

AMY GOODMAN: Now, Bernard Kerik has been in public life for quite a while. I mean, he went to train the Iraqi police force, and then with these series of bombings of the U.N., the Jordanian Embassy and other places, he suddenly was gone, of course, as police commissioner and before, and yet this hasn't come out, although there have been smaller investigations asking questions.

ELLIS HENICAN: You don't have the -- the media coverage...

AMY GOODMAN: ... Last night, Mayor Giuliani had dinner, or had a meal with President Bush. What does this mean for Mayor Giuliani, having revealed -- rather, having at least twice intervened personally to get Bernard Kerik nominated to be security chief, or head of the Department of Homeland Security?

ELLIS HENICAN: Boy, what an interesting question. It's obviously not good. If it were not for Rudy, Bernie would not have been in the mix at all. No one would have even thought about him. Every job, big job, that Kerik got in the last, I guess, ten years of his life was really the work in large measure of Rudy Giuliani. ... [HOWEVER!] It's probably an overstatement...to say that it wrecks Giuliani's relationship with the White House...

--------------------------------





Discredited security nominee linked to the Mafia
December 14, 2004


Bernard Kerik has been hit by allegations about his connections to the Mafia, as the White House scrambles to find a replacement for President George Bush's first nomination for homeland security secretary.

While serving as New York City corrections commissioner, Mr Kerik spoke to the city's Trade Waste Commission on behalf of a close friend who was helping a company suspected of Mob connections try to get a licence from the city, a former commission executive said.

The conversation was part of a web of relationships Mr Kerik developed with officials of a New Jersey construction company long suspected of having connections to organised crime by New York authorities.

The company, Interstate Industrial, hired Mr Kerik's close friend Lawrence Ray, the best man at Mr Kerik's wedding, to help with its licensing problems. Mr Ray said on Sunday that he gave Mr Kerik more than $US7000 ($9350) in gifts while he was commissioner of corrections and later of the Police Department. The gifts were first reported in the New York Daily News.

The paper also reported yesterday that Mr Kerik, who is married with two children, conducted two extramarital affairs simultaneously.

Mr Kerik and one of the owners of Interstate, Frank DiTommaso, acknowledge they were friends, but said there was no effort to inappropriately influence the licensing process.

In fact, in January city regulators recommended denying the licence, citing what they said were ties to organised crime over many years. DiTommaso denied his company had ties to organised crime.

Mr Kerik says he does not remember the conversation with the Trade Waste Commission executive, Raymond Casey - a top official of the city agency set up to weed out the influence of organised crime from the hauling industry - and Mr Casey says he cannot recall who initiated it.

Nevertheless, Mr Kerik's relationship with Interstate was almost certain to be one of a mounting number of details from his past that would have been fodder for Senate committees deciding on his suitability for the homeland security post.

Mr Kerik, 49, withdrew from consideration on Friday and said his discovery that he had employed a nanny and housekeeper who appeared to have been in the country illegally was the sole reason.

But there were other questions: his ties to Interstate, his huge profits from companies that do business with the Homeland Security Department, accusations that he abused his authority while working for a Saudi hospital 20 years ago and his ineffectiveness as interim Iraqi interior minister.

Bush Administration officials defended the White House review of Mr Kerik's background before his nomination. One official said that even "controversial" material uncovered had not endangered his confirmation.

President George Bush's press secretary, Scott McClellan, said there was a thorough vetting process that "looked at all the issues relating to his public, financial and personal background".

But Rudolph Giuliani, the former mayor of New York, attended a Christmas dinner at the White House on Sunday night and apologised for pushing Mr Kerik's nomination. "I realise that one of the reasons they did it [nominate Mr Kerik] was because of my confidence in Bernie over the years," Mr Giuliani said.

Among candidates the White House is reported to be considering is the Democratic senator Joe Lieberman, Al Gore's running mate in the 2000 election.

