Saturday, April 21, 2012

A Rant: What Were They Thinking???

Seriously, what were they thinking? We all know what the Secret Service did in Columbia last week. The United States Secret Service advance team, that Service under the guidance of the Office of Homeland Security, that has been tasked with the protection and security of our President for over 100 years, were discovered to have been cavorting with prostitutes while on duty in a foreign country. They were caught quite literally with their collective pants down because our Secret Agent-men refused to pay the tab for their women of ill-repute. Fortunately, nothing happened, but the potential just boggles the mind.

Yeah, okay, "men will be men", but let's think about this for a minute. These are agents whose sole job it is to protect and defend the life and security of our President. These agents who have THE highest security clearance in the country (if not the world), pre-booked a team of playful prostitutes for which they could cavort while they executed the protection and security protocols in advance of our President's attendance at an important summit meeting with other foreign heads of state in a foreign country. Yes, that is "pre-booked" as in "made a reservation in advance" as part of their advance security team protocol.

This was not a GSA-type convention in Las Vegas where all of our Secret Service Agents were meeting to exchange security protocol ideas, swap funny Secret Service Agent stories with fellow agents, or give "The Best Secret Service Agent Of The Year" Award. These men, while executing their sworn duties, were knowingly cavorting with women who possibly had NO security clearance at all. And not only did these highest security level Secret Service Agents brag to these women about who they were and why they were visiting their country, but they compromised the security of our President by entertaining these women within range of information on the security protocols and travel plans that are top secret for a reason. I have read enough spy novels to know that woman, even an innocent-looking prostitute, can use her feminine wiles to obtain top secret information to perpetrate a grave harm.

Is it sinking in that this is not just a scandal about sex and prostitutes, but a grave breach of security that compromised the life of The President of the United States? Is it also sinking in that this was paid for by the US taxpayers?

Oh, I know, these things have been happening for years and these particular Agents just got caught. Well, I do not care who has done this in the past. This kind of behavior is unacceptable and should forthwith never happen again.

So, I propose a new rule to be inserted into the next edition of the Secret Service Agent Handbook. A rule that I think should have gone without saying, but here you are in bold type and ALL CAPS so that there is no misunderstanding:

NEW RULE NUMBER ONE
WHEN ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS TO SECURE THE SAFETY OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES FOR ANY REASON FOREIGN OR DOMESTIC, YOU WILL NOT HIRE, ENGAGE IN ADVANCE, OR BE IN THE COMPANY OF PROSTITUTES, WOMEN OF THE EVENING, OR ANY OTHER LIKE PERSONS EVEN IF THE LAWS AND/OR STATUTES OF THE HOST CITY, COUNTY, STATE, OR COUNTRY DEEM IT LEGAL. IT WILL BE CONSIDERED AN EMBARRASSMENT TO YOUR COUNTRY, A GRAVE DERELICTION OF DUTY AND BREACH OF SECURITY THAT WILL BE PUNISHABLE BY THE MANDATORY DISMEMBERMENT AND/OR SEPARATION OF THAT BODY PART OR PARTS FOR WHICH WERE DIRECTLY ENGAGED AT THE TIME OF SAID DERELICTION.


Maybe it's a little harsh, but it gets the point across.

35 comments:

BevfromNYC said...

Wow, the Blogger changes scared me. I apologize for any editing issues. I will try to do better next time.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, The blogger changes suck. Everything is hard to find now.

USArtguy said...

I second that, Bev. You can take prostitutes entirely out of the picture and the circumstance-- advance team prepping for the security and safety of the president-- are the same: the need total sobriety and control of their situation, emotions and judgement. For example, they shouldn't even be at a pub somewhere knocking back a few with the locals watching a game.

BevfromNYC said...

USArtguy - Yes, the time to kick back and have a brew with the locals and to cavort is after the President has exited the area and there is no longer a need for a security detail. Or after retirement...

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, In their defense, they were fighting over $800! That's way overpriced! ;)

Just kidding, I'm stunned any of them thought this was acceptable. I really am.

LawHawkRFD said...

Bev: What makes this really troubling is that the Secret Service has many functions in many areas, and though it's best-known for its PPD (Presidential Protection Division), they protect our high-ranking elected representatives in many ways other than that. They are also charged with protecting our currency by investigating currency fraud and counterfeiting activities, investigating computer and communications fraud (domestic and international), and even serve a counterintelligence function.

