One of the ugliest stains on
last month when it was determined that a large number of Secret Service agents
consorted with prostitutes in Columbia. The agents were in that country to protect an
American delegation to a conference, and that delegation included the
President. When the activities were made
public, the Secret Service quickly moved to dismiss the agents involved.
Now at least four agents are fighting that dismissal.
Four Secret Service employees have decided to fight their dismissals for engaging in inappropriate conduct in Colombia last month, a development that could unravel what has been a swift and tidy resolution to an embarrassing scandal over agents’ hiring of prostitutes.
And no, they are not using the normal argument, which is that they are innocent of the charges. Instead their position is this.
The agents are arguing that the agency is making them scapegoats for behavior that the Secret Service has long tolerated, a charge that Director Mark Sullivan may have to address when he appears before a Senate committee Wednesday.
The story in the Washington Post describes some of the details here, details that can be published in a general publication. Here is one of the disgusting details.
One 29-year-old field agent assigned to the
office, who is single and who resigned under the threat of being fired, told
investigators in a polygraph examination that he did not think at the time that
the two women he brought back to his hotel room were prostitutes. He is among
those seeking to overturn their dismissals, according to three people familiar
with his case. Washington
And here is a more detailed explanation of why that agent and others don’t think they should be terminated.
According to interviews with multiple former and current employees and people briefed on the inquiry, the Secret Service agents involved brought women to their hotel rooms without hesitation. The agency says it was clear that employees should not do anything unbecoming of a Secret Service employee. Current and former agency employees say sexual encounters during official travel had been condoned under an unwritten code that allows what happens on the road to stay there.
They also contend that this tolerance is part of the “Secret Circus” — a mocking nickname that some employees use to describe what ensues when large numbers of agents and officers arrive in a city.
Of course, given the fact that agents engaged in the activities that they did justifies that position, since they obviously are clueless as to the fact that the Secret Service is different. It is an elite group of men and women who are given one of the highest levels of responsibility that can be designated in law enforcement. They represent
they are symbolic of the country and the fact that they do not understand that
and act accordingly is sufficient justification in and of itself for their
And yes, just like you The Dismal Political Economist does feel the need to bathe after just reading and thinking about this story.