Wednesday, April 05, 2006
DHS: Gobble Gobble Perverts
Now we find that not one, but two high-ranking members of the Department of Homeland Security have been busted for child sex crimes within the last six months -- and that one of them, Frank Figueroa, used to run Operation Predator, DHS' own pedophile-tracking arm. One would think that the people picked to run a Federal law enforcement agency like DHS would have been vetted to a fare-thee-well. And they would have been, if they'd been put through the standard Civil Service process for new hires. I know and deal with many Federal civil servants, and I know the background checks they must go through to get their jobs in the first place -- even low-level clerical jobs. (For instance: If you so much as fail to mention a DUI arrest on your job application, that is grounds for automatic and non-appealable dismissal.) But when Bush and the Republicans set up DHS, they set it up to be exempt from Civil Service oversight. This meant that they could use DHS as a tool to break apart the power of the Federal unions -- long a goal of various Republicans. But it also meant that Bush's people could hire anyone they wanted, without hindrance. In the four years that DHS has been in existence, it has been used by Bush and his cronies much as they've tried to use every other government agency -- as a "turkey farm", or a place to provide salaries to otherwise-unemployable donors and/or party hacks. The Bush-ordered degradation of FEMA -- which as recently as the time of Clinton appointee James Lee Witt had a well-earned reputation for excellence -- is just the most infamous example of this. But DHS, with its exemption from Civil Service rules -- and its status as a politically-favored agency under Bush -- is something special. It may well be the worst example of a turkey farm since the days of Ulysses S. Grant, when efforts to curb rampant Republican corruption in government led to the formation of the modern Civil Service System.
There were three that we know of, PW.
An MSNBC Dateline sting picked up Michael Burks.
As my son said, these goons are supposed to be able to uncover terrorists and they can't even tell a real teen from a detective posing as one? (Not to mention they ARE the terrorists, as far as our children go!)
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