The title is my paraphrase of a quote by Friedrich Nietzsche.
The exact quote, or at least, an English translation of it goes as follows:
He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you.
- "Beyond Good and Evil", Aphorism 146 (1886).
Well, it seems the aphorism is true very often - which is, in fact, what makes a thing aphoristic to begin with.
I think very possibly what happened to Anthony Mangione is proof of the pudding.
I seriously do wish to imagine this man as having once only desired to fight monsters, bring them to the justice system...but exposure to some things is dangerous for even the most righteous of us. Sometimes a person can hate something so much, they wind up becoming that thing.
"I'm pretty much a broken guy," Mangione told U.S. District Judge Kenneth Marra. "I feel like I'm in a hole eight feet deep with six feet of dirt on top."
Handcuffed and in a blue prison uniform, Mangione said Friday he takes full responsibility for what he described as "a terrible mistake." But when it came to why he would betray his oath as a law enforcement officer, he didn't come up with an answer.