A Secret Service official’s allegedly deliberate decision to embarrass Rep. Jason Chaffetz could “give pause” to other lawmakers who have applied for federal jobs, cautioned former House Judiciary Chairman Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis…(t)he disturbing leak to two media outlets of Chaffetz’s rejected application for a Secret Service job and the particulars surrounding it raised further alarm about privacy.
Stakes in the months-long conflict between Congress and the Secret Service went even higher Friday, after agency Director Joseph P. Clancy revised his account of what he knew and when he knew it, disclosing he had knowledge that private information about the Utah Republican was circulating before it was published.
Although it doesn’t involve physical violence (unlike this) this is another form of “thugocracy” which uses the brute power of the federal government (in this case the vast storehouse of information it has on just about everyone) against people it doesn’t like. It’s akin to the Lois Lerner/IRS mess, and I think it has encouragement from the Occupant, who himself comes from a tough political system.
As Americans, we hand over large quantities of information, willingly because we are told that there is a maze of laws out there to keep it confidential. If we are forced to keep this confidential because of federal requirements, we do so because the penalties for disclosing that information are pretty severe.
Now we see that disclosure of such information is becoming “at the convenience of the government”, to borrow a phrase from contracting. If you want a citizenry that routinely hides stuff from the authorities and doesn’t trust them with anything, this is a good way to do it.