Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Should Law Enforcement Accept Awards at a Fundraiser for an Archaeological Advocacy Group?

Saving Antiquities for Everyone (SAFE), an archaeological advocacy group, is using awards to current and former federal law enforcement officials as a draw for its annual fundraiser. See
http://www.savingantiquities.org/event.php?eventID=235 DHS, FBI and DOJ employees can attend at a discounted rate only available to SAFE members.

SAFE's "Beacon Awards" honorees have or had enforcement authority relating to the import of cultural antiquities. Some might find this troubling. SAFE has in the past taken what many consider to be an extreme view as to what is "stolen" or illegally imported under U.S. law. SAFE also regularly conflates its version of morality and legality in its advocacy. Law enforcement should never do so when it enforces the law. In addition, government officials should avoid any appearance of bias or conflict of interest.

Would it be appropriate for a meat inspector to accept an award from PETA or an EPA official to accept an award from Greenpeace?

1 comment:

Wayne G. Sayles said...

Sounds familiar-- should State Department officials accept awards from foreign governments for helping their nationalist causes? Let's face it, PC only works in one direction.