Saturday, May 5, 2012

Secret Service Sex Scandal

Last weekend the talk shows were a buzz about the Secret Service sex scandal. I was surprised to hear both men and women commentators blowing off much of the scandal as "boys will be boys", yes we had the occasional, "it was utterly disgraceful" but genuine shock that America's best would do this while on the job, and during an important mission was somewhat absent. One fella even went so far as to comparing it to when a ship returns to port and the sailors jump ashore to have a good time and let off steam. The idea that these agents were working rather then on "shore leave," and that the American taxpayer provided them with an expense account seemed irrelevant.  

Also disturbing is the timing of this scandal, it surfaces on the back of  recent incidents that racked the GSA forcing resignations and firings of key employees. What is going on inside Washington? At a time Americans continue to suffer government employees are partying on. The prostitution scandal engulfing the US Secret Service seems to deepen further with new revelations about the roles of senior supervisors overseeing security arrangements for President Barack Obama’s visit to Colombia. Two of the agents who have been fired or forced to resign from involvement in the Cartagena scandal were veteran Secret Service officers there to supervise the work of dozens of less experienced agents.

Alarming questions about the reliability and discretion of the elite bodyguard unit tasked with protecting the lives of America’s top leaders are being asked. It has now emerged that one of them, who is married, posted photographs on his public Facebook page of himself partying with scantily-clad women and guarding Sarah Palin. He joked that he was “really checking out” the former vice-presidential candidate in a comment beneath the picture. Now the agency has acknowledged it is "really checking out" whether its employees hired strippers and prostitutes in advance of another Presidential trip to El Salvador last year.

A spokesman for the Secret Service said ongoing  investigations include allegations raised in news reports that Secret Service employees received sexual favors from strippers at a club in San Salvador and took prostitutes to their hotel rooms ahead of  President Barack Obama's visit to the city. This embarrassing disclosure came shortly after the Homeland Security secretary assured skeptical senators that the recent prostitution scandal in Colombia appeared to be an isolated incident.

Separately, The Washington Post this week cited unnamed "confidants" of the Secret Service officers implicated in Colombia as saying senior managers had tolerated similar behavior during previous official trips. The Post described a visit to Buenos Aires in 2009 by former President Bill Clinton, whose protective detail also included agents and uniformed officers. With each new allegation  it appears increasingly clear that  consorting with whores was not a one time event.

I found myself  forced to wonder, what the reaction would of been if it had been the CEO and upper echelon of a large American company caught engaged in such unprofessional behavior. I was surprised as to why no mention of the marital status of the agents was cast out by the judgmental American public. Do not be surprised if more shoes are about to drop concerning disturbing and unflattering actions at other government agencies. In the end it seems this is just another symptom a large government that has grown out of control, a line comes to mind to explain this phenomena, "power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely."

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