P. J. O'Rourke famously quipped that "giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys." If he were writing today, though, he might have compared the state's self-restraint to that of FBI agents handed smart phones and surveillance equipment. As reported by Reason 24/7, an internal disciplinary report from last fall shows that our fearless G-men (and women) have been busy sending each other pictures of their junk and using their surveillance skills to bug their supervisors' offices. So you can definitely trust them with all of that extra spying power they've been gathering.
FBI employees were also disciplined for, among other naughtiness: knowingly marrying drug dealers, misusing their FBI status, shoplifting, using stolen ATM cards, purchasing child pornography, check fraud, perusing FBI databases for personal reasons and tax fraud. Personally, I don't object to anybody hitching up with purveyors of illicit intoxicants or dodging taxes, but if you're going to willingly enforce drug and tax laws against other people, it seems unsporting to return at night to a home stocked with cocaine and bundles of cash.
CNN quotesFBI assistant director Candice Will commenting on years of disciplinary cases:
"As long I've been doing this ... there are days when I think 'OK, I've seen it all,' but I really haven't," Will said. "I still get files and I think, 'Wow, I never would have thought of that.'"
I appreciate that. People have always done some stupid and irresponsible things, and they always will. Maybe the best reason ever to limit coercive government authority over people's lives is to limit the damage that can be done by inherently flawed human beings.