It seems as if there is a headline almost every day about some government agency or some politician being caught in a corruption scandal or being accused of some kind of wrongdoing. The almost inevitable response is for people to call for an investigation. They will call for the wrongdoers to be brought to justice. And those are just the ones who care. Most Americans will go about their daily lives and not get upset about any of it, if they even know about it.
Edward Snowden blew the whistle on the NSA and its program to track and spy on all Americans. There is the IRS scandal, where certain groups and individuals were targeted by the IRS. The latest one here is from Christine O’Donnell, who perhaps had her Senate election chances sabotaged from a phony IRS investigation. For this topic, we can even bring in conspiracy theories, such as the downing of TWA Flight 800, where some of the former investigators are asking that the case be reopened.
There is a problem with all of this. You don’t ask the wrongdoers to investigate themselves. All of these things involve the abuse of power and criminal acts, or potential criminal acts by the federal government. So why would you ask the same agency who is committing the criminal act and also doing the cover-up to investigate the situation? It reminds me of the Kennedy assassination where Allen Dulles gets on the Warren Commission to investigate the death of the man who fired him.
There is a saying that if you can get people asking the wrong question, then you don’t have to worry about the answer. I suppose this could be modified to say that if you get the right people to investigate a crime, you don’t have to worry about what will turn up.
Do you really think that the federal government is going to find itself guilty of something, even if some of the individuals doing the so-called investigating are different? Do you really think the Justice Department or the Attorney General are going to do a proper investigation? These are the people who are the criminals. It would have been like the German people asking Hitler to investigate rumors that there were concentration camps.
The only solution to stopping, or at least minimizing, corruption and wrongdoing is by taking away the power in the first place. If the budget for the NSA were a fraction of the size, it would not be able to monitor and store all of the data of tens of millions of Americans. Better yet, if there were no NSA, there is no way the NSA could spy on Americans. The same goes for the IRS. If there were no income tax and no IRS, then there would be no abuse of power and wrongdoing inside the IRS, because it wouldn’t exist.
There is a direct correlation between the size and scope of government and the amount of corruption and criminality that takes place. This is especially true with a government that is not a direct dictatorship. When there is significant power, it is going to be abused.
So people can call for all of the internal investigations until they are blue in the face, but it won’t matter. Perhaps some low-level guy will take the blame and be punished. But the only way that politicians and bureaucrats will behave is if they simply don’t have the power to do bad things. This means that they should have limited or no power in the first place.
If people want to spread democracy overseas, and have government-run retirement programs, and have government-funded education, and have the government tell us what we can put in our mouths and bodies, then there is going to be major corruption and wrongdoing. When you give them the power to do good, they will surely use that power to do bad.
In conclusion, calling for the government to do investigations on itself is completely naive. The only solution in stopping government criminality is to dramatically reduce the size of government and its power. If there is no budget, there won’t be much wrongdoing. The only way this will happen is if people withdraw their consent and decide to take responsibility for their own lives.