In case you haven't noticed, the White House wants us to believe that the fact that Bernard Kerik didn't pay taxes for his nanny -- who, by the way, no one seems to have heard any facts or details about -- just wouldn't do for the Secretary of DHS.
But that fact that one of Kerik's long-time financial "benefactors" during his late-1990s rise through the New York police and corrections bureaucracy, Lawrence Ray, was later indicted in a "a $40 million, mob-run, pump-and-dump stock swindle."
You can find the rest of the details on that little part of the story in the Daily News.
Meanwhile, Newsweek brings us some news on the rapid departure from Baghdad ...
But Kerik didn't seem to show much interest in Iraqis, said a senior U.S. official who worked with him. He appeared to enjoy going on night raids against "bad guys" with some South African mercenaries who were serving as bodyguards to U.S. officials. On his screen saver, Kerik had a photo of a big house he had just bought in New Jersey that he said was across the street from former New York Giants quarterback Phil Simms's. Kerik told his colleagues he planned to be in Baghdad for three months while the house was undergoing renovations. "So," the official says he told Kerik, "you're here because you needed a place to go while they're doing renovations on your house." Kerik grinned and cocked a finger as if to say, "You got it."
Of all the sources I thought to contact <$Ad$>on that story, it never dawned on me that Jersey contractors or upholsterers would have been the place to go for the inside scoop. But I'm never very imaginative.
Then there's the story that celebrity book publisher Judith Regan had to hire a personal bodyguard when Kerik started 'hounding' her after their relationship went sour.Newsweek
also adds another detail on why this whole debacle didn't come out of nowhere. Earlier today I was exchanging emails with a friend and told him that I didn't think it was Rudy alone who did or could have
gotten Kerik this job.
Rudy may have chits (or I guess we should make that had
chits). But he didn't have nearly enough to give this job to someone with so many red flags on him he might as well have been a Moscow May Day parade circa 1950.
Something else was at work. And Newsweek
helps here too: "[S]ome administration officials acknowledge that the president's predilections work against a careful review. Bush hates leaks and enjoys popping surprise announcements on the press. He liked the idea of Kerikâthe self-made tough guyâand he dismissed as gossip or press carping newspaper stories about Kerik's bending the rules."
So let's see. The president liked the image
of Kerik. And once he got fixed on the idea that it was a crackerjack idea to put him at DHS, he dismissed all the stories about Kerik's recklessness and scofflawry as just so much whinning from the nattering nabobs of negativism.
(Remind you of anything?)
The emphasis on secrecy also seemed to help keep the prez from getting any disquieting information. And Al Gonzales, who ran the vetting process
on Kerik, was either too sloppy or too much of a yes-man to bring any of this stuff to the president's attention.