Friday, March 30, 2007

Rudy Knew Kerik Had Ties To Organized Crime BEFORE He Made Him Police Commissioner

Bad news for Rudy Giuliani on the front page of the NY 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.


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.

For a while now, many in the news media have willfully ignored Rudy's "Kerik problem." We have heard from Rudy fans like MSNBC's Chris Matthews that Americans will easily be able to overlook Giuliani's troubled personal life (numerous adulteries, three marriages, estranged children) and problematic professional relationships because they want " a strong leader" and Giuliani of course showed his "strong leadership" qualities on 9/11.

But I have long maintained that Rudy's business interests (he has done some work for Hugo Chavez, has kept his client list secret and won't divulge who else he has worked for), his seriously twisted personal life (evangelical leaders like Richard Land are already on record saying Rudy's personal life is problematic for them) his batshit wife (she makes Teresa Heinz Kerry seem sane), and his "Kerik problem" will derail his presidential campaign.

Today's front page times story is aimed right at the heart of Rudy's "Strong Leader" persona. Does a strong leader really appoint a mob-connected guy to be NYPD commissioner after he knows the guy has ethics problems? Does a strong leader really suggest the same mob-connected be made Homeland Security Director? While today's Times story is not going to do Rudy's campaign in, it does raise more questions about what Rudy knew about Kerik both before he appointed him commissioner, after the appointment, after he hired Kerik to work at his company, and after he suggested Kerik be appointed to the Homeland Security Director position.

And Rudy better be asked those questions along the campaign trail. It's time for News media people to put away the pom-poms and ask some serious questions of America's Mayor.

POSTSCRIPT: Why is it that Chris Matthews has decided that adultery only matters when Bill Clinton is doing it? Yesterday on Hardball, Matthews gleefully pointed to a poll that showed most Americans don't believe Clinton has "changed his stripes" when it comes to adultery (probably true, btw), but never once did he ask whether admitted adulterers Giuliani and Gingrich have "changed their stripes." When Tom Delay was on Hardball a week ago and he called Clinton a moral scumbag for cheating on his wife, never once did Tweety Bird Matthews say "Wait a minute, you just admitted to adultery yourself back in the early 90's! Doesn't that make you a moral scumbag too?"

It seems that Chris Matthews is perfectly happy to ignore the numerous adulteries and sexual antics of members of the Grand Old Family Values Party, but when it comes to Bill Clinton (who after all is just doing what Gingrich, Rudy and Delay have done), it's high crimes and misdemeanors time.

What a phony.

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