Thursday, June 27, 2013
Crimes, cover-ups and character corruption at State Department
Adding a chapter to a tome of government scandals, an internal State Department memo paints a picture of crimes, cover-ups and character corruption at every level of the agency. Lower-level staff allegedly have been running drugs and abusing prostituted women at "endemic" rates while senior officials allegedly have systematically suppressed the evidence.
From the administration's politically edited whitewashing of the terrorist attack on the Benghazi embassy to these revelations of widespread State Department misdeeds, from the Justice Department's targeted secret surveillance of news reporters to nationwide National Security Agency secret surveillance of domestic communications, from the systematic silencing by the IRS of conservative groups' political speech to the Department of Health and Human Services abortifacient pills mandate's wholesale assault on the religious liberties of conscientious objectors, Americans are losing trust in their government.
The solution lies in the ingenious design of our government, focused on stemming the corruption of power through a system of competing powers and interests. The Constitution and the courts are designed to check the power of an overreaching Executive. Congress is empowered to investigate and rein in runaway federal agencies. A free watchdog press can uncover government cover-ups. Even partisan politics can fuel reform, as one party exposes their opponents' corruption and hypocrisy.
As Lord Acton warned, power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. The American system of government offers us recourse to check that power--if only we will stand up to the abusers of power and employ it.