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How Distrust Gets Created

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One of the most infuriating things about the Complacency about Crime Smart on Crime crowd is that they build on their own untrustworthiness while in power to argue, once out of power, that those in power cannot be trusted!  It's as cynical and corrosive a strategy as one can imagine, but it works, and they have become masters at pulling it off.

Case in point:  Fast and Furious.  As John Hinderaker writes:

Congressman Darrell Issa delivered one of the more devastating letters I have ever read to Attorney General Eric Holder. Issa's letter, which you can read here, documents the Department of Justice's efforts to obstruct Congress's investigation of the Fast and Furious scandal. It is impossible to read Issa's letter without concluding that Holder has deliberately obstructed the investigation through a combination of lies, foot-dragging, hiding witnesses, and so on.

Although the Department's shell game on Fast and Furious is a major story in and of itself (not to mention the underlying scandal of furnishing guns to violent drug gangs), that's not my primary point.  The main thing to remember is that, once the current group at DOJ gets ousted, it won't take them a New York minute to wind up at a hundred different ACLU symposia to speak with furrowed brow about, "Can We Trust DOJ?" or "Who's Watching The People Watching Us?" or some such thing.  In other words, the very people who brought law enforcement into disrepute will, without missing a beat, use their own failings to undermine the efforts of their successors to restore the hard-won confidence they squandered.

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Given that the previous DOJ and OLC condoned torture by agents of the government and never prosecuted or even really investigated it, and also engaged in illegal wiretaps as a matter of policy, I'd say not trusting the DOJ is valid no matter who is in power. Even worse is that the current DOJ has also refused to prosecute those crimes, with a rationale of we should "look forward not back" - which is insane, because the same reasoning applies to ALL crime. We only prosecute people for crimes committed in the past. Too many let ideology blind them to simple justice.

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