Bribery. Drug trafficking. Migrant smuggling.U.S. Customs and Border Protection is supposed to stop these types of crimes. Instead, so many of its officers have been charged with committing those crimes themselves that their boss in Washington recently issued an alert about the ”disturbing events” and the “increase in the number of employee arrests.”Thomas S. Winkowski, assistant commissioner of field operations, wrote a memo to more than 20,000 officers nationwide noting that employees must behave professionally at all times — even when not on the job.
”It is our responsibility to uphold the laws, not break the law,” Winkowski wrote in the Nov. 16 memo obtained by The Miami Herald.
Winkowski’s memo cites employee arrests involving domestic violence, DUI and drug possession. But court records show Customs officers and other Department of Homeland Security employees from South Florida to the Mexican border states have been charged with dozens of far more serious offenses.
Among them: A Customs and Border Protection officer at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport was charged in February with conspiring to assist a New York drug ring under investigation by tapping into sensitive federal databases. – miamiherald
Why do many Americans think that their government is some big perfect godlike thing that will protect them? It isn’t. Neither is it an evil force. It is a human force and as such it needs constant working checks and balances to keep people from exploiting power. That’s why Bush’s Patriot Act and other Big Brother ideas must be undone or reworked to include public oversight.