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Explainer: SPECIAL INTERACTIVE | Where are they now?

  • Stan Honda  /  AFP - Getty Images file
    Bob Beckwith, the retired New York City fireman who stood with President Bush, right, at the ruined World Trade Center. The "dust man." The man who whispered news of the 9/11 attacks in President Bush's ear. Ten years ago, their images were everywhere. Find out what has happened to them — and other key figures associated with 9/11 — since. Scroll down to learn more.

  • Ed Fine (World Trade Center "dust man")

    Stan Honda  /  AFP - Getty Images file

    THEN
    A businessman who worked at New York-based Intercapital Planning Corp., Ed Fine became widely known from a 9/11 photograph that depicted him covered in dust, napkin held to his nose and mouth while still clutching his briefcase. Head bowed and his dark suit turned a light gray, Fine, then 58, shuffled through ankle-deep debris from the tower that had just collapsed. A clock behind him displayed the time: 10:14 a.m.

    Fine was waiting for an elevator on the 78th floor of the North Tower of the World Trade Center when American Airlines Flight 11 struck the building. Thinking a bomb had gone off, Fine and others made their way down the emergency stairs. Fine reached the street and began to walk away from the World Trade Center when the South Tower collapsed at 10:05 a.m., engulfing everything in the area in a cloud of smoke and debris.

    There, photographer Stan Honda of Agence France-Presse took his picture, an image used by websites, newspapers and magazines around the world. Days later, a friend told Fine his photo was on the cover of Fortune magazine.

    “I was focused in on: I must get uptown, I must keep surviving, I must walk,” Fine told the TODAY show. “And I wasn’t looking or thinking about anything other than surviving.”

    NOW
    Fine, now 68, and his wife have two grown children and a 9-year-old granddaughter. He lives in suburban Watchung, N.J.

    “I’m very private,” Fine told msnbc.com. “Not many people find me.”

    Fine told NBC New York he has saved everything he was wearing on Sept. 11, 2001, when photographer Stan Honda snapped a photo of him walking away from the twin towers covered in dust and debris, and holding a cloth over his mouth. The photograph later became an iconic image from the day of the attacks.

    "I didn't want anyone to take my picture,” Fine told NBC New York. “I didn't stop and pose for that picture and I had no idea that the picture had been taken."

    Fine says he sometimes wishes he hadn’t told the photographer his name, though he still communicates regularly with Honda, who now works for Agence France Presse . “He’s a genuine, nice guy,” Fine told msnbc.com.

    Fine won’t be going to ground zero on Sept. 11, saying he plans to spend the day at home with his family.

    He says he doesn’t talk much about his ordeal, unless it comes up in conversations with his granddaughter, Selena.

    “She’s fascinated,” he says. “She thinks I’m famous.”

    Fine still works, collaborating with Unilife Medical Solutions, a company that manufactures single-use syringes that help protect health care workers from needle injuries.

    The battered black briefcase, the suit — a gray Joseph A. Banks single-breasted model he bought in the late ’90s for about $300 — and the black leather Cole Haan shoes he wore on 9/11 still sit in Fine’s closet. He has also kept his unused, return ferry ticket and his World Trade Center visitor pass.

    “There are no words to express how lucky I felt to have survived,” he said. “Anything can happen at any time, I’m not going to worry about it.”

  • Rudolph Giuliani (mayor of New York City)

    Robert F. Bukaty  /  Pool via AP

    THEN
    By the summer of 2001, Rudy Giuliani, then 57, was generally viewed as a lame duck.

    During his two terms as mayor of New York, Giuliani was a divisive figure who some praised for cracking down on crime and others maligned for attacking civil liberties in his zeal to clean up the city’s streets. In addition, there was the tabloids’ portrayal of the mayor’s messy separation from then-wife Donna Hanover.

    All that changed on Sept. 11, 2001, when the polemical politician’s leadership following the terrorist attacks cemented his position as a national leader who was named Time’s Person of the Year in 2001.

    A native New Yorker who grew up in Brooklyn, Giuliani mirrored the city’s emotions after the Sept. 11 attacks. His poise, calm and ability to coordinate city agencies and state and federal recovery efforts reassured a shaken city. He gave New Yorkers a sense of confidence in the fact that government agencies, both local and national, were on top of things. And he instilled a sense of pride.

