Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Homeland Insecurity

Jim Geraghty writes in his Morning Jolt column about the almost complete lack of media outrage and national concern over the fact that the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) had the data on over four million federal employees hacked, apparently by the Chinese.

It is indeed astonishing that Americans, or at least the American media, don't seem to care much about this. How many other bureaucracies have been similarly penetrated? Who is going to be held responsible for the failure to protect American citizens from having their personal information stolen? Americans seem to yawn at the questions, and at least 40% of those who vote for the next president in 2016 will still vote for a woman who kept classified data on her personal server in her basement which was almost certainly hacked. There seems to be an utter indifference to matters of national security both in many quarters of this administration, in much of the media, and in a sizable segment of the American public.

Geraghty goes on to list the appalling bureaucratic and security failures of this administration. He writes:
The story of the Obama era is the story of one colossal federal-government train wreck after another. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms shipped guns to Mexican drug cartels in Fast & Furious.

Recovery.gov, allegedly designed to promote openness and accountability, ended up filled with bad data.

The stimulus “was riddled with a massive labor scheme that harmed workers and cheated unsuspecting American taxpayers.”

The president stood in front of the White House, urging the American public to use Healthcare.gov when it wasn’t working.

The U.S. Secret Service, which began the Obama presidency by allowing the Salahis into the White House and stumbled through one humiliating scandal of unprofessional behavior after another.

The Obama administration toppled the government of Libya -- without any supporting act of Congress -- then sent Americans there and ignored the security requests from our ambassador.

The NSA hired Ed Snowden and gave him the keys to the kingdom after a month.

Veterans died, waiting for care, while the branch offices of the VA assured Washington everything is fine.

We traded terrorists for a prisoner, sealing the deal with an assurance to the public that Bowe Bergdahl “served with honor and distinction.”

The IRS data breach. The postal-service data breach. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration hack. The data breach at federal contractor US Investigations Services, which performs background checks on DHS, ICE and border-patrol units.

And now, the epic OPM hack.

We are governed by progressives who have an infinite faith in the federal government’s ability to manage enormously complicated tasks and almost no interest in ensuring the government actually does those tasks well.
He might also have listed the disturbing failures of the TSA to prevent dangerous items from being smuggled onto planes in government security tests.

If there's one lesson to be learned from the last seven years of the Obama administration it's that there's very little that big, centralized government does well. It's unfortunate that so many people are nevertheless convinced that the answers to whatever problems that face us lie in expanding government even more.

If there's a second lesson to be learned it's that people are simply foolish to vote for a presidential candidate who has absolutely no qualifications for the job, and whose image, like the grin of the Cheshire cat in Alice in Wonderland, is all there is to him. To vote for a man simply because he's black is as unwise as, well, voting for a candidate simply because she's female.