Tom Purcell, 7/15/2013 [Archive]

Rooting Out Government Leakers

Rooting Out Government Leakers

By Tom Purcell

The name is Monday. Agent Monday. I have an important job to do.

Back in 2011 President Obama issued an executive order to root out security violators within the federal government — people like Edward Snowden, our most recent leaker of government secrets.

The president ordered federal employees to report suspicious activities among their co-workers — any unusual behaviors, strange attitudes, financial troubles or unprecedented travel common to people who sell or leak secrets, the lousy rats.

I am the lead agent in charge of investigating such people. My phone has been ringing off the hook.

My first call took me to the Department of Health and Human Services. The people there have been interpreting Obama's massive 2,700 page health care law to write new regulations. It has ballooned to 20,000 pages of mandates and penalties that weigh 300 pounds and stand 7 feet tall.

"One of our employees read through every page and he's been acting odd ever since," a bureaucrat told me. "He worried that the new rules will bankrupt the country."

"He leak this information to anyone?"

"No," said the bureaucrat. "When he tried to sneak the stack of regulations out the door, it fell on him, causing his unfortunate demise."

"Serves him right," I said, smiling.

Just as I settled the ObamaCare case, my phone rang. An employee was acting out of line at the IRS.

"She has been coming in early and staying late," said the IRS bureaucrat. "We've never seen anything like it."

"Has she been targeting, harassing and auditing conservatives?" I said.

"No."

"Does she spend money lavishly on expensive conferences and silly training videos?"

"No," said the bureaucrat. "That's the problem. She refuses to do so. What a killjoy."

"Sounds like someone who is planning to sing."

"Unless someone makes it look like she was embezzling funds and her reputation is ruined?"

"I like how you think," I said.

Just then my phone rang again. We had a potential rat at the Environmental Protection Agency.

"We've tried to keep it quiet," said the EPA bureaucrat, "but we're using every means possible to re-interpret existing laws to create new regulations."

"Let me get this right," I said. "Since the president can't pass the restrictive environmental laws he wants, his EPA is just making up new rules?"

"That's right," said the bureaucrat. "We issued a slew of new regulations to curb U.S. carbon dioxide emissions, which we believe contribute to global warming. Coal plants are shutting down left and right."

"So what's the problem?"

"We have an employee who is criticizing our lack of openness," said the bureaucrat. "He says in a constitutional republic, new laws cannot be arbitrarily created in the executive branch — which is essentially what we are doing. He says we are being unconstitutional."

"Good God," I said. "You have been infiltrated by a conservative. He'll surely contact the press and sing."

"We expect not," said the bureaucrat. "Since he was a conservative, it wasn't too hard for a government psychiatrist to diagnose him as mentally unfit. We put him on forced disability."

"Nicely played," I said.

Some argue that government leakers are not the real problem our country is facing. The real problem is that our government has gotten too big, powerful and intrusive.

They argue that the recent scandals are not isolated incidents — that the scandals are what big government looks like.

Maybe so, but that is not my concern.

My only concern is this: I am Agent Monday and I have an important job to do.

© 2013 Tom Purcell. Tom Purcell, author of "Misadventures of a 1970's Childhood" and "Comical Sense: A Lone Humorist Takes on a World Gone Nutty!" is a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review humor columnist and is nationally syndicated exclusively by Cagle Cartoons Inc. For info on using this column in your publication or website, contact Sales@cagle.com. Send comments to Tom at Purcell@caglecartoons.com.



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