There will be many, particularly of Conservative mind, who will say that the recent spate of arrests happening in the Bush Administration unrelated to political corruption are topics not worthy of discussion. There are those for whom these arrests are better viewed as stemming from individual personal failings and not from Bush Administration policy.
But is that really the whole answer? Let’s take a look at what is actually going on. First of all, a recap:
- March 31st ~ James R. Robinson, a program executive with NASA’s In-Space Propulsion, Mission and Systems Management Division, has his PC seized for allegedly trading and viewing illegal images on it. NASA’s own Proxy servers detected that he was in fact viewing kiddie porn on his work computer. He has not yet been charged with anything.
- April 5th ~ It is reported that Brian J. Doyle, deputy press secretary for the U.S. DHS is arrested for allegedly having sexual conversations with what he believed to be a 13-year-old girl with the intent of making contact for sexual relations. He proudly told the girl (actually an undercover cop) that he worked for DHS and even sent sexually explicit pictures of himself in what appears to be the headquarters.
- April 6th ~ It is reported that Charles Lynch, director of the Defense Information Systems Agency’s IPv6 conversion, has 1000 CDs and his work PC seized from his office for allegedly running a Peer-to-Peer client on his system and trading kiddie porn. The initial indictment has been dropped, but the investigation remains ongoing.
There can be no question that the path these men took in life was one of their own choosing, and certainly the Bush Administration cannot be faulted for their sexual appetites. At the same time, however, all of these cases have one striking fact in common that cannot be ignored when viewed honestly: all of these men were alleged to have been doing their dirty deeds from work.
That is very significant because it begins to look as though these men had absolutely no fear of reprisal, and this in turn raises the spectre of hubris beyond the simple political arrogance we are accustomed to seeing. Beyond the treaty ignoring, alliance damaging, prisoner torturing, voter alienating actions of the top brass, there appears a general sense within the current administration of it’s own legally infallible and irreproachable nature.
Lest you think me drawing lines where there are none, keep in mind that at least two of the people under investigation for online predation are in positions that assume at least enough technical expertise to avoid this kind of trouble. In short, they had to have known better. Robinson of NASA and Lynch of DISA should surely have enough experience with computers to understand how completely traceable their actions were, particularly online in the office, but they presumably did not take heed of this vulnerability.
Doyle, the least potentially technical of the bunch, was perhaps the one best protecting his position. He at least is not directly accused of communicating with his intended victim from work. Still, he bragged about his position and apparently took pictures of himself at the office. I think that should be taken as a warning for everyone working in the Bush Administration that they should, at minimum, knock before entering an office.
Cronyism certainly factors in here as well, but ultimately, the phrase that Democrats have been trying so hard to popularize is becoming more and more apt as time wears on: culture of corruption. There simply has to be an explanation for three men in three completely different fields and offices to be conducting roughly the same type of illicit activity with exactly the same disregard for the legal ramifications. That answer, to my mind, is that there is utterly no sense that anyone will be held accountable for anything so long as Bush controls the Administrative Branch of our government.