The New York Times, The Guardian, Knight Ridder

 http://www.smh.com.au/news/World/Discredited-security-nominee-linked-to-the-Mafia/2004/12/13/1102787017967.html?oneclick=true



DEMOCRACY NOW

Monday, December 13th, 2004

Kerik's Nanny Just the Tip of the Iceberg: Reports Emerge of Links to Mafia, Misuse of Police Power, Affair with Subordinate, Taser Stock Profits and More

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Homeland Security chief nominee, Bernard Kerik officially claimed he was withdrawing his name after he learned that he had employed an undocumented worker as a nanny and that he refused to pay income taxes. But an array of other charges and questions about Kerik's controversial past dominated news headlines over the weekend. [includes rush transcript] The White House is in search of a new homeland security director following Friday's surprise announcement from former New York Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik that he was withdrawing his name. Kerik officially claimed he was not seeking the post after he learned that he had employed an undocumented worker as a nanny and that he refused to pay income taxes.

But an array of other charges and questions about Kerik's controversial past have dominated news headlines over the weekend.

Newsweek uncovered that an arrest warrant was issued for Kerik as recently as six years ago over a dispute involving unpaid bills. The 1998 warrant was issued as part of a series of lawsuits relating to unpaid bills on his condominium in New Jersey.

The New York Daily News reports that Kerik had illegally accepted thousands of dollars in cash and gifts while a public official. A Daily News probe revealed that for many years, one of Kerik's main benefactors was Lawrence Ray. Ray was later indicted on unrelated federal charges tied to what the Daily News called a "$40 million, mob-run, pump-and-dump stock swindle."

The Washington Post reports that nine employees of the hospital Kerik worked at providing security in Saudi Arabia accused him of using his policing powers to pursue the personal agenda of his immediate boss.

Questions have also been raised about Kerik's misuse of police power while the head of the New York police department. In one example, he was fined for using the services of three police officers to help research his autobiography "The Lost Son." He was also accused of sending homicide police officers to question Fox News journalists after the book's publisher, Judith Regan, lost a mobile phone after an interview at the Fox studios. It turned out to have just been misplaced.

Kerik has also coming under close scrutiny for his windfall profit from stock options in stun-gun manufacturer, Taser International. He netted over $5.5 million on the options, without ever having invested any of his own money.

Questions have also raised about his failure in Iraq to train a new Iraqi police force. Kerik went to Iraq for a six month tour of duty to help rebuild the Iraqi police force but he abruptly left after just three months.

On Thursday, the day before he withdrew his name from contention, Kerik was forced to testify in a civil lawsuit about an alleged affair with a subordinate.

Former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, a close friend of Kerik who reportedly pressed hard for his nomination, apologized to the President Bush Sunday for the problems with his nomination.

* Ellis Henican, a columnist for Newsday in New York. His recent piece on Bernard Kerik is called "I hate to say I told you so ... but I told you so."

RUSH TRANSCRIPT

This transcript is available free of charge, however donations help us provide closed captioning for the deaf and hard of hearing on our TV broadcast. Thank you for your generous contribution.
Donate - $25, $50, $100, more...

AMY GOODMAN: Ellis Hennican is on the line with us now, a columnist for Newsday in New York. His recent piece on Bernard Kerik is called, "I Hate to Say I Told You So... But I Told You So." Welcome to Democracy Now!, Ellis.

ELLIS HENICAN: Good morning, Amy. That's an exhausting list of scandals and bad judgments and questionable scenarios, isn't it?

AMY GOODMAN: You were asking the questions when we had you on last week at a time when there were no democrats in Washington, no democratic senators certainly, saying that they were going to oppose this nomination. Is it because all of this just came out over the weekend?

ELLIS HENICAN: No. No, no, no, no. This stuff has floated around for a long time. I tell you what I think it was primarily, especially among the New Yorkers and the other East Coast people. They looked at Bernie Kerik, I'm talking here about Hillary Clinton and Chuck Schumer and others you might think would ask tough questions of a Bush nominee, I think they were so excited about the idea that New York and some of the other big cities were going to get more money from Homeland Security. They thought he would be a more receptive secretary than Tom Ridge had been. They didn't want to ask any questions at all.