    “Tomorrow New York is going to be here,” he said. “And we’re going to be stronger than we were before…. I want the people of New York to be an example to the rest of the country, and the rest of the world, that terrorism can’t stop us.”

    NOW
    Now 67, Giuliani divvies up his time between Bracewell & Giuliani, a law firm he joined in 2005, and Giuliani Partners LLC, a management and security consulting business he started in January 2002, where is chairman and CEO. He is also mulling a run for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.

    Current New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Giuliani will be among the dignitaries at the World Trade Center site ceremony to mark the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

    In the years following 9/11, rumors began to swirl that Time’s 2001 Person of the Year might run for president. In November 2006, Giuliani formed an exploratory committee and in February 2007 he announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination. The campaign, however, soon began to falter, and when Giuliani came in third place in the Florida primary, he decided to drop out of the race, backing John McCain and giving the thumbs-up to Sarah Palin as McCain’s running mate.

    Giuliani’s personal life also continued to make headlines. After finalizing his acrimonious divorce from Hanover in 2002, Giuliani married Judith Nathan in 2003. In addition, Giuliani’s relationship with his two children by Hanover has been described as estranged and neither child appeared in the former mayor’s presidential campaign literature.

    Giuliani has dismissed conjecture that he might run for the senate or for governor of New York, saying he is busy enough as is with his current business ventures.

    “My life is interesting,” he told the New York Times in December 2009. “It’s not as if I’m looking for something interesting to do.”

    This year, however, Giuliani told the media he was considering another White House bid, telling Politico in July: “My thinking is that I still have time to decide. So I’m going to take it,” Giuliani said. “The race is developing very slowly.”

    Also in July the Associated Press reported that a recent NewHampshirepoll showed Giuliani tied for third for the GOP nomination with Texas Rep. Ron Paul, with both at 7 percent. They were well behind Mitt Romney, who has a commanding lead, and Michele Bachmann. In the meantime, Texas Governor Rick Perry has emerged as a frontrunner.

    Despite the low place in the polls, Giuliani said he remained open to the possibility of a presidential run.

    "I have a tremendous fire for more public service," Giuliani told the AP. "That's something I feel sort of incomplete about."

  • Lisa Beamer (widow of Flight 93 victim)

    Linda Spillers  /  AP

    THEN
    In the aftermath of 9/11, it seemed Lisa Beamer was everywhere. The blond, 32-year-old mother of two boys exuded a calm and grace that belied the fact that she had just lost her husband on Flight 93, the only one of the four hijacked planes that did not reach its target.

    The reason that Flight 93 did not crash into the U.S. Capitol or another site in Washington, D.C., is now legend. Due to the heroic acts of many of its passengers, among them Lisa Beamer’s husband, Todd, whose words “Let’s roll” to a telephone operator captured the nation's imagination, the plane went down near Shanksville, Pa. The event summed up the can-do bravery of the ordinary men and women who fought back against the terrorists.

    Beamer, who was five months pregnant on the day of the attacks, appeared repeatedly in the media, from the TODAY show and "Larry King Live" to People magazine. President George W. Bush even introduced Beamer to the country during his address to Congress on Sept. 20, 2001. Beamer made 200 media appearances within the first six months after Sept. 11, according to publicist Tina Jacobson.

    NOW
    After giving birth to her daughter, Morgan, in January 2002, Beamer went on to write “Let’s Roll!: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Courage,” a book about her husband and her struggle to deal with her grief after his death. She also co-founded the Todd M. Beamer Foundation, an organization designed to help children who had lost their parents in the 9/11 attacks.

    The foundation, which was based in Princeton, N.J., changed its name to Heroic Choices in 2004 and expanded its focus to help non-9/11-impacted children dealing with trauma.

    Heroic Choices, however, began to encounter trouble in the mid-2000s.

    "The farther you get away from a charity created on a specific day ... the harder it is for charities to create funds as a result of an event,” Heroic Choices chair William Beatty said in a February 2007 interview.

    It is unclear whether or not Heroic Choices is still in operation, with the phone number previously listed to the organization no longer in service and its Web domain now inactive.

