Kerik Fathered and Abandoned Daughter in Korea


As reported in the Korea Times, Kerik fathered a daughter with a Korean woman while he was stationed as a policeman in Korea in the 1970s.

New US Homeland Chief Fathered Daughter in Korea

By Reuben Staines
Staff Reporter

Bernard Kerik, the man tasked with protecting the United States from the threat of terrorist attacks, fathered a daughter with a South Korean woman while serving on the peninsula in the mid-1970s, U.S. media reported over the weekend.

Kerik, who was selected to replace Tom Ridge as secretary of the Homeland Security Department on Thursday, had the baby with a woman identified as Sun-ja after arriving in South Korea as a 19-year-old military policeman in December 1974, according to several reports.

The baby, named Lisa, was born in 1975. But Kerik deserted her and her mother when he left the country in February 1976.

In his 2001 autobiography, titled ``The Lost Son: A Life in Pursuit of Justice,’’ Kerik called the decision ``a mistake I will always regret, and I pray to God that one day I can make it right.’’

The Bush Administration must have known about this event. It's hard to imagine even their incompetent vetting processing failing to uncover this fact--since I presume that somebody must have read his autobiography.

But after the protests of Clinton's infidelity, and what it showed about his trustworthiness as a servant of the American people, the right didn't seem to flinch at the fact that he fathered a child and abandoned her and her mother. Who cares if he as a deadbeat dad, not paying child support?

What if he had done so in Kansas rather than in Korea? Would the Bush Administration have cared then?

The Associated Press managed to find Kerik's virtue in this sordid affair: It played this issue as a television-moment of family reconciliation brought about by 9/11-induced celebrity:

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.

The story ignores the fact that he abandoned his daughter and the mother of his child in the first instance.

The AP story also has another bizarre twist: it says that Kerik turned Gotham from "an urban war zone" into "one of the safest cities in the world." This claim will strike any New Yorker as bizarre. Kerik was appointed Police Commissioner in 2000--long after New York's crime rate had fallen dramatically--recall that Clinton's benign presidency induced a huge national reduction in crime in the 1990s. Here's the first sentence of the AP story, carried with the headline "Kerik helped turn around New York City," by CNN:

When Bernard Kerik was New York's police commissioner, he helped turn Gotham from an urban war zone into one of the safest big cities in the world.

Add new comment