AMY GOODMAN: Why not?

ELLIS HENICAN: Well, because I think they wanted to have him in there, and if he were in there, they thought they would do better in the budget battles than they had been doing. You have seen these comparisons, right, where states like Wyoming and Montana and Alaska are getting four and five times per capita the amount of Homeland Security money that New York and Washington and Los Angeles and San Francisco and big cities where you have to guess would have to be at a somewhat greater risk than the prairies of the middle part of the country.

AMY GOODMAN: Now, Bernard Kerik has been in public life for quite a while. I mean, he went to train the Iraqi police force, and then with these series of bombings of the U.N., the Jordanian Embassy and other places, he suddenly was gone, of course, as police commissioner and before, and yet this hasn't come out, although there have been smaller investigations asking questions.

ELLIS HENICAN: You don't have the -- the media coverage is, I think, quite fascinating, and I would exclude you and a couple of others from this, but in the first few days after his name was announced as the president's choice, pretty much what we got in the media were stories about a 9/11 hero, who had stood beside Rudy as the towers tumbled, and recollections of his own rise from a tough childhood. Now, I love that story. I mean, I love the story of the hooker's son who comes and rises into law enforcement. I mean, it's a nice story. But nobody, or very few people, were writing the tough stories that were out there so easily to be written. Ten days ago I did a column in Newsday, that said Bernie Kerik is a ticking time bomb that the Bushies will learn to regret. And I said don't say I didn't warn you, guys. The piece that you cited yesterday was my allowing myself, I guess, a small amount of gloating, which might be bad manners, but I think is justified in this case. Very few of us were out there early. By this weekend, there was a huge pile-on and there were stories everywhere, all kind of people saying, oh, we knew this would never fly.

AMY GOODMAN: There was a report in the New York Times. There was an editor's note at the top, the story was reported Friday evening before Bernard Kerik for personal reasons withdrew his name as the nominee.

ELLIS HENICAN: Yes.

AMY GOODMAN: But it's about a business partner of Bernard Kerik and Rudolph Giuliani's saying that Kerik's role as on advisor to the Department of Homeland Security gave them insight into where the government was investing its resources, which was helpful in choosing potential business ventures. This was Newsday. Newsday also learned Friday that Kerik, who withdrew his nomination, has resigned from the board of a second company, Camelback Products, which has sold at least $16 million worth of equipment to the government, including the border patrol squads overseen by the Department of Homeland Security, that kind of container of water with a straw.

ELLIS HENICAN: A napsack that carries water, basically, camelback. I mean, listen, Amy, it's all indicative of the business that he has been in with Rudy Giuliani in the last couple of years. They sell their knowledge and expertise of the way government operates, and they're selling essentially, you know, a self-confidence in dealing with the big bad world out there. It's turned out to be a very successful and lucrative business, but it creates these relationships that get a little dicey, if you then want to go back into public service.

AMY GOODMAN: We're talking to Ellis Henican, who writes for Newsday, a columnist for Newsday. We're going to come back with him in just a minute.

AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, the war and peace report. I'm Amy Goodman. Well, when it rains it pours. There is not a day that the paper is not filled with exposes on Bernard Kerik, the latest in The Daily News today that as police commissioner, Bernard Kerik had conducted two affairs simultaneously using a secret Battery Park city apartment for his liaisons. Ellis Henican on the line with us, Newsday columnist. Last night, Mayor Giuliani had dinner, or had a meal with President Bush. What does this mean for Mayor Giuliani, having revealed -- rather, having at least twice intervened personally to get Bernard Kerik nominated to be security chief, or head of the Department of Homeland Security?

