Monday, April 16, 2012

I'm Confused...

20 US agents could be involved in Colombian hooker woe
The Secret Service’s seamy hooker scandal may have involved as many as 20 elite US agents — who are specifically trained to avoid such security-breach pitfalls, officials and sources said yesterday.

“Historically, we’ve heard about these ‘wheels-up’ parties when the president leaves — well, this was ‘pre-wheels down,’ ” said furious House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.).
Didn't Bill Clinton leave office like 11 years ago?

Seriously, this has nothing to do with Obama - not that the press wouldn't be completely up in arms had this happened during the Bush administration, mind you. It's piss poor training and oversight, granted - this whole scandal erupted because an agent refused to pay his hooker $47? Are you kidding me? Over $50 you're going to lose your security clearance, most likely your job, and you've given an otherwise stellar agency a nice shiny black eye. Over $50. Great going Einstein.

There should be a thorough investigation into this, but more importantly there should be greater care taken in both the selection of agents and the training thereof. It would appear that there are many agents on the Secret Service that haven't learned discretion or maturity - and they need both in truckloads for the serious task of guarding the president's life. It's even more discouraging that it was in a violent place like Colombia - there's a big difference in the security level there than, say, Martha's Vineyard...

In any case, it sure brings new meaning to the term "secret service", doesn't it?

That is all.


New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

The idea is they are NOT a stellar organization anymore. Put this scandal aside and their standards have been dropping. They do have the momentum of decent PR and good smoke and mirrors concealing any warts. SS tries to keep up that aura of invicibility as a deterrent but I'd rathery they BE nigh-invincible than to merely LOOK nigh-invincible.

Dave H said...

How do you claim one of these wheels-up parties on your expense report? As "after-action action"?

Matthew said...

Having been able to work more than a with USSS Agents around and had some of them as trainers in my youth and knowing a little about Protection work it broke my heart a bit to read about over the weekend.

In that/this line of work for close in protection work it is HIGHLY stressful with a burn out rate of about two years (of which I can personally attest to).

An agent assigned to the presidential protection detail will average something like four hours of sleep a day for the majority of their time on, which is roughly two-two and half years.

All of us have skeletons in our closets and those who do protection work are tasked with safe guarding their own, their co-workers, and that whom they protect.

Frankly when you see self-destructive behavior on a mass scale from these first rate professionals it flows from downhill and speaks volumes about the top of that hill in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

I would agree with Matthew, given a choice I would have rather worked with Secret Service folks over the other .gov crowd on a project.

Saying that, there is always somebody in every group who can screw up in such a big way that everyone is covered in the fallout.


Bubblehead Les. said...

You know, there's a time and a place to engage in behavior that may be Legal, but not Socially Acceptable.

It's called "Vacation." You don't pull this Crap when you're on the Job. And just because you're on an Advance Team, doesn't mean that you get to be a Fool because the Boss hasn't shown up yet.

But I'm sure their Union will find them some nice cozy spot over at the BATFE or the TSA so they can get their Pension.

The MIlitary People, however, will be drummed out, because that's how this Admin works.

Sigivald said...

An agent assigned to the presidential protection detail will average something like four hours of sleep a day for the majority of their time on, which is roughly two-two and half years.

Sounds like an organizational problem right there; if your guys are only getting four hours of sleep a day most of the time, they're not at their best.

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The Old Man said...

Bubblehead had it right. I would tend to think it's nunour bidness except it was on our dime. This opens the security question. Not good. Just my thought....