Public corruption, even at the smallest local level, inevitably leads to a society laced with crime and decay. In a previous post, I described an unsolved burglary at our old school in Manasass. Shortly after that crime, I received information that this break-in was part of a rash of similar crimes, almost two dozen, occurring in Tattnall and Evans counties in a period of less than a week. I also received information that a wealth of evidence, both electronic and physical, was ignored or set aside in the conduct of the subsequent investigations.
Now, a single crime here and there is a part of life. Sometimes, people just go bad. But a rash of similar crimes over a very short period of time indicates organized crime. A wave of crime such as this, especially a wave that goes unsolved for years, needs several supporting elements, each of which leaves numerous trails of evidence if anyone were to care to look. These supporting elements include:
Scouting, to identify potential targets, and windows of opportunity.
Safehouses, to house and feed the criminals out of sight of a watchful public, and places to stash the loot.
Transportation, sometimes stolen from the victims.
Distribution chains, to absorb, disperse and fence the loot.
Official cover, to impede investigation and prosecution.
All of these elements are important for any criminal, but for a crime organization, the last, official cover, is essential. Without official cover, no organization of criminals, no matter how fierce they may be, can exist for long. Without official cover, no crime organization can withstand a vigilant and determined populace. And this official cover extends far beyond just the law enforcement agencies, and into the larger government entities as a whole. Law enforcement, or the lack thereof, is merely the tip of the iceberg; there is a much larger story beneath the surface with people who do not wear badges. We’ll see in future articles how even the most innocuous government agencies can wield power to help criminal organizations, and law enforcement only reflects the cultural ethic of the government as a whole.
So, if you have organized crime in an area, especially organized crime that can operate with impunity, you have, without a doubt, not just a few, but an entire network of corrupt officials providing those criminals cover, just as sure as there are clouds in the sky if it is raining. You don’t even have to look up to be sure.
And it isn’t even important whether these officials receive a dime from the take. There are many reasons why a public official can go bad, money (or a cut of the loot) is only one of them. Even the excitement of being part of a large drama, or a chance to take revenge on their enemies, might be enough to induce one to participate, and that participation can simply be just looking the other way at the right time. We’ll talk about those reasons from a counter-insurgency perspective in a future article so that you can better watch your own personal leeches. We’ll also talk about the many ways in which officials can assist criminals, so that their behavior is easier to spot.
This site isn’t just about crime and gangs, but fixing the problem of wayward officials solves that problem, too. Want to deal with a crime problem? Then first look to the officials helping the criminals. Drain that swamp, and the crime problem vanishes along with it.
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