ELLIS HENICAN: Boy, what an interesting question. It's obviously not good. If it were not for Rudy, Bernie would not have been in the mix at all. No one would have even thought about him. Every job, big job, that Kerik got in the last, I guess, ten years of his life was really the work in large measure of Rudy Giuliani. The Bushies feel burned. I mean, the people that we're talking to are expressing irritation and frustration and disappointment about it. It's probably an overstatement, though, to say that it wrecks Giuliani's relationship with the White House or something like that. Remember, he was a terrifically valuable campaigner to the president. He was -- worked very hard for Bush's re-election. He remains a popular figure out across America, probably more popular, I think, than he is in New York these days. And you know, that's very valuable to the Bush administration. So, somehow or another, they will find a way, even if there's a certain lack of trust or certain skepticism there, they'll find a way to work together, I'm sure.

AMY GOODMAN: Ellis Henican, I want to thank you very much for being with us, columnist with New York Newsday, well, Newsday in general.

 http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=04/12/13/1457224
Birds of a feather... 14.Dec.2004 08:38

everybody knows

Americans love Tony Soprano, don't they?

There is a reason why the Sopranos series were made and why they were so well publicized before they came on. The mob has infiltrated everywhere because the capitalist system is based on immorality. (The Pope even says so). Its dog eat dog values called "business" is that "American way "; Bush praises it everywhere.

Everybody in the world envies our freedom that's why they attack us, Bush repeats and repeats ad nauseum. Yea...our freedom to have crooks as leaders in government, our freedom to kill anybody who doesn't like our immoral system...our freedom to invade and kill innocent women and children...

It should come as no surprise to Americans: Rumsfeld said it explicitly that to carry on the war on "terrorism", the administration will have to work with people you wouldn't want at your supper table.

I takes one to know one.

