Friday, December 03, 2004

The Kerik Kontroversy

what color is his parachute?

It took Tom Ridge a few months to ruin his credibility with the public, but Bernard Kerik’s comes pre-shredded. His management of both the NYPD and the Iraqi police training program was poor, by the available evidence. But by issuing alarmist, unsupported allegations that America would be hit by a terror attack if Kerry were elected, Kerik showed he has the “right stuff” to be Bush’s Director of Homeland Security. The country desperately needs a good leader and a trustworthy spokesman in that job. Unfortunately, Kerik has demonstrated that he is neither.

The Kapsule Kerik: He was in charge of the NYPD during September 11, for which he and his team were cited for poor command and control operations by the 9/11 Commission. Two months after the tragedy, Kerik cut and ran on a traumatized community and a hard-hit police force to cash in on some lucrative private contracting assignments. The police training program he directed in Iraq was a debacle, as most of the trainees either joined the insurgents or ran away at the first sign of conflict. During the campaign, he said that “"if you put Sen. (John) Kerry in the White House, I think you are going to see (a terror attack) happen." These unsupported and wildly irresponsible allegations would never have been spoken by a responsible leader. Lastly, for good measure, an executive who worked closely with him was quoted in the Washington Post as saying “Management just simply isn’t his strong suit.”

That’s the short-version bio of Kerik: Management just isn’t his strong suit. Where do you go with a resume like that? Somewhere where management skills are not the top criterion for getting hired. Where you gotta be willing to get your hands dirty to if you want the job, as Kerik did with his reckless charges during the campaign. When he showed that he was willing to say whatever was necessary to elect the President, regardless of proof or the dictates of responsibility, he showed his willingness to take a fall on the integrity issue. He was on the team, willing to do what it takes to be a made man. Now comes his reward, which is also seen as a payoff to Rudy “Blame the Troops” Giuliani.

What a career path. What management skills. What ethics. What a choice for Homeland Security.

Good luck to all of us. And expect a lof ot "orange alerts," or whatever they're called by then, around the time the '06 elections come around.