    Beamer, who was once on the board of Heroic Choices, and her publicist, Tina Jacobson, declined to talk to msnbc.com. Beamer has made very few, if any, public speeches or appearances since 2007.

    Her reticence came after rumblings that her frequent appearances showed someone too enamored of media attention. In addition, she and the Todd M. Beamer Foundation also were criticized for attempting to trademark the phrase “Let’s Roll,” The application was successful and the phrase was subsequently licensed it to Wal-Mart, the Florida State Football team and others.

    Beamer may have disappeared from the spotlight, but Doug MacMillan, identified as a friend of Todd Beamer and founder of “Heroic Choices, Friends of Todd Beamer,” will speak at a 9/11 remembrance event in West Chester, Ohio. MacMillan said he left Heroic Choices in 2004.

  • Bob Beckwith (NYC fireman embraced by President Bush)

    Paul Richards  /  AFP

    THEN
    As Ground Zero still smoldered just days after the 9/11 attacks, President George W. Bush stood with a bullhorn in one hand and his arm around retired New York City Fire Department firefighter Bob Beckwith — instantly making Beckwith an iconic image of the nation’s strength and resilience in the wake of the attacks.

    Beckwith, 69 at the time, was inspired to help in the rescue efforts at Ground Zero after he learned that one of his former colleague’s sons was among the hundreds of missing firefighters. A few days after the attacks, Beckwith went down to the footprint of the towers and convinced authorities at the heavily guarded perimeter of the site to let him pass. They did, and he began working to find survivors.

    Then a Secret Service agent asked Beckwith to jump up on a partially buried fire truck to make sure it was safe, Beckwith told msnbc.com in a recent interview. Bush also climbed up on the site. “You OK, Mr. President?” Beckwith asked as he began to climb off the rig. Bush turned around and responded, “Where do you think you’re going? You’re staying right here.”

    The crowd began chanting “U.S.A., U.S.A.” As the cheers died down, Bush started speaking. Someone from the crowd yelled that they couldn’t hear the president. Bush, with his arm still draped around Beckwith, shouted into his bullhorn, "I can hear you, the rest of the world hears you, and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon.”

    The president’s words were met with whooping and hollering from the crowd.

    NOW
    Beckwith, 79, now speaks and raises money for the New York Firefighters Burn Center Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to advancing burn care, research and prevention. He has six kids and 10 grandchildren, and lives with his wife in Baldwin, Long Island, where he’s been for the last 54 years.

    In addition to the burn center, Beckwith helps coordinate the annual StephenSillerTunneltoTowers 5Krun, scheduled for Sept. 25 this year. He and his wife hand out bottled water to the runners as they come out of the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel.

    Beckwith, who retired from FDNY’s Ladder 164 firehouse in Queens in 1994 after 29 years of service, doesn’t talk too much with his family about what happened at ground zero. “Just to the media,” he said.

    Several newspapers and TV stations sought him out a few months ago, when news broke of Osama bin Laden’s death. "It took them a long time [to find bin Laden],” Beckwith told the New York Post in May, “but when you are looking for a needle in a haystack, it takes a long time."

    “I was very glad that he was taken out by the Navy Seals,” he told msnbc.com. “I was in the Navy.”

    Every September 11 since 2002, Beckwith has been going to a memorial at Point Lookout on Long Island. This year, he will attend the commemoration ceremony at ground zero.

    “It will be my first time going on 9/11 at ground zero,” he said.

    Beckwith says 9/11 is comparable to the attack on Pearl Harbor, which he remembers hearing about as a child.

    “It’s something that’s going to stay with us,” he said. “They hit us in our back yard.”

    And President Bush?

    Beckwith has kept in touch. The retired firefighter has gone to White House Christmas parties and received a letter from Bush when the former president learned Beckwith’s daughter had cancer. The former firefighter, who was not always in Bush’s court when it came to politics, also attended Bush’s exit speech to the nation in January 2009. “He’s a nice, regular guy, President Bush, he’s a nice person,” Beckwith said.

  • Andrew Card (whispered news of attacks to President Bush)

    Win McNamee  /  Reuters file

    THEN
    White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card, then 54, was the man who broke the news of the enormity of the attacks to President George W. Bush. A much-published photo showed the president reacting with surprise as Card whispered in his ear.

