It’s cool when naughty people clean up their act and then make an honest buck off of their illicit skills, such as hackers who become cyber-security experts, or a former burglar who hangs a shingle as a security consultant, but to do that you have to reform first.
These stories and two recent trends in general point to a concern that has not gotten much attention. Modern Republicans have made a crusade out of expanding government powers and stripping away oversight. Loosened civil liberties protections and neutered oversight makes it easier to chase crooks, but it also makes it easier to chase anybody you feel like chasing. Nobody has ever loved classifying ordinary documents or hated the Freedom of Information Act as much as the current administration. Think that I’m wrong? The people who try to argue my point will be the exact same people who think that reporters should be locked up for reporting.
That brings up another major problem with modern Republicans – they love to fill important posts with the young, hackish and ideologically pure. Chuckle about Brownie and George Deutsch and the anonymous retard in Baghdad who recommended throwing away judicial review because it might allow abortion, but those are just the doofuses who get caught. Bush tried to fill the top post at DHS with a guy so comically awful – Bernie Kerik – that the White House later had to admit that they skipped the most rudimentary background check. Try to think about Harriet Miers for awhile without giggling or retching in your mouth.
It seems like a pointless truism to say that the organization follows the president’s lead. If the president appoints ideologically-pure nimrods to important posts then it seems painfully stupid to think that his hand-picked underlings, and their hand-picked underlings, won’t do the exact same thing. Of course they will. You can find a George Deutsch under every streambed pebble in the Executive branch.
Put two and two and two together. Increasing government power, decreasing oversight, lax hiring policies. What kind of person do you think that is going to attract?
“The arrest of DHS Deputy Press Secretary Brian J. Doyle raises serious concerns about the department’s hiring policies and, more important, its security-clearance practices,” King said.
If I had to guess I would say that the general atmosphere of ideological hackery only explains part of what is happening at DHS. Since I actually don’t know the answer I will phrase it as a question: does the federal employees’ union dictate hiring practices as well as when and how an employee can be fired? If so then the lack of union protections at DHS may contribute as well.