Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Bernie’s Hideaway

It would have made a great final chapter to Bernard Kerik’s autobiography, just out. President Bush was about to swear him in as chief defender of homeland security. Instead, Bernie presented his excuses at a state dinner in the White House.

The president had been facing the need to fill that job for over a month, but he seems to have overlooked it in his daily chats with the Lord Jesus. It turned out that there some problems with Bernie’s resume.

Now, we bleeding hearts feel obliged to pass over his misbehavior as a youngster, because he had a dreadful childhood. But that happens to be just the kind of mitigating factor that Kerik and Giuliani would not tolerate in their pre-emptive war against crime in our Latino and African-American communities. Kerik got his first crack at them as a corrections officer -- if you’ll excuse the expression. The news clippings show him using inmates freely as personal help. There’s something about a valuable painting taken from Rikers Island. Then Giuliani named him police commissioner, chauffeur and bodyguard.

Eyebrows were raised when Kerik assigned half a dozen homicide detectives to search for some keys that his publisher had mislaid. It turned out that she had changed handbags and just forgot about it. She’s a rich widow who owns a big rightwing publishng house. She enjoyed working on Kerik’s book, with occasional foreplay in a hideaway the city maintained for the commissioner in Battery Park City -- until she came upon a note left behind by another woman, and there went the ballgame. Pity: We do need to learn more about that stun-gun that Kerik manufactures, in partnership with Giuliani. A few people died of heart attacks after being stunned, but they say there was no connection. As Rumsfeld said, things happen.

We’ve got four more years of this coming up. They won’t be dull.