    During Bush’s visit to the Emma E. Booker Elementary School in Sarasota, Fla., news had reached him that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center in what appeared to be an accident involving be a single-engine aircraft.

    When the second tower was struck, Card approached the president and whispered, “A second plane hit the second tower. America is under attack.” Card then stepped away and waited for the president to excuse himself, which he did after several minutes of listening to second-graders reading a book.

    NOW
    When Card whispered the news of the 9/11 attacks into President Bush’s ear, the best he could do was to remain “calm and collected,” he told msnbc.com in 2010.

    “Obviously, September 11, 2001, changed an awful lot of things for America and the world and, yes, it changed me as well,” he said. But Card said his most memorable day in the White House was not 9/11, but Sept. 14, 2001, when he traveled to New York City and ground zero with President Bush.

    What he’ll always remember, Card said, was when the mother of George Howard, a Port Authority police officer killed in the attacks, gave President Bush the badge worn by her late son, asking him never to forget. Bush carried the badge with him as a reminder.

    Four and half years later, Card — who worked seven days a week and went down as one of the longest-serving chiefs of staff of all time — announced he would leave office in March 2006, after six years in the notoriously tough job.

    A former executive at General Motors, Card returned to the private sector, where he sits on the board of directors of the railroad operator Union Pacific. In 2007, he also joined the public relations company Fleishman-Hillard as a senior counselor. And in July this year, Forbes reported that Card was joining the board of directors of cigarette maker Lorillard Inc., the nation's third-biggest tobacco company. Card also serves as acting dean of The Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University.

    “I’m honored that President Bush asked me to help,” Card said of the Texas A&M appointment. He said he felt blessed to be on a college campus and see how engaged young people are.

    “The future is theirs,” Card said. “To be involved in academia right now is sort of exciting.”

    After Sen. Edward Kennedy died in August 2009, Card, a native of Massachusetts, considered running for Kennedy’s Senate seat but ultimately opted to step out of the race.

    But Card hasn’t completely ruled out politics from his future. “I want government to work and I want it to work well,” he said. “I hope I will never give up interest in politics.”

    Card, who describes himself as a “red, white and blue, apple pie kind of guy” has been married to the Rev. Kathleen Card for 44 years. They have three children and six grandchildren together. Card’s home base is now College Station, Texas.

    And though he has sometimes drawn flak for his candid criticism of the Obama administration, Card was complimentary of the president’s actions in the operation that killed Osama bin Laden. “It was a courageous act,” he said.

    This year, Card said he plans to be in New York for the 10-year commemoration of the attacks.

    “It’s about the promises we made to never forget,” he said.

  • Howard Lutnick (Cantor Fitzgerald CEO)

    Bebeto Matthews  /  AP file

    THEN

    The hard-nosed Cantor Fitzgerald CEO lost 658 out of his 960 New York employees in the 9/11 attacks. No one who was in the company’s offices, occupying floors 101-105 of the North Tower of the World Trade Center, before 9 a.m. on Sept. 11 survived.

    In a twist of fate, Lutnick was not in the office that morning because he was taking his son to his first day of kindergarten. But, while that saved his life, his brother and almost all of Cantor’s stock and bond traders, as well as the accounting, human resources and legal departments were killed.

    That evening, surviving Cantor employees dialed into a conference call to consider either closing the firm or rebuilding it. They chose renewal, according to a company statement, in part to help the families of their friends and colleagues who perished.

    Meanwhile, the notoriously tough corporate titan wept on TV and promised to take on a new mission in life: To take care of the families of his dead employees.  Lutnick’s compassionate side appeared to be short-lived, however. On Sept. 15, just four days after the attacks, Lutnick stopped paychecks to all of the employees who had died. The victims’ families were outraged.

    “I needed my bankers to know that I was in control,” Lutnick told New York Magazine two months after the attacks. “That I wasn't sentimental and that I was no less motivated or driven to make my business survive.”

    Four days later, though, Lutnick promised to take on a new mission in life: To take care of the families of his dead employees, announcing a compensation plan that would share 25 percent of profits with families for the next five years plus 10 years of health insurance.

    NOW
    By all accounts, Lutnick has made good on his promises.

