Thursday, September 27, 2012

Government officials and crime

Interesting article about that TSA Officer who was caught by ABC News stealing an iPad purposely left behind at an airport.

As many of you know, I am a government employee.  Have been now for over thirty-eight years, as of today, as a matter of fact.  Over the years, I've seen story after story about misbehaving government employees.  Federal, State and local, there is simply a breed of person who cannot avoid taking advantage of a position of power or opportunity.

Politicians are a favorite target of our outrage, but others are just as susceptible.  TSA officers, like the man today, are up front and center, because of the public's anger and outrage at TSA policies and procedures at airports.  But there are others.  Inspectors of various stripes and types often have golden opportunities to demand bribes, as do police officers, parole officers and, hey, judges do it too!

As I've said before, don't take this wrong.  I am not trying to paint all of us with that same broad brush.  Personally, I've never seen such corruption occur.  I've never been exposed to it, nor had an opportunity to report something like it, either.  But I know it happens.  I've cleaned out the occasional office of a coworker who disappeared suddenly more than once.  I've delivered at least one CPU to the Office of Criminal Investigations.  It happens.

But what burns me up is when they get off.  Many don't.  A lot get fired, lose their pensions and I have no idea what they'd do for a job after that!

But especially the higher ups, and often the cops, get off.  There's a good ole' boy network in these places that protects them from the worst of it.

And it burns me up.

I am a firm believer that there oughta be a law (remember that comic strip?) that adds a premium to the sentence of any public servant who is convicted of a crime.  Lesser in scope if committed on private time, but escalating depending on severity as it happens on public time or in the course of performing their regular duties.  An addition to the regular sentence - just like we do for the use of handguns in the commission of a crime.

I believe that because I believe in public service.  I believe that performing a job for the government is serving my fellow Americans.  It is participating in the conduct of that agreement we all have in the existence of the constitution.  It is doing my part to support and defend that constitution.

But breaking the law is a violation of the oath I took when I accepted this job.  I cannot be expected to support and defend a concept if I violate the concept's most basic principles!  And for doing that, there should be a separate and harsh punishment.

Throw the book at the bastards.

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