But the PPD comprises the elite of the highly-selective service. At any given time, only a small percentage of the agents are assigned to personal protection details. The Presidential detail is the plum assignment, supposedly the best of the best. What worries me is whether this is just an aberration or not. If the cream of the crop are behaving this way, what is going on with the rest of the "troops?" How much of this is a blip on the Secret Service radar, and how much of it might be indicative of the same attitude toward government functions and public safety exhibited and writ large at the Government Services Agency? I hope it's the former, but how can I know?

Maybe they need to re-hire agent Frank Horrigan (aka Clint Eastwood) to clean things up.

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?. I still have faith that the Secret Service is largely dedicated to the protection of America and American governmental officials. But now I have to wonder if it might also be an infant Prætorian Guard. We know how well that worked out for protecting the Cæsars.

As for the Blogger changes, I was the designated computer-illiterate who first ran into it in the middle of composing an earlier article. I immediately got hold of Andrew (who is very good with html) and begged him to help me figure out how to get around all the obnoxious and confusing changes. They NEVER let us know in advance what changes they're going to make, let alone get our input before doing it. Computer software engineers are elitist pigs (apologies to my son at Google).

BevfromNYC said...

Andrew - It's these kinds of lapses in judgment that can end really badly. Not to mention, I can't enter the WH or get anywhere near the President without a full-body scan and pre-screening even to write to the President and these guys are just playing around.

BevfromNYC said...

LawHawk - You are right. If the very elite are doing this, what liberties are the others making? And how were these guys chosen to BE the elite?

As for Blogger, it seems to me that they have moved things around, but it doesn't seem like they've corrected any of the hmtl code quirks at all.

BevfromNYC said...

Andrew - Btw, you are right. They were probably just trying to save the American taxpayer some money by not paying...

Individualist said...

Bev

I hacve never been to Colombia but I have been to Recife/Suape, Santos and Rio deJanero Brazil. I was there for six months total off and on (business trip) for three week periods. Recife and and Rio are tourist spots so being bored I took the opportunity to see the sites including the nightclubs.

The interesting thing is that in these night clugs I did not meet one woamn who was not either or prostitute or at the very least willing to dabble in it. No matter what woamn I talked to either in the clubs or outside on the beach she would eventually say "cinquenta" and (h)otel Portuguese for fiftyand hotel. Beyond the moral reasons for not taking these ladies up the other was that you did not want someone like that to know what hotel room you were staying in for fear of what her "freinds" might do either then or later.

What amazes me is that these secret service who must be knowledgeable about the country would "pre book" such a thing when if it works any way like Brazil they could contract with any woman they talked to at any nightclub within walking distance.

The whole thing seems to follow under "didn't think that one through did you". For me the outrage is the IQ level of secret service agents is more than the prostitution scandal itself. Maybe they were Obama donors who the big O got a job with the whitehouse and not really fully trained secret service agents.

CrisD said...

Hey Bev!
Nice rant!
Do you think that for this security comprimise--all involved (and the supervising person(s) ) will be fired with no retirement benefits?

Just wondering how people get judged. It's a tough world out here for most of us.

DUQ said...

Bev, I find the whole thing shocking. Everyone knows this is wrong and yet these guys did this. This isn't even a gray line. I find it stunning.

T-Rav said...

Submitted for your consideration, additional Rule 1(a): Don't have documents pertaining to the President's route and other classified information in the room with your lady-friends or you will be shot in the face.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, I'm amazed these guys were so utterly unprofessional. I've always understood that the Secret Service prides themselves on their professionalism, but they certainly didn't display any of that here.

BevfromNYC said...

CrisD - I am not sure what happens to them. This is so blindingly stupid and embarrassing for the Service. All of which could have been avoided if they's just paid the woman what she wanted. They should be on desk duty at minimum wages I mean, they've got to protect Obama from Ted Nugent, how do they have time to cavort?

AndrewPrice said...

Cris, It's virtually impossible to strip benefits from government employees, but I think they should be fired and lose whatever tenure/benefits they have gained. This is not only an incredible mistake, but a truly contemptuous abandonment of their duties.


T-Rav, Yep. It's amazing that doesn't go without saying, isn't it?

BevfromNYC said...

Duq - We should not have to tell the Secret Service that hiring prostitutes while on duty is a no-no. I can almost hear them saying to their bosses "Well, but, it didn't say we couldn't in the handbook!"