    According to a statement provided by the company’s communications office, Cantor Fitzgerald regained profitability by the fourth quarter of 2001, and has since become a global financial service provider specializing in equity and fixed income capital markets, as well as investment banking, prime brokerage, commercial real estate financing, gaming technology and other services.

    Through the Cantor Fitzgerald Relief Fund, the company says it distributed more than $180 million of its earnings to the families during the five years after 9/11 and will continue to provide health insurance to them until Oct. 19, 2011. Cantor also provided the families with access to lawyers to file insurance claims, created family support groups and holds a family memorial service each Sept. 11. This year thousands are expected to attend the firm’s service in New York’s Central Park.

    Lutnick, meanwhile, continues to serve as chairman and CEO of Cantor as well as holding the same positions at BGC Partners, Inc., a global brokerage business servicing the wholesale financial markets that separated from Cantor in 2008. He serves on numerous boards, including that of his alma mater, Haverford College, and that of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum.

    According to the company statement, Lutnick says one of his greatest honors is that adult children of Cantor employees who were lost on 9/11 are now coming to work for the firm.

  • Three firemen with flag at Ground Zero

    Thomas E. Franklin  /  The Bergen Record file

    THEN
    The photograph is perhaps the most iconic taken at ground zero: In it, three New York City firefighters — Daniel McWilliams, George Johnson and William “Billy” Eisengrein — stand amid the ruins of the twin towers late in the afternoon of Sept. 11, 2001 to hoist a jerry-rigged American flag.

    The image, captured by Thomas E. Franklin, a staff photographer for The Record in Bergen County, N.J., was quickly picked up by national newspapers, magazines and television networks. Many felt it was reminiscent of Joe Rosenthal’s image of the Marines raising a flag on Iwo Jima during World War II.

    As the story goes, one of the firefighters, Williams, saw the American flag attached to a yacht that was docked on the Hudson River and grabbed it. On his walk back to Ground Zero, Williams was joined by Johnson, also in his ladder company, and Eisengrein, a friend he grown up with on Staten Island. The three spotted a flagpole about 20 feet above street level and climbed up to raise the flag as Franklin captured the image from 100 feet away at about 5 p.m. on the afternoon of 9/11.

    “They didn’t know that the picture was taken,” Franklin told msnbc.com in a recent interview. “I was doing my job, which was to document this historic but horrible event. They did what they did and I did what I did and the picture happened. And that’s it. It’s a moment in time.”

    Six months after the attacks, in March 2002, McWilliams, Johnson, Eisengrein and Franklin joined President George W. Bush in the Oval Office when he unveiled the image as a special U.S. postal stamp to raise funds for families of emergency workers killed or permanently disabled as a result of the terrorist attacks. The Federal Emergency Management Agency raised around $10 million through the stamp, Franklin said.

    The photo was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and won numerous national photojournalism awards.

    NOW
    Ten days after it was raised, the flag was taken down and brought to Yankee Stadium where it was signed by then-Gov. George Pataki, then-New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and other top officials. It was then reportedly taken to the USS. Theodore Roosevelt, the aircraft carrier that was deployed to launch the initial strikes against al Qaida in Afghanistan from the Arabian Sea.

    After that, it disappeared. Some speculate it was stolen.

    All three of the firefighters featured in the iconic image are still working for the New York City Fire Department, according to the FDNY press office, which said the trio want “nothing to do” with requests for media interviews. However, the press office gave the following bare-bones updates:

    McWilliams, now 44, is currently a lieutenant with Battalion 37 in Brooklyn. He has worked with the FDNY for 19 years and lives on Long Island.

    Johnson, now 45, has also worked for the FDNY for 19 years and was recently promoted to battalion chief in Brooklyn.

    Eisengrein, now 46, is a firefighter working out of the Rescue 2 station in Brooklyn. He has been with the FDNY for 25 years.

    Franklin, the photographer who captured the image, still works for The Record in New Jersey. He is now the paper’s multimedia editor and video producer. Married with a son, he also teaches photojournalism at Ramapo College in New Jersey.

    Most days, Franklin, 45, shoots brief video reports for the Web, but he also works on in-depth pieces. His latest project focuses on9/11 as seen and heard by the photographers who covered the events that day. Franklin, who interviewed both professional and amateur photographers who captured iconic images, said he aimed to release the 13-minute-long documentary before Sept. 11. “There’s real value in retelling what happened,” he said.

