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EX-NYPD Chief Kerik Made the City Safe ^ | December 02, 2004 8:38 AM PST | Associated Press

Posted on 12/03/2004 7:39:14 PM PST by ThePythonicCow

Former New York City Police Commissioner Bernie Kerik answers questions after speaking at the New York Republican State Committee 2004 Designation Meeting in Syracuse, NY in this May 19, 2004 file photo.

December 02, 2004 8:38 AM PST

WASHINGTON - As New York's police commissioner, Bernard Kerik became known after the Sept. 11 attacks as the fierce, sorrowful face of his reeling department. But the former undercover cop has been confronting danger for decades.

His expertise as a crimefighter and his oversight of the NYPD's heroic efforts during the 2001 terrorist attacks earned him international fame and a role as a special adviser to the Iraqi government, which drew on his help to establish a fledgling police force after the toppling of Saddam Hussein.

Now President Bush, who on Thursday selected Kerik to replace Tom Ridge as secretary of the Homeland Security Department, is counting on him to help defend the nation's borders from terrorist attacks like the one that killed nearly 3,000 people in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania more than three years ago.

When former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani began searching in 2000 for someone to lead the NYPD, he selected Kerik: a fiercely loyal lieutenant who still spoke with the low grumble of a street cop.

About a year after his appointment, Kerik found himself racing to the World Trade Center in lower Manhattan amid reports a plane had struck one of the towers. Soon afterward, as the second plane struck the south tower, sending a shower of rubble and burning debris toward him, Kerik found himself running for his life. He remained stoic alongside Giuliani, who had become "America's mayor" because of his stewardship of the city during the crisis.

More recently in Iraq, Kerik was dubbed the "Baghdad Terminator" after summarily dismissing a newly reinstated Iraqi official who turned out to be a member of Hussein's Baath Party.

Kerik, 49, grew up without knowing his birth mother, a tough kid in Paterson, N.J., where he usually cut classes from the trouble-filled Eastside High School later depicted in the 1989 film "Lean on Me." He learned years later that his mother was a convicted prostitute, possibly killed by a pimp.

Kerik dropped out of high school, getting an equivalency degree, to join the Army, where he became a military policeman stationed in South Korea.

Within a few years, he left the military to work private security in Saudi Arabia, his first taste of the type of security measures used to protect VIPs from terrorists.

After a stint supervising a jail in New Jersey, he became a New York police officer, starting out walking a beat in Times Square when it was still largely the domain of seedy characters and street hustlers. He was promoted to detective and worked undercover busting drug dealers, growing a long ponytail to help him look the part.

In the 1990s, he was tapped to clean up New York's long-troubled jail system. Under his watch as the city's corrections chief, stabbings and fights at the notorious Riker's Island dropped precipitously.

Since leaving the department, Kerik joined Giuliani Partners, becoming a security consultant and then signing on to help launch the Iraqi police force.

During the Republican National Convention this summer, he vociferously backed Bush as the right man to lead the war on terror.

Kerik has two young daughters with his second wife, Halah, and a grown son. He fathered another daughter while stationed in Korea; he was able to find her after Sept. 11 made him a national figure.

Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

TOPICS: Government; US: New York
KEYWORDS: bang; banglist; department; homeland; kerik; nypd; replace; ridge; secretary; security
Some background on the new Secretary of Homeland Defense.
1 posted on 12/03/2004 7:39:15 PM PST by ThePythonicCow
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To: ThePythonicCow

He's one tough cookie. Looks like a great pick.

2 posted on 12/03/2004 7:50:52 PM PST by ProudVet77 (Just say NO to blue states.)
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To: ThePythonicCow
I was bucking for Harvey Keitel.

3 posted on 12/03/2004 8:02:09 PM PST by SteveMcKing
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To: SteveMcKing

Good choice. After all, he does solve problems...

4 posted on 12/03/2004 8:05:18 PM PST by Tuba-Dude (Deism: at least we piss everyone off.)
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To: ThePythonicCow
Great choice: Attitude, Independent and Experienced.

He's a straight talker, no bull kind of guy and the DIMS will not know how to deal with him because of his 9/11 experience, and his success in Iraq.

Great move for W!

5 posted on 12/03/2004 8:19:12 PM PST by Former Dodger ("False words are not only evil in themselves, but they infect the soul with evil. " - Plato)
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To: ThePythonicCow

Is that his wife Halah in the background? She looks middle-eastern.

6 posted on 12/03/2004 8:44:51 PM PST by CedarDave (Friday p.m. Have run out of taglines for the week.)
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To: ProudVet77; SteveMcKing; Tuba-Dude; Former Dodger; CedarDave
I've posted another backgrounder on Bernard Kerik, from four years ago, at: Kerik a veteran of mean streets.
7 posted on 12/03/2004 9:32:00 PM PST by ThePythonicCow (Welcome home, Vietnam Vets.)
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To: ThePythonicCow

He is a brilliant pick. If you had to have central casting pick a homeland security chief, he would look like Bernie.

8 posted on 12/03/2004 10:11:39 PM PST by appeal2
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To: ThePythonicCow

Nothing of genuine significance here!

Where is the meat of the story, all I see are the usual glossy photo-op sound bites.

Does he fully support our complete and unabridged constitution and bill of rights?

Former NYC PD Commissioner, so I strongly suspect he is anti-RKBA.
How does he feel about the Fourth and Fifth amendments?
Freedom of speech?

Does he have a "final solution" to crime in America, and just what "reforms" does he want/need in order to accomplish the task?

I am not going to blindly back ANYONE from a liberal Hole like N.Y.!

I want DETAILS on this guy!

9 posted on 12/03/2004 10:21:09 PM PST by Richard-SIA ("The natural progress of things is for government to gain ground and for liberty to yield" JEFFERSON)
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To: Richard-SIA

I have heard that he is, mostly, an anti-gun type.

It would not surprise me. However, I have been without the internet for the last 3 weeks and cannot confirm this.

10 posted on 12/03/2004 10:25:24 PM PST by Jet Jaguar
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To: CedarDave
I found one statement that Halah was born in Syria, which would fit the picture.

Clearly she lacks the instincts for hogging the camera required to be a good Democrat politician in this country <grin>. I could not any other pictures of her, by name or by association with Bernard, nor any pictures of anyone else appearing as a spouse of Bernard.

11 posted on 12/03/2004 10:28:39 PM PST by ThePythonicCow (Welcome home, Vietnam Vets.)
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To: CedarDave
Aha - that's because most reports spell her name "Hala".
Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani administers the oath of office to former Correction Commissioner Bernard B. Kerik as New York City's new Police Commissioner while his wife, Hala, holds both the Bible and their five-month-old daughter Celine.
I don't think it's the same person. I think his wife is more his age, more his proportions, and more motherly looking.
12 posted on 12/03/2004 10:37:56 PM PST by ThePythonicCow (Welcome home, Vietnam Vets.)
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To: Richard-SIA
Well -- he was a cop, not a politician. One might expect him not to have led with his political views.

He apparently played a lead role in Giuliani's cleaning up of crime in New York City.

This is a substantially different set of responsibilities for him. Probably no one can tell yet if he will do well by it or not.

13 posted on 12/03/2004 10:41:57 PM PST by ThePythonicCow (Welcome home, Vietnam Vets.)
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To: ThePythonicCow

I know that Guiliani & Kerik cleaned up NY quite a bit but it must be remembered how it had suffered under the negligence of Dinkens. Does this qualify Kerik for Homeland Security el jefe? I don't know.

14 posted on 12/04/2004 12:00:24 AM PST by thegreatbeast (Quid lucrum istic mihi est?)
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