Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Feckless Checks Lead to Imbalances

Two news stories raise questions as to whether government is accountable via the system of checks and balances set in place by our founding fathers. The first involves the FBI, courtesy of the Washington Post. An agency watchdog reported FBI officials should have moved more quickly to sound alarms about abusive interrogation practices its agents witnessed in Cuba, Iraq and Afghanistan. Not only did FBI agents not serve as a check against the behavior of their counterparts in the CIA (including contractors) and the Defense Department, the Pentagon held up the investigative report for years.

The second report comes from across the pond, but speaks to an ever widening intelligence net cast by the Bush administration. The Times Online reported:

A massive government database holding details of every phone call, e-mail and time spent on the internet by the public is being planned as part of the fight against crime and terrorism. Internet service providers (ISPs) and telecoms companies would hand over the records to the Home Office under plans put forward by officials.

U.S. intelligence gathering has grown like Jack's beanstalk since 9-11 and one of the primary benefactors has been Booz, Allen & Hamilton. They announced a sale of their government consulting and services division just days ago. The buyer of our "Big Brother' supplier to the federal government? The infamous, politically connected Carlyle Group.

Does anyone else find it odd that government is spending billions on intelligence and citizens have to dig to find out relationships between elected officials and the benefactors of their legislation, appropriations and/or regulatory actions? Would anyone care to bet that members of Parliament are exempt from the UK "Big Brother' database? What's good for public geese isn't good for your elected ganders. Now, doesn't that get your dander up?

No comments: