When I see a story with a by-line that reads, “Polk County, Florida,” it catches my eye. Having spent most of my life there, I was a bit startled to see the (in)famous Polk County Sheriff’s Office at the center of a story that includes a sexual pervert, the war on terror and the internet. This is the same Sheriff’s department that was run a decade ago by a self-proclaimed white supremacist and certifiable nut-case (yes, I know that’s redundant) named Daniel Daniels (near, but not actual redundancy).
It seems that Brian Doyle, the Department of Homeland Security deputy press secretary, was busted by the PCSO after allegedly trying to seduce a 14 year-old girl who turned out to be a Sheriff’s deputy. According to Sheriff Grady Judd, Doyle “contacted a 14-year-old girl whose profile was posted on the Internet, and initiated a sexually explicit conversation with her,” Judd later told CNN that Doyle “started immediately into pretty vulgar language. He explained in graphic detail the sexual acts he wanted to perform with this 14-year-old.”
Our sex-crazed, internet-fueled society seems to have way too many of these people, but this one is a puzzler: how did someone like Doyle get a security clearance to work at the highest levels of the Department of Homeland Security? And Doyle’s not the only perv whose slime coats the DHS: the former director of DHS’ Operation Predator, Frank Figueroa, has just pleaded no contest to charges that he exposed himself to a 16-year-old girl last year at an Orlando Mall. Operation Predator, according to DHS “is a new initiative developed by the Department of Homeland Security’s Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to protect children world-wide. As the President has made clear, anyone who harms a child will be a priority target of law enforcement in this Administration. This comprehensive DHS program will identify child predators and remove them from the United States (if subject to deportation). Operation Predator will also work to identify children depicted in child pornography to help rescue them, and to assist in prosecuting the people responsible for making and distributing the pornographic material.” Did looking at all that kiddie-porn that perverted terrorists are bringing in to the U.S. make a good cop go bad? Or is the Department of Homeland security just so hopelessly screwed up that it actually attracts people like Doyle and Figueroa?
First, Katrina-gate, then Pervert-gate. Maybe it’s time to tear the out-of-control national security apparatus down and admit that the thing is broken and it hasn’t made us safer or better prepared for disasters. Of course, maybe Doyle and Figueroa are just enemy combatants in the long war against our Judeo-Christian values. Maybe Guantanamo is good for something yet.