August 24, 2009
You might think that with the possibility of about 150 years in prison, Bernie Kerik would spend the months before his October federal trial keeping his yap shut.
You might think that in bracing for his trial — which is certain to expose the details behind his 15-count indictment for conspiracy and tax fraud, including failing to report $500,000 in income between 1999 and 2004 — the city’s former Correction and Police Commissioner would seek to avoid the media glare because he’s going to get plenty of it soon enough.
The trial promises to be a spectacle, with further embarrassments about his alleged cheating and lying from both his former girlfriend, Judith Regan, and his former lawyer, Joe Tacopina.
Kerik, however, seems unbowed. He’s become a presence on Twitter, broadcasting his views wide and far.
Whether he is in denial or thinks that a jury will believe the feds are guilty of prosecutorial misconduct, he is chronicling his thoughts and whereabouts while speaking out on the Big Picture, from Henry Louis Gates’ arrest [Kerik supports the Cambridge police] to the people carrying automatic weapons near President Obama [He’s against them].
Kerik’s postings allow him to present himself to the public as he wants to be seen, as the respected figure he once was.
His bio beneath each of his opinions makes no mention of his federal indictment; the fact that he has already pleaded guilty in state court to having accepted $165,000 in free renovations to his apartment from an allegedly mob-connected contractor; and his much-criticized military training effort in Iraq, where, as Republican presidential candidate Senator John McCain said of him, “He stayed two months and one day, [then] just up and left.”
Instead, his bio reads, “Bernard Kerik served as the 40th police commissioner of the New York City and Iraq’s interim minister of interior following the fall of Saddam Hussein. Today he is the chairman of The Kerik Group LLC.”
Here now are some of his recent twitters. Let’s begin on June 4th, following his third federal indictment, this one in Washington. “In DC Federal Court today. Indicted for a third time on the same charge. Unprecedented, selective and overreaching prosecution?”
Later that day: “Finished in DC. Heading back to NJ/NY. Thanks to all for the overwhelming support. It means a lot.”
The next day, June 5th, he posted that he “will be attending the Verona, NJ PBA Cops and Rodders event on Sunday morning.”
Two weeks later, on June 20, he wished the world a happy Father’s Day. “In the worst of times, it’s your little ones that give you the perseverance to battle on. HAPPY FATHERS DAY to every Dad out there.”
One of his themes is patriotism. Noting the 55th anniversary of the Normandy invasion, he wrote on June 6: “June 6, 1944. To those at Normandy who live and died, and the families they left behind — from me and my family to yours. God Bless You.”
On July 3 he wrote, “As we celebrate the independence of this great nation, let us not forget those who sacrificed so much so that we could live in freedom.”
On August 11, under the headline “9/11 Anniversary a Sober Reminder to be Ready,” he wrote, “As we approach the eighth anniversary of the attacks of 9/11, I think of those men and the other men and women like them, who sacrificed their lives to save others. …
“On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, just minutes after two jetliners slammed through towers I and II of the World Trade Center, Mayor Rudy Giuliani, I, and several others stopped at a temporary command post on West Street to survey the damage of the two buildings.” [You can see where that is going.]
He posted three times on the shooting of five Jersey City police officers by a drug-dealing fugitive. “My thoughts and prayers go out to the five Jersey City [NJ] officers shot this morning. God Speed,” he wrote on July 16.
On July 23 he wrote: “Heading to the wake for Jersey City Police Detective Marc DiNardo.”
And on July 24: “Attending the funeral for Jersey City Police Detective Marc DiNardo. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife and children today.”
July 18 was apparently a busy day. “Will be attending a breakfast for wound[ed] warriors returning from Iraq at the Carvel Country Club in Pine Plains, New York,” he posted at 4:33 A.M.
At 4:45 A.M., he wrote, “Will be attending the “Shore Dreams for Kids” event in Seaside Heights, New Jersey. … Stop by and help!”
At 7:48: “We’re leaving the Post 9/11 Foundation Breakfast for Shore Dreams for Kids. 180 miles to go!”
And at 3:05 PM, “Heading home from South Jersey. Then live on Geraldo at Large on FOX News at 10PM tonight.”
Then there is that Big Picture. On July 23, under the headline, “The President’s Criticism of the Police Sergeant was Unfair,” he wrote: “The race card was played by Gates at the scene and then thrown into the national spotlight by the press and media when they asked President Barack Obama his opinion of the arrest.”
On August 18, he wrote of the dozen people carrying guns, including a person with an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle slung over his shoulder, outside a convention center in Arizona where the previous day President Barack Obama had given a speech: “I’m all for the Second Amendment and our right to bear arms, but not at the cost of endangering the president.”
Your Humble Servant remains conflicted about Kerik. He showed this reporter great consideration on the day of 9/11, allowing me to join his motorcade downtown a few hours after the terrorist attacks. Whether his gesture was due to kindness or calculation, who can say? Perhaps it doesn’t matter.
As for his future, if Kerik somehow beats the charges, maybe he will become a candidate, running as a Republican for the U.S. Senate from his home state of New Jersey.More likely, if convicted, he will have plenty of time to hone his writing skills.