As if all the mayoral-campaign-season tributes to the corrupt and monstrous reign of Rudolph Giuliani weren't enough, now Bernard Kerik—the one actual convicted felon among the city's recent run of lawless and unethical police commissioners—has crawled back into the light of freedom after three years in prison, and he wants to talk. He learned things in the correctional system, he told Matt Lauer. Things that America's Cop (not to be confused with America's Top Cop) had never imagined. Such as?
“These young men, they come into the prison system. First-time, non-violent offense, a low-level drug offense: The system is supposed to help them. Not destroy them," Kerik said in an interview on NBC's "Today" show that aired on Friday.
Kerik criticized the federal mandatory minimum system for putting people away for 10 years for 5 grams of cocaine, handing NBC's Matt Lauer a nickel.
"When I came into the system, I didn't realize it's a nickel. Hold it. Do you feel the weight of it? Feel it?" Kerik said. “I had no idea that for 5 grams of cocaine, which is what that nickel weighs, you could be sentenced to 10 years in prison."
Bernard Kerik, the former police commissioner of New York City and onetime nominee to lead the federal Department of Homeland Security, says he had no idea that you could get 10 years in prison for five grams of cocaine. To be fair, his job wasn't to wage the draconian federal drug war; his job was to wage a totally different arm of the drug war, under the separate, draconian laws of New York State.
Or maybe he's just bullshitting to rebrand himself as something other than a complete disgrace. Sure, he's a crook. Sure, he used an apartment at Ground Zero, donated as a rest station for rescue workers, as his personal extramarital fuck pad. But at least he now understands a basic fact about injustice, one that anyone could have explained to him when he still held power over people's lives.