Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Strange Currencies

An NPR story this morning gives a good example of the inefficiencies of greed. The greed in this case is not for money, but for position and power, the currency of bureaucracy.

In New York City, the local police and the feds do not get along — at least when it comes to counterterrorism. Now the FBI has a new man in New York. His name is Joe Demarest. Besides guarding against terrorists, his top job will be to help patch things up between the New York Police Department and the FBI.
That's because things are a little different in New York. While the law enforcement community does pull together in a pinch, the personalities are very strong, very "New York." The U.S. attorneys are aggressive, and so are the district attorneys. As the police commissioner of America's most populous city, Kelly is used to picking up the phone and calling [FBI Director] Mueller directly. And if he doesn't get what he wants from that call, he'll call his friends on Capitol Hill.
Something to keep in mind as various proposals for more government involvement in certain industries bubble up, trade and trespass will always find its currency, be it dollars, mentions in the dispatches, or mackerel. I personally find it easier to follow the money, the machinations are usually more apparent. But neither of the above selections are why the story stuck in my mind this morning, it was this one:
And then there's what happened last month: The head of the NYPD, Commissioner Raymond Kelly, accused the Justice Department of dragging its feet on approving wiretap applications. The Justice Department said the New York police were asking for wiretaps that broke the law. The angry letters between Kelly and Attorney General Michael Mukasey went public.

Exactly how messed up is your wiretap request that THIS Justice Department raises a red flag?

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