America’s not-so-Secret Service


Recent antics of the U.S. Secret Service are no longer so secret ….

Three agents from the Secret Service were sent home from Amsterdam after one was found passed out drunk in a hotel hallway. And their activities have become international news.

An investigation is underway and the agents are blamed with “not doing more to prevent another embarrassment” for the Secret Service, as two years ago they suffered a scandal in which agents brought prostitutes back to their hotel rooms in Cartagena.

Among protecting high profile figures such as the president, the secret service also investigates crimes like counterfeit and credit card fraud.

White House Spokesperson Jay Carney said, “Generally, the President believes … that everybody representing the United States of American overseas needs to hold himself or herself to the highest standards.”

Thus, the three Secret Service agents were sent home as a disciplinary measure. Rightfully so, since their actions were somewhat shameful to the country.

However, isn’t it also a tad shameful for the news media to blatantly broadcast the incident? If America is really concerned with protecting the reputation of the Secret Service, it seems to me that they would like to keep the disciplinary measures “on the down-low.”

The federal government and president could’ve likely dealt with the three agents privately in order to avoid drawing attention to the scandal (that is, if one could call it a scandal compared to the one in Cartagena).

Of course, journalists are all for exposing the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so it doesn’t surprise me that this story came out. That being said, I do think that exposing the weakness in a prestigious government agency might be unwise in a climate of international political unrest. It is suspected that the recent disappearance of the Malaysia Airlines flight may have been an act of terrorism.

I’ve usually leaned towards abridging some rights when safety is involved, but I realize how fine that line is.

Perhaps exposing the scandal will force the Secret Service to clean up their act. Freedom of press can often have a “watch dog” effect on the government.

And now that I think of it, I don’t want a sloppy Secret Service.