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Gonzales Nomination: FOX News Avoids The Embarrassing But Highly Relevant Kerik Questions

Reported by Ellen - January 5, 2005

In its article about the upcoming confirmation hearing of Alberto Gonzales for US Attorney General, FOXNews.com recites some of the questions as to his suitability viz a viz his role in condoning harsh treatment of prisoners and his belief that the war on terror rendered obsolete the Geneva Conventions' provisions regarding interrogation. Not mentioned is his role in the recent Bernard Kerik nomination in which Gonzales either bungled the investigation into Kerik's background or else found nothing objectionable in Kerik's involvement with a company tied to organize crime, his outstanding arrest warrant (related to unpaid condominium fees) or his extramarital affairs.

Alberto Gonzales conducted the prenomination review of Bernard Kerik, the former nominee for head of the Department of Homeland Security (see, for example, Christian Science Monitor, 12/24/04). Kerik supposedly withdrew his nomination because of an illegal-immigrant nanny, though the NY Times raised questions about whether the nanny actually existed (December 15, 2004).

Soon after withdrawing, it emerged that Kerik had quite a few skeletons in his closet, including long-standing ties to Interstate Industrial, a New Jersey-based firm allegedly run by organized crime. While heading both the Department of Corrections and the New York Police Department, Kerik received numerous unreported cash gifts from Interstate Industrial executive Lawrence Ray, who has since been indicted on federal charges for a stock swindle involving several prominent mob figures. This story was reported on by The New York Post, owned by News Corp., the same company that owns FOX News, among others.

Was Gonzales aware of Kerik's relationship with Interstate Industrial? If so, did he inform Bush before Kerik was nominated? If Gonzales was not aware of the relationship, how was the media able to discover so quickly what Gonzales missed?

These are important questions for the man who is supposed to be our highest law enforcement officer, someone who is supposed to put the law above politics and someone who is supposed to play a crucial role in the detecting and prosecuting of terrorists. Yet the questions seem not to be on the FOX News radar screen. That leaves little hope for any answers.

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