Friday, January 10, 2014

Abuse of Power

The news channels in the United States are pulling out all stops in covering an abuse of power by associates of New Jersey Governor Christie, a front runner for the Republican nomination to run for the presidency of the United States.  The Governor has taken decisive action, apologizing for the actions of his aides in ordering the closure of lanes of traffic on the busy George Washington Bridge as "political payback" against a Democratic mayor who refused to endorse his reelection bid.  He has also reached out to this mayor personally and has fired those responsible.  The political consensus at the moment is that because of his decisive action, Christie will weather this storm, that is as long as he is telling the truth about his own lack of culpability.

How then do Governor Christie's decisive actions contrast to those of the US Department of State?  Two former CPAC members (including a former CPAC Chairman) have given credible testimony that State Department employees abused their power in manipulating the process for imposing import restrictions on Cypriot and Chinese coins, contrary to CPAC's recommendations and US law.  Even worse, there is also credible evidence that these same State Department employees then misled the Congress and the public about it in official government documents.

Why shouldn't the State Department also take its own decisive action against such abuses of power?  If anything, their long term impact on thousands upon thousands of US Collectors and the small businesses of the numismatic trade is far greater than the closure of a few lanes of traffic.

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