The Washington Post doesn’t much care when whistleblowers expose politically-motivated corruption, but one type of exposure they can get behind is when a bureaucrat heroically leaks the grievous shortage of budget from which his agency suffers, putting the organization’s crucial mission at risk.
The Federal Air Marshal program is yet another post-09/11 white elephant, in which beefy guys get to ride in first class on flights carrying guns. These guys have probably watched too many Steven Segal movies, and figured they’d be hanging off of moving planes, defusing bombs at the last second, engaging in shootouts with terrorists (Chinese or Russian, of course, not Muslim) to save the day and return the tattered stuffed animal to the little girl in 24D. Shockingly, the work is more mundane than this.
One Robert J. MacLean leaked to MSNBC that a “budget shortfall” had led to a reduction of air marshal trips. Naturally, this “endangers fellow citizens”—no mention, mind you, of whether perhaps DHS thought that these resources could be better applied elsewhere based on its analysis of risk. (Ha-ha, we know, as if the agency actually had the ability or will to do so—impossible given the fragmentation of its agencies, each with its own constituency.) Cue the Congressional and media outrage.
DHS fired MacLean, but one can’t help but wonder if this isn’t all yet another carefully engineered “scandal” from the agency to plead for more money via a possibly sympathetic figure. After all, increased budget is one matter that agency managers, employees, and most of their Congressional sugar daddies can always agree on. This is one reason why unionization shouldn’t be allowed in public-sector workforces.