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The words of Thomas Jefferson in his first inaugural address as the third president of the United States, March 4, 1801: “Sometimes it is said that man can not be trusted with the government of himself. Can he then, be trusted with the government of others?”

It is clear that we have many men and women in the service of our federal government that cannot be trusted, and how to find them and root them out has become a political issue. The investigations by congressional committees have revealed serious breaches of trust and ethics of highly placed persons in government.

During President Barack Obama’s administration we learned of career public servants gone rogue doing mischief in the IRS. They used the power of the IRS to discriminate and persecute certain conservative organizations that requested 401 tax status as required by the IRS. The IRS investigated themselves and said they did nothing wrong, and furthermore, the persons involved retired (with full pension and benefits).

It appears that we have a new cabal of rogues doing mischief in the FBI, the Department of Justice and the Department of State. The “fix” was in for Hillary Clinton and her State Department backroom electronic mail server. The FBI and Department of Justice found that there was no real problem; however, they did say that Clinton may have used faulty judgment, but she meant no harm.

Anyway, the Russians would never think to look in the backroom. Not really trusting those Russkies, Clinton scrubbed the electronic files and took a hammer to the hard drives -- can’t be too careful with secret data. No problem -- let’s move on, says the FBI and DOJ. The watchdog press saw no problem. Hey, if you can’t believe the FBI and DOJ, who can you believe?

Hal Neff, Bismarck