Secret Service Used Personal Data to Punish Sitting Congressman

Do you think that the people in the NSA who have access to our personal data will be any more ethical or any less ruthless than the Secret Service?

We have asked a time or two about the possibility of a politician being blackmailed by agents of our own government. We’ve wondered about John Boehner’s actions in that regard. Does the NSA have dirt on these politicians so that they can be controlled by others in government?

Some want to cling to the idea that, even though the NSA could do such a thing, the people in the agency are far too trustworthy to ever act in such a criminal manner.

I think that idea is ridiculous, but if you disagree, let me ask you: What evidence do you have that the NSA is morally superior to the Secret Service?

The Washington Post reports, “Top Secret Service official urged release of unflattering information about congressman.”

An assistant director of the Secret Service urged that unflattering information the agency had in its files about a congressman ­critical of the service should be made public, according to a government watchdog report released Wednesday.

“Some information that he might find embarrassing needs to get out,” Assistant Director Edward Lowery wrote in an e-mail to a fellow director on March 31, commenting on an internal file that was being widely circulated inside the service. “Just to be fair.”

Two days later, a news Web site reported that Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, had applied to be a Secret Service agent in 2003 and been rejected.

That information was part of a Chaffetz personnel file stored in a restricted Secret Service database and required by law to be kept private.

The Secret Services actions didn’t involve blackmail as far as we know. But using privileged, private information to destroy the people who you are required to answer to is a complete subversion of the laws that govern the Republic.

Giving government bureaucrats the power to learn our secrets will undermine every freedom we think we still have.