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Remember kids, all societal institutions seek to perpetuate themselves. Period. It doesn't matter who you're working for, any government, any agency, hell, even if you're the ACLU your goal is nothing more than to control the parameters of the experience you wish to unfold. Federal law enforcement agencies will absolutely break the law and do shady things much like kids won't clean the store when their manager isn't looking. The goal was never national security or human rights. It's really just more work. Whatever we can do to survive.

kleinbl00  ·  83 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I understand why you're jaded. My experience has been different.

Prior to September 11, airport security was private contractors. They were effectively mall cops. They were mall cops in a decidedly somber environment, however, because hijackings were still happening on the reg and they knew that if they screwed up people could die. So while they weren't shining paragons of humanity, they were generally semi-good, if bored, people.

September 11 turned all that around. I flew in February 2002 and was astonished by the number of retired police and military who answered the call to protect their country from the forces of evil. They were good people who knew they could do more for humanity by putting on a blue uniform than hanging out at home and tending their turnips. Of course, six months under the TSA and they were all back in their potting sheds and the TSA was a beacon to racists, grifters, thugs and skull-crackers who couldn't get through a basic police exam.

My experience with the border patrol on the northern side of the country is very different than the border patrol on the southern side of the country - and even on the southern side, things vary. Border partol on the Rio Grande is very different from Border Patrol out in Organ Pipe. The guys in Organ Pipe know that their primary job is to find people whose snakeheads led them astray before they die of exposure. The guys on the Rio know their job is to snag the dudes sneaking across a thigh-high river.

Cops, too, have changed a bunch. The ones who signed up prior to Rodney King had a different idea of the job than the guys who sign up in the post-militarization bodycam era. The work matters. What you do on a daily basis matters. So you can focus on the idea that "your goal is nothing more than to control the parameters of the experience you wish to unfold" but if you're working to ensure the constitutional rights of the indigent that "experience" is going to be very different than if the "experience" is deporting everyone with an accent.

All you're doing is piling hopelessness upon itself if you dismissively wave your hands and say "all government bad." It's not. If you work for NOAA your goal is to get as much meteorological information in front of the people who need it as you humanly can. If you work for Accuweather your goal is to charge as many people as you can for information NOAA gives away for free. There's a difference.

ICE is evil and it attracts evil people. Customs and Border Protection has some areas where evil is done and those areas attract evil people but as an agency, they're doing a decent job. Folding up ICE would be a net good, folding up CBP would be a net bad. It isn't all an undifferentiated miasma of self-serving.