BevfromNYC said...

T-Rav - I was thinking somewhere a little lower on the body than the face, but then they aren't kittens either. OR maybe they should hire kittens, they do a great job protecting you!

DUQ said...

Bev, They shouldn't be hiring prostitutes period. They used to fire people with clearances for sexual indiscretion. A secret service agent visiting a prostitute is a sexual indiscretion.

BevfromNYC said...

Duq - Of course it goes without saying that they shouldn't be hiring prostitutes AT ALL period exclamation point!

Doc Whoa said...

$800? Can't you buy a town for that?

Doc Whoa said...

Also, what the heck happened to my dashboard on blogger? It's all funky and unpleasant now.

BevfromNYC said...

Doc - grrrrr...blogger.

AndrewPrice said...

By the way, as mentioned the other day, there are now stories in the MSM about how these scandals are hindering Obama's campaign. Don't underestimate how bad this all is for Obama.

BevfromNYC said...

The scandals keep coming in waves and from so many different directions that they can't keep up any spin to deflect. And the MSM can't hold back the small tidal waves without looking obviously in the tank.

darski said...

Seriously - I would make a case for treason in order to get them to 'get fired'.

Putting the president in danger would seem to be treasonous for the SS. (interesting initials eh? )

AndrewPrice said...

darski, I don't know if treason works because of the lack of intent, but there should be more than enough other charges they should be able to file.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, The scandals do keep coming and that's putting Obama in even more trouble because it keeps lowering the faith people have in government and in this administration to run the government.

darski said...

it is my contention that if you drive drunk and you kill someone it is a premeditated murder. You choose to accept all consequences that might arise from your action when you take that action.

A smart lawyer could say that leaving FYEO material around for any and all to see forms the intention to face all consequences of your action. Like I said; just enough scare to get the outcome we want against these slobs.

BevfromNYC said...

Darski - of course now there is an investigation in Columbia as to the ages of these women. Though prostitution is legal, sex with underaged girls is not. If they find one underage girl who says she was involved (true or not), that will open up a whole new can of worms...

darski said...

okey dokey... let's take a different tack on the questions.

is it likely that such scandal could have erupted under W?

I would suggest that the Bush admin would keep a very tight rein on any and all personnel over whom they had control. Because they were under constant press barrages for looking sideways they were much more strict in protocol and discipline.

And... Obama admin has had a hall pass for everything and they control neither their own actions nor the actions of others under them. They encourage graft corruption and scandal by not saying no.

...is that a valid point of view for where this came from at this time?

and BTW... ages of prostitutes do not cause someone to leave confidential and classified material open on the desk IYKWIM.

AndrewPrice said...

darski, It absolutely could happen under Bush. Presidents and their people have much less control over government employees than is popularly believed. They are basically under the direct authority of dozens of layers of bureaucracy. They are protected by job classifications, work place rules, tenure, and union rules. These are not like employees at McDonalds who can be told to do something and get fired if they don't do it right.

The odd thing here is that the Secret Service is supposed to be above this. They're supposed to be truly motivated. (Though I have dealt with a Secret Service investigator once and I did find the guy to be a total lazy moron.)

What I think is different this time is how the MSM is presenting it as compared to how they would be handling it under Bush. They would be claiming Bush controlled these people directly, they would be demanding the firing of Bush appointees, etc. and they would be digging like mad for anything to link this to a Bush person. But this time, under Obama, the MSM is just passively reporting.

BevfromNYC said...

Darski and Andrew - A current investigation may very well implicate the WH staff because the Pres has an "advance team" that coordinates with the SS advance team.

And if this was happening under the Bush Admin, then at least they were discreet enough to take their own staff prostitutes with security clearance to avoid any extortion-worthy indisgretions.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, I cannot imagine what a government prostitute would look like? Yikes.

It's going to be an interesting investigation, especially as they've now fired a bunch of people. Those people will talk.

rlaWTX said...

Honestly, this kind of stuff is why I really can't get too worked up about conspiracy theories... Even in an organization that we expect to have high standards - and even higher for those in such sensitive assignments - we apparently have total screw-ups!!!
This is one of those situations that if it were a movie plot we'd have to have suspended belief to a high degree to go along with it...

Privates/Corporals in the military doing dumb crap - I can say "these are dumb kids (19-20yo) in a stressful, peculiar environment, whack 'em upside the head and move on" - The United States Secret Frickin Service??????????

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