how about this 14.Dec.2004 08:57

test

Kerik, White House Say Withdrawal Was His Decision

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The decision to withdraw his nomination as U.S. homeland security secretary over a personal controversy was made by Bernard Kerik himself, the White House and Kerik said on Saturday.
~~~~~~~~~

Right, so if this hadn't been "discovered", he'd be annointed right now, with the white house's blessing. They have no problem with his colorful past, or didn't they know? Give me a break.

this Kerik fellow 14.Dec.2004 10:22

is

your typical White Trashy-RETHUGLICAN...why anyone surprised?

Just a passing note 14.Dec.2004 13:12

on the slide down

The Italian mafia is small potatoes compared to Skull and Bones global crime cartel. You must be one real piece of trash to keep company with the likes of that S&K crew.

When the top is filled with such human garbage what can you expect as one travels down this stenching rot to the lower criminal elements that comprise the US political food chain?

I for one can no longer stomach the foulness that the US government has become.

post WWII huge expansion of militarized drugrunning; families before 14.Dec.2004 20:11

historian

"The mob has infiltrated everywhere because the capitalist system is based on immorality."


Actually, I would say the mob has infiltrated everywhere because the Mob was a formal ally of the US Gov't in WWII, keeping strikers from "interfering" with the docks you know, setting up Sicily as an easy route for the US to invade. Helping out with the Nazi ratline escape routes. YOu know the Nazi wing of American politics is always been really pro-Mafia. (So has the Yakusa in Japan similarly.) US even put mob bosses into "appointed mayorships" for such a job well done in Sicily. the US even let mobsters out of prison to go to Italy to help organize post WWII drug distribution, via Cuba and Marseille, etc.

Then of course the Mob was instrumental in helping the CIA organize the drugs from the Golden Triangle, etc. etc., CIA was pretty clueless early on, until they wormed information out of the Mob about it (typically under LSD "happy treatment" experiments which made some Italian NYC mobsters really loveable guys and talkative about secrets)--about how to do it I mean. Check out: the book _Virtual Government_ by Alex Constantine or

However, from a comparative point of view since post WWII many of the world's militaries run drugs either 'on the side' or as a major part of their budget. You might want to check out EIR's _Dope, Inc._ on that, or _The Politics of Heroin_ by McCoy, or (on Israeli 'ex-Mossad' drugs) Victor Ostrovsky's books (and some in Dope, Inc. as well.)

Where's Monty Python to come out of the woodwork and do something 'now' and relavant in this crazy world. We require a skit about military recruitment like this:
"support your troops! do drugs! it's patriotic!";-)
Are you out there John Cleese?

Earlier on before that, in opium and tobacco particularly, many mainline American fortunes came from the drug trades. See Sora's _Secret Societies of America's Elite: From the Knights Templars to Skull and Bones._ Particularly the Roosevelts of the "Teddy" side, the Perkins, the Russells (Skull and Bones), etc.

how could I forget 14.Dec.2004 20:13

historian

Another book on this is McGowan's _Understanding the F-Word: American Fascism and the Politics of Illusion._ I'd perhaps recommend that first, though I think he is limited in his geopolitical view, an interesting doubletake on America for the past 100 years. Search out the titles in Amazon.com and read the reviews.

For his infidelity, Kerik pilfered apt. donated to 9-11 rescue workers 16.Dec.2004 05:23

infidelity indeed, on many levels

Kerik Used 911 Rescue Workers' Apartment As Love Nest
By David Usborne in New York
The Independent - UK
12-16-2004

----------------------------

The apartment is said to have been one of several in the neighbourhood donated as space for emergency service, rescue workers and Red Cross personnel to use for rest in the weeks after the 11 September tragedy.

It seems that quite soon after the attacks, however, Mr Kerik asked that one be set aside for his personal [criminal] use. The apartment in Battery Park City, now being described as a love nest, has views directly onto the [other Bushite/NORAD criminal] hole at ground zero.

----------------------------




The murk surrounding Bernard Kerik, whose nomination to be homeland security chief by President George Bush fell apart a week ago, thickened yesterday amid reports he used an apartment that had been donated for use by exhausted 11 September rescue workers for conducting his extra-marital liaisons.

The revelation, carried in the New York Times, will only add to the embarrassment of the White House, which apparently failed sufficiently to vet the background of Mr Kerik, who served as New York police chief under Mayor Rudolph Giuliani.

Since Mr Kerik abruptly withdrew himself from consideration last weekend - conceding tax problems over a former Mexican nanny without proper immigration papers - aides to Mr Bush have squirmed as new ethical and professional questions from his past have surfaced almost daily.

Media reports have focused in particular on ties between Mr Kerik and a New Jersey construction company, Interstate Industrial Corp, which allegedly had connections to the Mafia, as well as on reports that while serving as police chief he conducted two extra-marital affairs at the same time.

Mr Kerik, who married his third wife in 1998, may now have to answer questions about his use of the donated unit in an apartment tower just two blocks from the World Trade Centre that he allegedly used to conduct trysts with one of the women, Judith Regan, a well known figure in publishing. The apartment is said to have been one of several in the neighbourhood donated as space for emergency service, rescue workers and Red Cross personnel to use for rest in the weeks after the 11 September tragedy.

It seems that quite soon after the attacks, however, Mr Kerik asked that one be set aside for his personal use. The apartment in Battery Park City, now being described as a love nest, has views directly onto the hole at ground zero.

The affair with Ms Regan reportedly spanned about a year when she was publishing Mr Kerik's 2001 memoir, The Lost Son: A Life in Pursuit of Justice. Among those suffering from the fall-out of the nomination debacle is Mr Giuliani, considered by some to be a future Republican presidential candidate. He has more than once in the past few days offered a personal apology to the White House for his role in pushing the nomination of Mr Kerik.

Since Mr Kerik and Mr Giuliani left their positions in the New York City government at the end of 2001, both have been running a security and financial consultancy and have accumulated substantial private wealth in the past three years.

Described in the American media as a tough-talking former street cop whose years as an undercover narcotics officer were very successful, Mr Kerik earned the admiration of Mr Bush after the 2001 attacks, by training local police officers in Iraq last year and energetically campaigning for the President in the recent campaign.

 http://news.independent.co.uk/world/americas/story.jsp?story=593666

Very disappointed in Ms. Regan 16.Dec.2004 23:52

-

I'm not surprised about Kerik's corrupt personality, but Judith Regan... I don't know why I expected more from her. I respected her before, but now that is gone.