Monday, April 09, 2007


I really enjoyed yesterday's article in The Washington Post about the large amount of negative information that surfaced during the brief White House vetting of Bernie Kerik -- none of which prevented the White House from announcing his appointment as Homeland Security secretary.

The Post reminded us that Kerik is going to be in the headlines for a while:

Federal prosecutors have told Kerik that they are likely to charge him with several felonies, including providing false information to the government when Bush nominated him, sources have told The Washington Post.

But, er, what happened to the new job (or jobs) he was supposed to have by now?

Back in the fall, we learned this:

Ex-NYC Top Cop To Head Guyana Reforms

Guyana's president says former New York City police commissioner Bernard Kerik ... will oversee reforms to the violence-wracked country's police force.

President Bharrat Jagdeo told reporters late Tuesday that Kerik will "definitely" lead an overhaul of the South American country's police department despite recent criticism over the move....

Right from the start, there were questions about this:

Contrary to claims from Guyana's President Bharrat Jagdeo, money from a US$20 million Inter-American Development Bank loan cannot be used to pay for the services of former New York City police commissioner Bernard Kerik.

Officials of the IDB yesterday stated, "None of our current bank operations in Guyana is financing the consulting services of Bernard Kerik either as an individual or as part of a consulting firm."

The Bank's statement comes about a week after ... Jagdeo had noted that the IDB loan will help fund [Kerik's] services.

By January, it looked as if the Guyana deal was going to happen, Jagdeo announced, almost apologetically:

...President Bharrat Jagdeo announced last week that they were close to signing a contract with Kerik, despite some concerns from Opposition Leaders in the South American nation.

... Critics of the Jagdeo government have opposed the appointment citing Kerik's involvement in several controversies, including accepting gifts from a company that was trying to do business with New York City while he served as a senior police officer.

... "He will be placed on a retainer, so if we hire him to perform other kinds of duties to the police force, he will be paid separately for those issues, and if he has to come in under the IDB (Inter-American Development Bank) programme, he would have to follow the bidding process for the IDB programme," Jagdeo explained.

...Kerik recently met with the Minister of National Security in Trinidad and Tobago to discuss anti-crime measures amidst huge criticisms....

Yes, he was going to go to work in Trinidad too. And yes, that met with criticism as well:

THE Opposition United National Congress is now in a tailspin after having made another 'fatal attempt at political gimmickry' in dealing with crime, Congress of the People National Security Advisor, Captain Gary Griffith has said.

In a release issued Thursday, Captain Griffith was responding to recent reports of the deepening legal problems being faced by former New York Police Commissioner, Bernard Kerik.

Kerik was brought to Trinidad and Tobago by UNC deputy leader, Jack Warner ...

However, according to Captain Griffith, 'their gimmickry has failed again'. He said: "You cannot put someone in a position to lead the fight against crime, when he himself is facing allegations and charges of corrupt activity!" ...

And then the whole thing got delayed:

Former New York Police Department Commissioner Bernard Kerik has apparently postponed plans to work as a security consultant for two Caribbean countries because of unresolved legal troubles, Guyana's interior minister said Wednesday.

Kerik was expected to begin a one-year contract as Guyana's national security adviser in February. He was also hired as a consultant by Trinidad, although it was unclear when that job would begin.

But Guyanese Interior Minister Clement Rohee said that Kerik sent a statement to Trinidadian authorities saying he could not travel while U.S. prosecutors were investigating him....

What was up with all this? Well, Bernie does like to take a job overseas every now and again -- after all, in addition to his stint in Iraq for the Coalition Provisional Authority (where he spent a lot of money, accomplished nothing, and left early), he had a job at a hospital in Saudi Arabia in the early 1980s (where he was accused of spying on the personal lives of women the hospital administrator was involved with and men they knew).

So was that it? Just wanderlust? Or did Kerik -- or someone else -- think (naively) that he might be able to avoid indictment, or at least scrutiny, if he left the country?

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