Sunday, April 08, 2007


RT Obsession-Watch Grand Unification Theory

The wisdom of Rudy Giuliani meets the "competence" of Alberto Gonzales:

When former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani urged President Bush to make Bernard B. Kerik the next secretary of homeland security, White House aides knew Kerik as the take-charge top cop from Sept. 11, 2001. But it did not take them long to compile an extensive dossier of damaging information about the would-be Cabinet officer.

They learned about questionable financial deals, an ethics violation, allegations of mismanagement and a top deputy prosecuted for corruption. Most disturbing, according to people close to the process, was Kerik's friendship with a businessman who was linked to organized crime. The businessman had told federal authorities that Kerik received gifts, including $165,000 in apartment renovations, from a New Jersey family with alleged Mafia ties.

Alarmed about the raft of allegations, several White House aides tried to raise red flags. But the normal investigation process was short-circuited, the sources said. Bush's top lawyer, Alberto R. Gonzales, took charge of the vetting, repeatedly grilling Kerik about the issues that had been raised. In the end, despite the concerns, the White House moved forward with his nomination -- only to have it collapse a week later.
Emphasis added.

So, Giuliani overlooks his crony's potential mob ties and recommends him to a Cabinet position (the most important domestic one in the post-9/11 era. Gonzales abrogates the usual vetting process -- with the selection blowing up in the administration's face.

Again, this puts supporters of both Rudy Giuliani and the administration in an awkward position: What's worse, Rudy's blind eye to his employee/colleague's corruption -- or the administration (i.e., Gonzales') negligence in not scuttling the nomination before the announcement? Given this episode, AGAG (Attorney General Alberto Gonzales) 's foul-up with the U.S. attorneys makes even more sense.

With everything that was known (even to the White House) about Kerik before the nomination, isn't it interesting that a failure to pay taxes on a domestic worker was the "reason" he actually withdrew?

Or was it?

"Nanny problem" may be the "legal/political" flip side of the "retiring to spend more time with one's family" coin? If an individual just becomes a political embarassment, they resort to the latter. If there are a number of problematic legal issues associated with a nominee or appointment, heretofore unknown domestic workers will suddenly appear to force a hasty withdrawal/resignation.

Meanwhile, speaking of AGAG, a former House Speaker stated that it was about time he hit the road.

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