Vital Signs

Targeting Liberties

Imagine Time had not named FBI whistleblower Colleen Rowley a “person of the year” but gave the award to the FBI bureaucrats who obstructed Crowley’s investigation of Arab terrorists.  That would be no more ridiculous than Washingtonian’s naming of Charles Moose as one of its “Washingtonians of the year.”  Moose is the Montgomery County police chief who oversaw the miserably incompetent hunt for the D.C.-area sniper.  Moose proved far more effective at fighting civil liberties than at fighting terrorism.

Claiming credit for catching the snipers, Chief Moose has signed a large contract to write a book, presumably to defend his actions in the sniper investigation and, perhaps, to blame his miscues on the other groups involved in the multijurisdictional investigation.  The contract, however, apparently runs afoul of the rules established by the Montgomery County Ethics Commission, which prohibit “using the prestige of office for personal gain.”

He is also using the prestige of his office to start a consulting firm to offer, among other things, advice on crisis management and conflict resolution.  Moose claimed he was planning to do consulting ever since he came to the county—with the county executives’ permission—but he did not actually incorporate his firm until several weeks after the snipers were caught and the chief...

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