Another Career Destroyed


In an attempt to deflect criticism, there are some who would say that the U.S. Congress has no right to pass judgement over the conduct of the personnel who went to Colombia and allowed their personal conduct to destroy their careers. This is nonsense. Granted, the current Congress doesn't do legislation or oversight, preferring obstructionism and grandstanding above all else. But the idea that Congress cannot investigate because the Secret Service has much higher ethical standards is an idea that isn't going to go anywhere.

Really, who is charged with protecting the President? Does Congress have that job now or does the Secret Service have that job? And this notion that the Secret Service is beyond reproach is what started the whole thing in the first place. In order to legitimately claim ownership of such an important role, our system requires oversight and compliance. Period. End of story on that front.

Part of the problem here is that the Secret Service has been a strongarm agency of the United States government, accountable to no one, convinced of an inherent superiority that it clearly does not possess, and plagued with personnel who have low standards of personal conduct. This has tarnished the work of people who want to do the right thing. Right now, there are probably a lot of Secret Service agents who are glad to see the dead wood get flushed out.

Let's not forget that the air marshal system was screwed up by former Secret Service agents who threw their weight around.