    On the day news broke of Osama bin Laden’s killing, Franklin went to ground zero and produced a video for The Record, saying that he didn’t think it would take almost ten years to track down bin Laden.

    “I felt a sense of relief when I heard the news that bin Laden was dead,” he said.

    Franklin said he’ll attend the 10th anniversary ceremony as a photojournalist, covering the event for The Record.

    “The events of Sept. 11 will never be forgotten,” he said. “That was a murder scene, the scene where thousands of innocent people died.”

  • Coleen Rowley (FBI whistleblower)

    Carlo Allegri  /  Getty Images file

    THEN
    The FBI’s chief legal adviser in Minneapolis for more than a decade, Coleen Rowley, then 46, was involved in the investigation of Zacarias Moussaoui, who was already considered a potential terrorist threat because of flight training he had received in the United States. Rowley pushed for a search warrant for Moussaoui’s laptop computer, a request repeatedly denied by FBI headquarters.

    Eventually, Moussaoui, who would become known as “the 20th hijacker,” was arrested for an immigration violation on Aug. 15, 2001 and his ties to radical fundamentalist Islamic groups were soon confirmed by the French intelligence service. Rowley would later call Moussaoui’s arrest a “missed opportunity” for American investigators to unravel and possibly prevent the 9/11 plot. (Moussaoui was later convicted for his role in 9/11.)

    In 2002, Rowley testified before the 9/11 Commission and the Senate Judiciary Committee about what she considered to be critical lapses by the FBI. In a 13-page memo to FBI Director Robert Mueller, Rowley wrote: “I feel that certain facts, including the following, have, up to now, been omitted, downplayed, glossed over and/or mischaracterized in an effort to avoid or minimize personal and/or institutional embarrassment on the part of the FBI and/or perhaps even for improper political reasons.”

    As a result of her public testimony, Rowley was among the three whistleblowers named Time magazine’s “Persons of the Year” (along with Sherron Watkins of Enron and Cynthia Cooper of WorldCom).

    NOW
    Stepping down as chief legal adviser in the FBI’s Minneapolis office to become a special agent once again in 2003, Rowley retired a year later after 24 years with the agency. She now lives with her husband and four children in Apple Valley, Minn. and occasionally writes for The Huffington Post.

    Her bio on the site says Rowley also speaks to groups ranging from school children to civic organizations on two topics: ethical decision-making and "balancing civil liberties with the need for effective investigation."

    In February 2005, Rowley was nominated to serve on the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, a five-person body set up by the 9/11 Commission to advise the executive branch on laws and policies implemented to protect the United States against terrorism. The Bush administration, however, did not select her for the board.

    The following year, Rowley ran an unsuccessful campaign for Congress as a Democrat, losing to Republican incumbent John Kline in Minnesota’s 2nd District.

    Rowley is now a member of the steering committee of Come Home America, a group “united in their alarm about the destructive consequences of our country’s runaway militarism.”

    Come Home America staged an anti-war protest at the Iowa Straw Poll in August with the Des Moines Register newspaper reporting that protesters held signs reading, “Support Children. End War,” “W.A.R: Wasted American Resources,” and “U.S. is not broke, just broken priorities.”

    “We support the troops,” Rowley told the Iowa paper. “We are against runaway military spending. It is bankrupting this country and subverting our laws.”

  • Bernard Kerik (New York City police chief)

    Beth A. Keiser  /  AP file

    THEN
    Though much in the shadow of Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik was lauded for his role in coordinating the city’s response to the 9/11 attacks at the World Trade Center.

    Kerik, who was 46 at the time, was a veteran law enforcement officer when he was tapped to head the largest police force in the United States. In addition to being praised for his handling of the crisis at Ground Zero, Kerik had gained a name for cutting crime in New York and improving police relations with minority communities.

    However, Kerik, who testified before a Senate subcommittee and pushed for legislation that would help the FBI share information with local officials, announced a month later that he would not remain in his position when Giuliani left office in January 2002.

    “'I have to look at what I have done throughout my life,” Kerik said in a November 2001 news conference, “and what I have been through in the last eight years, most importantly the last year, and then the last eight weeks. I think you have to set priorities in your life, and my priorities right now are focused toward my family and the future.”

