In a rare three-part interview shot last month, Bernard Kerik — the indicted former New York City police commissioner and ex-Giuliani era hack — puts his attack dogs in the laundry room and holds forth on the “cockroaches,” who would bring him down.
“There are things you have to know in a position like mine,” the burly Kerik tells the camera in a three-part interview posted on the internet television network VBS.TV. “One, every cockroach will come out when you’re down. They don’t have the balls and they don’t have the courage to attack you up front. When you’re down they come out.”
Kerik is facing a series of federal charges, including making false statements, hiding income from the IRS, and accepting money and other items to help a company seeking city business.
The former city jails commissioner was tapped by President Bush to run the Department of Homeland Security before he withdrew his name in a flurry of bad press.
Kerik goes on to tell freelance television producer Jason Mojica that your friends will desert you when the feds come calling.
“Second thing is when you go through the worst times of you life, you sort of have to come to the realization that you will be on your own,” he says. “No matter all the good deeds you’ve done, all the blood you’ve shed, or all the loyalty you’ve had for others, it’s not going to be repaid. You’re just on your own.”
The last bit seemed to be a reference to Giuliani, who cut ties with his former aide once the series of damning allegations emerged.
Kerik also noted, not surprisingly, that the indictment has soured him on the justice system.
“It’s emotionally draining, physically draining, it’s financially crippling,” he says. “A lot of times, that’s what the government tries to do, to financially cripple you, so you can’t have a proper defense.”
“I definitely have a different view on the judicial system and the people that work in it, and their motives and what they do and how they do it,” he adds.
Mojica interviewed Kerik at his New Jersey home on Oct. 10. The interview, Mojica says, grew out of a separate piece for the Al Jazeera network on the role of prisons in the war on terror.
“He’s an interesting guy,” Mojica says. “He’s quite willing to pontificate on any number of issues.”
Adding a bit of what Kerik, a karate black belt, might consider levity to the piece, Mojica had the idea to don a padded suit and allow one of the dogs to attack him, which you can see in part three.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on November 12, 2008