When you come of age and start making Career decisions as a young adult, of all the choices you could make, working for Uncle Sam seems, at face value, to be a reasonable, challenging, and secure form of employment. There are many employment opportunities offered by our Government that afford a great deal of pride, responsibility, and recognition. Mr. Kevin M. Shipp bought into the promise and the ideal,
and attempted to make his job at the C.I.A. his lifelong endeavor.
The Schipp family story sound fairly isolated, at first glance. No one I know could possibly make me believe such drivel. An incident, yes. An isolated one, no. There have been numerous similar accounts, just in my tiny slice of the World. People of all means have, at one time or another, been exposed to Government-created hazardous living and working conditions. Having lived by coastal waters, I well recall both professional and amateur fishermen pulling old, unexploded ordinance to the surface. On the rare circumstance that one detonated, life and limb have been sacrificed.
All well, and good, one may think. After all, it’s our Government who put it there, and we trust them, because we voted for them. Until, that is, you find out years later that the owners of these Life-changing hazards have pled “not guilty”, and have been found without reproach by their own lawyers and Judges. Imagine, if you would, that your child buried a cache of “fireworks” in the town park, and “forgot” about it.
After ten years, someone else’s child digs up that forgotten cache. There is just enough active material to ignite the powder, and this child is maimed, or killed.
You would normally expect an investigation and some sort of Legal action to ensue. Upon conclusion of the investigation, there is enough hard evidence to seek indictment of your child; now an adult, and professing no knowledge of that old fireworks cache. Legal actions are initiated. But, wait! Turns out that you are your child’s lawyer, and the Judge is your brother. According to our Government, in matters such as this, your child never sees a day in court. All charges are dismissed. There is no right of appeal. All documents are sealed, or shredded, to cover the trail. Your child goes on their merry way, and some poor family has to bury their child.
We in America vote for our governing officials. Their sole raison d’être is to work for us; that’s right, they are our employees. Think long and hard about our Schipp family. What your “employee” did to them, they could land you in same boat, some day.
Submitted: NYT, Op-ed, “In Response”. 2/11/2011