Over at PhilanTopic there’s a thoughtful analysis of the press’s role in donor demands that charities spend their money instantly and exclusively on program. But its attention to the case of the Red Cross and 9/11 suggested something else:
People are making extreme demands for accountability on the charitable sector because they’re getting precisely zero accountability from the government.
The people using our money for something we don’t approve of and didn’t intend aren’t creating blood banks; they’re running a couple of undeclared wars, imprisoning people without trial and torturing them. And when we ask for reports on how they’re doing–so we can evaluate and assess their effectiveness–they tell us public disclosure would only help the enemy. Their idea of transparency is hoping we don’t notice they haven’t captured Osama bin Laden yet.
In other words: the people who betrayed our trust on 9/11 aren’t the ones running the Red Cross.