So, when exactly did the United States government become dangerously corrupt? Rather ironically, through the United States Attorney’s Office, the Department of Justice has a specific division for “fraud and public corruption.”
Most Americans believe that serious government corruption is confined to dictatorial regimes in the third world. Sadly, corruption within the government may be as bad in the United States as it is in the worst of dictatorships.
No one has really pinpointed precisely why. Some feel it’s an inherent narcissistic, self-absorbed personality type that infiltrates high-level law enforcement positions. Since these people are actually “employees of the people,” one might assume that high integrity would be the norm.
Within the rank-and-file members of federal law enforcement and the justice department, there are dedicated, honest people. Nevertheless, the higher echelons of U.S. law enforcement and intelligence have been disturbingly riddled with corruption.
One agency notorious for having rumors of corruption is the Central Intelligence Agency. The CIA is easily the most secretive and certainly the most powerful investigatory entity in the world. Only the Soviet Union’s former KGB could even rival the CIA for power.
Much of what the CIA has done is shrouded in secrecy and has been for decades. By the time the American public becomes aware of any crooked schemes within the world’s most prolific intelligence agency, it’s too late to hold anyone accountable.
Much of the time, those involved are dead. It’s profoundly difficult to hold a dead person accountable. One glaring example of potential CIA corruption involves two of the biggest scandals in U.S. political history.
The two are tightly linked, albeit more than a decade apart. One is the assassination of a U.S. president, and the other involves one of the biggest political scandals ever. A key figure is at the center of both. Richard Milhous Nixon was a prominent figure in U.S. politics for decades.
He was the Republican presidential nominee that lost to the eventual winner John F. Kennedy. Nixon had served as President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s vice president for eight years prior to losing to Kennedy.
He was a U.S. Senator for three years before becoming Eisenhower’s running mate, and a California congressman before that. Nixon was deeply embedded in U.S. political affairs when the 35th president was shot in Dallas, Texas.
If anyone knew things, it would have been Richard Nixon. Now, let’s fast-forward to the early 1970s. Nixon finally reached his ultimate goal. He was elected president. But his tenure ended as tumultuously as any president’s before him.
A group of individuals broke into the Democrat Party’s national headquarters. The scandal was given the now-infamous name “Watergate.” Watergate donned then-president Nixon for the rest of his shortened term.
In August 1974, he became the first and only U.S. president to resign from office. But so much of Nixon’s political career is still shrouded in mystery. There are still questions about whether he even knew about Watergate before it happened.
Others insist he directed the break-in. But when former President Trump consented to the release of documents pertaining to the assassination of President Kennedy, odd details about Watergate surfaced as well.
For decades, experts did not believe Kennedy’s murder was an accident. Many staunchly believe that the U.S. government had a hand in the assassination. Some said it was a coup orchestrated by the CIA.
No one ever knew for certain. But a chunk of information contained in the Watergate scandal reveals some startling information. One particular tape from the Watergate-era is stunning. The tape has Nixon claiming, “I know who shot John.”
But when Nixon spoke these words, he was probably unaware that at least four of the Watergate burglars were still on the CIA payroll. That means Watergate Special Prosecutor Nick Akerman was aware of both the CIA’s advance knowledge and involvement in the break-in.
There were members of the Senate Watergate Committee who were denied the right to publish a minority report about the investigation. Much of this curious infiltration by the CIA would have been exposed.
Reports insist that Nixon demanded that the CIA turn over documents relating to the assassination of President Kennedy. They refused. That seems rather convenient. Over a half-century later, the same request by President Trump was denied. But why?
One would think that the leading democratic nation in the world would, at the very least, rank as one of the most honest. The U.S. does not. To be ranked as only the 25th least corrupt nation is problematic. But what will it take to clean up the corruption within the U.S. government?
Is it even possible? Transparency is vital. Consequences for violating the rule of law are as well critical. Without a transparent federal government that is held accountable for corruption, all trust in the democratic process erodes. If it deteriorates too much, democracy will crumble.