    NOW
    It was a future that appeared bright.

    Immediately after leaving office, Kerik became a senior vice president at Giuliani Partners, the consulting firm founded by his former boss. And in May 2003 Kerik was appointed as the interim minister of interior to Iraq with responsibility for overseeing post-invasion reconstruction efforts. He also served as senior policy adviser to Paul Bremer, the U.S. presidential envoy to Iraq.

    And that’s where the problems began.

    In his book “Assassins’ Gate: America in Iraq,” author George Packer reported that Kerik “went home after just three months, leaving almost nothing behind.” And in an interview with the New York Daily News, retired U.S. Army General Ricardo Sanchez said Kerik’s efforts to train Iraqi police were “a waste of time and effort.”

    Bremer, on the other hand, called Kerik “streetwise and no-nonsense” in his memoir “My Year in Iraq.” And in 2004, President George W. Bush nominated Kerik to lead the Homeland Security Department, praising him as a "dedicated, innovative reformer who insists on getting results."

    But very soon after, several issues came to light that doomed the nomination, including tax and immigration violations regarding a former nanny, questionable timing in the sale of stocks, rumors of an extramarital affair, allegations of misusing police property for personal gain and improper reporting of gifts.

    As a result of the disclosures, Kerik withdrew his nomination and resigned from Giuliani Partners. He then started The Kerik Group LLC, a group focusing on crisis and risk management, a few months later and was chairman of the company until June 2009.

    Kerik’s rocky road was only to get worse. In February 2010, he was sentenced to four years in federal prison after he pleaded guilty to eight felonies, including tax fraud and lying to the White House over his Homeland Security nomination. The judge in the case said that although Kerik acted in the “highest tradition of a public servant” on 9/11, “The fact that Mr. Kerik would use that event for personal gain and aggrandizement is a dark place in the soul for me.”

    Kerik is married with two young daughters. Before going to jail, he was known for being active on social media, tweeting @BernardKerik and blogging at bernardkerik.blogspot.com, but his online activity has almost ceased since he entered a medium-security prison in Maryland in May 2010.

    This year, Kerik has only blogged twice, first on the day bin Laden’s death was announced, and two days later, calling for unity over politics.

    “To my fellow Republicans and conservatives I say: Stop whining and give the President the credit he deserves,” he wrote. “A better outcome happens only in the movies.”

  • Osama bin Laden (terrorism mastermind)

    AP FILE

    THEN
    Head of the al-Qaida terrorist organization, Osama bin Laden was soon named the prime suspect in the 9/11 attacks and President George W. Bush quickly vowed bin Laden would be captured “dead or alive.”

    Already wanted for his alleged role in the 1998 coordinated bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, as well as the 2000 suicide attack on the USS Cole that killed 17 American sailors in Yemen, bin Laden was the subject of a $25 million bounty offered by the United States.

    NOW
    On May 2, 2011, bin Laden was shot and killed inside his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, by U.S. Navy SEALs in a covert operation ordered by President Obama. Shortly after his death, bin Laden's body was buried at sea, ending a manhunt that spanned almost a decade.

    "Justice has been done," Obama declared the same day as crowds formed outside the White House to mark the occasion. Hundreds more waved American flags at ground zero in New York.

    Bin Laden, 54, was shot in the left eye, NBC News' Savannah Guthrie reported citing an unnamed U.S. official.

    With Islamic tradition calling for a body to be buried within 24 hours, finding a country willing to accept the remains of the world's most wanted terrorist was difficult, a senior administration official said in explaining why the terrorist’s body was dropped into the Indian Ocean.

    Two Obama administration officials told the Associated Press that DNA evidence shows the body was bin Laden's with 99.9 percent confidence.

    Other U.S. officials said one of bin Laden's sons and two of his most trusted couriers were also killed, as was an unidentified woman.

    Al Qaida remains in existence, with the new leader being bin Laden’s deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, 59, an Egyptian physician. The terrorist organization has pledged to keep fighting the United States and avenge the death of bin Laden, which it acknowledged for the first time on May 6, 2011, in an Internet statement apparently designed to convince followers that it will remain intact after its founder's demise.

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