I posted this in a thread that mistakenly likened indictments to impeachments [Libby::Clinton] and think I may be on to something as I watch how partisanist that discussion has become. I recently read something that gave me an idea about something we can do to improve accountability within government.
In the U.S. our nuclear arsenal has something called PRP, Personnel Reliability Program. The program is a set of psychological and organizational tests; each year to make sure everybody stewarding this arsenal is on the ball. Each year, between 2.5% and 5.0% of previously PRP Certified individuals have been decertified, that is, deemed unsuitable for nuclear weapons related activities.*
Similar functions are certainly employed in many other sensitive areas of government. And lately, our publicly accountable leaders are being indicted left and right. Time and time again, these proceedings are disparaged as politically motivated attacks. Revenge for revenge for revenge for revenge.
So it seems nobody will take these processes seriously because it requires a will and an organization to get them under way. There’s so much crosstalk that genuine accountability gets left by the wayside. People wonder whether Earle is cruising to knock out DeLay for political reasons and the same can be asked of Fitzgerald’s inquisition of the White House at present.
That’s not what I want to discuss here, however. I’d like to see what people think about setting up a genuine framework for constant and ongoing accountability of government officials.
See, there’s the folks we elect and the folks we don’t. The folks we elect rely on the folks we don’t elect to do some dirty work so that, either, they don’t get caught [because they’re low profile] or if they do get caught, the elected officials and usually cauterize themselves effectively.
What can we do to monitor these folks, keep them on the ball and make sure they are reliable? Should we keep grand juries under seal open at all times to monitor these folks? Should we pick some at random for each season?
Bankers describe to me how they are usually forced to take vacations and their computer access priveleges are revoked for a duration of time so they can be scanned and so that any schemes they maintain are bound to fall apart.
What non-partisan methods should be available to maintain accountability of non-elected government officials? I mean, we can impeach a president or a judge. How would people these people?
- [see Herbert L. Abrams’ “Human Reliability and Safety In The Handling of Nuclear Weapons” from Science and Global Security, vol. 2 (1991), p. 334]