Thursday, 18 September 2014

Inglorious States

Too Busy

One of the rotten fruits of statism is the failure to get the fundamentals right.  The modern idolatrous state is too busy running around hectoring citizens over what they are to eat and drink that it fails in its proper responsibilities such as preventing and detecting murderers.

Michelle Malkin provides us with a case study of rotten fruit--the US Federal Air Marshals Service.  These folk are supposed to ride incognito on aircraft to prevent or intercept airplane hijackers in action.  Not any longer.  Statism has deflected the attention of Sauron away to other, bigger things--such as golf, and fundraising.
. . . 13 years after the 9/11 attacks, the freedom to warn is in danger and vigilant whistleblowers are under fire.  Listen to Robert MacLean. He’s a former Air Force nuclear weapons specialist and Border Patrol agent recruited by the government to serve as one of the first federal air marshals after 9/11.

In 2003, MacLean underwent emergency training to prepare for a new round of al-Qaida hijacking threats. Jihadists exploiting visa and screening loopholes had planned to target East Coast airliners, according to intelligence analysts. For unknown reasons, however, the Transportation Security Administration abruptly called off air marshals from duty on nonstop, long-distance flights — just two days before the anticipated hijacking.

How did they notify the air marshals? Cue the Keystone Cops. “TSA chose to send the unlabelled text message to our unsecured Nokia 3310 cellular phones instead of our $22 million encrypted smart phone system. There were no markings or secrecy restrictions on the message,” MacLean recounted to Congress this week. “We all thought it was a joke given the special training we had just received and the post-9/11 law that nonstop long-distance flights were a priority.”

A supervisor told MacLean the agency was broke and there was nothing he could do. Appalled at both the dangerous pullback and the reckless way in which the feds notified the air marshals, MacLean then contacted his department’s inspector general hotline and was warned he would be “cutting (his) career short if (he) pursued the issue further.” Instead, he went to the press and made his homeland security concerns public. In 2006, MacLean was fired.

More than a decade later, the dedicated security expert has battled the feds who retaliated against him. He was forced into bankruptcy and shut out of law enforcement jobs. His legal case heads to the Supreme Court this fall. God bless him. Despite the consequences, MacLean would do it all again in a heartbeat.

“I blew the whistle because I had to,” he testified this week. “I could not live with the tragedy risked if I had been the cynical silent observer.”
Whistleblowing and the cursed idolatry of statism do not mix.
  Meanwhile, the federal government of the United States has far more important things with which to occupy itself, such as defending the Revenue authorities from charges over their tyrannical abuse of power and the undermining of democratic government.  US commercial aircraft remain undefended.  Not a priority.

The competing demands of overreaching statist governments are relentless and ignominious failure always follows hard on the heels.
Today, the Federal Air Marshal program remains riddled with mismanagement, corruption and neglect. In April, FAM Director Robert Bray resigned amid an embarrassing gun scheme probe. And earlier this year, six of 24 air marshal offices closed, and hiring was frozen in Las Vegas, Seattle and Denver. Yet, according to one of my sources, “the last class of air marshals graduated from the academy in 2012. The service has not hired any mission-flying FAMs since. In that same time frame, they have promoted or hired over 300 people, and continue to do so, for supervisory and administrative duties. Almost every supervisory position includes a paid move and a yearly salary of $100,000.”

Every 9/11, pundits talk about how “everything changed” after the attacks. But the homeland security bureaucracy is as petty, vindictive, wasteful and stupid as ever.
The government that asserts its competence in everything ends up being a "jack of all trades and master of none", blundering from one failure to another.  The only thing it is good at is the profligate waste of citizens' unlawfully expropriated property. 

1 comment:

Jamie said...

I'm picking a nuclear winter over New York City