Fast and Furious: One cop’s perspective
Ethics can be defined as principles that guide a person’s actions. I was once told that being ethical was doing the right thing even when nobody is looking.
When entering police work, I took an oath to defend the innocent, uphold the laws of my state, defend the constitutions of my state and country and to maintain high ethical standards. In fulfillment of my oath, I have done dangerous things in my career. But the things I have done that are the most meaningful are when I have stood up against unethical behavior.
All law enforcement officers take a similar oath, and when one of my brothers or sisters violates that oath, it saddens me beyond words. When I see Attorney General Eric Holder testifying before Congress, I’m not saddened, I’m angered. This is because I believe he not only violated his oath of office, but now he is lying about it.
The attorney general is the chief law enforcement officer of the federal government. Yet, it now appears that several federal law enforcement agencies, with his knowledge if not his outright approval, conducted an operation that led to the murder of hundreds of Mexican citizens and at least one US law enforcement officer.
If this was the extent of his alleged involvement, I would be saddened that he allowed such a poorly conceived and mismanaged project to happen during his watch. However, it seems that his misdeeds may also include obstructing Congress by lying to them under oath.
Every police officer knows that ethical violations have consequences. Depending on the seriousness of the infraction, consequences could be a reprimand, days off or worse.
However, if a police officer lies under oath about the violation, termination from the agency is swift and sure. Additionally, criminal charges can follow depending on the investigation. So I can’t help but wonder, why have we not seen the top cop in the nation held to the same standard?
The Fast and Furious scandal all revolves around what the administration would have us believe is a desire to prevent gun trafficking from the United States to the country of Mexico. As a cop, I can appreciate the need to keep guns out of the hands of criminals. However, I don’t believe that should come at the cost of curbing the freedoms of law abiding citizens.
You see, I believe in and defend all of the Constitution, not just some of the parts that are politically expedient for me. The Second Amendment is one of those parts.
The current administration is undeniably anti-gun. There has been speculation that the Fast and Furious operation intentionally allowed thousands of guns to be smuggled to Mexico to create a larger crisis, through which the administration could push for more restrictions on gun ownership in the United States.
While the theory may sound crazy to some readers who don’t know the players in this administration, the fact is the ends justify the means for many in that crowd.
Is there ever a situation where the ends justify the means? A situation where compromising the things we stand for to achieve a greater result is okay?
That is why ethics are so important in law enforcement. If I wanted to get guns out of the hands of criminals, I could just search every person I came across in a high crime area. Effective? Sure, but not legal. The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution protects each and every one of us against that kind of behavior. I defend the Constitution; I do not disregard it merely because sometimes it seems more convenient to do so. The ends do not justify the means.
That’s why Fast and Furious is bad no matter what the intentions may have been. Firearms were trafficked out of the United States under this program. Those guns were used to kill innocent people. Even if the program would have “taken down” some large gun smuggling organizations, the cost in human life would not justify the activity.
No doubt about it: I’m just a blue collar worker who doesn’t have the benefits of a Columbia education. However, I do know right from wrong. Also, I have investigated enough liars in my career to know when someone is trying to peddle bovine excrement.
It is time for Holder to go, for the administration comply with Congressional subpoenas and for anyone who violated the law to be prosecuted.