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Secret Service misconduct may mean deeper leadership problems

Whore-gate?  Who is going to hang the “gate” on the Secret Service scandal?

But it is interesting, isn’t it? The head of the Secret Service claimed yesterday that the behavior of this team was not “indicative” of the rest of the Service’s behavior.

Yeah, sorry, I find that hard to believe, at least at this point.  Something gave this team the belief that they could do what they did and get away with it.  Leaders claiming such nonsense are always suspect.  I just don’t buy into this one advance team being an outlier.

I would assume, as a matter of leadership, that more senior members of the service make it a point to travel with advance teams without advance notice just to see how well the teams function and do their job.  Or at least I’d hope so.

Leadership is about supervision.  It’s about getting off your rear and checking out how well your unit functions, how closely they follow SOP and how well leaders junior to you do their jobs. 

Why am I getting  the feeling that’s not the case in the Secret Service?  Because of this fiasco in Columbia.

Now its been revealed that the President’s schedule was laying around in the hotel rooms they brought the hookers too.  Security?  Where?

I’ve also heard it said, mostly as an excuse, that they were “off duty”.  Sorry, that’s a no-go.  There are certain standards of conduct that are required in particular organizations that really never allow one to be “off duty”.   What a member of that unit does even when not actively engaged in their job reflects on their organization and could compromise their integrity. 

For instance, in this case, how difficult would it be to blackmail a Secret Service agent who knows that revealing his consorting with prostitutes would cost him his job?

This isn’t the first case of Agent misconduct.  But it is the most widespread and possibly one of the worst cases.  It speaks of a leadership problem to me.  Someone in a leadership position was trusted to lead an advance team.  That means those in higher leadership positions trusted this person to carry out the job professionally, morally and with integrity.  Someone was very mistaken.  That puts the entire leadership of the Secret Service under the microscope, not just this team.

The seriousness of this had me shake my head when I read this:

The Senate Judiciary Committee, which oversees the Secret Service, is weighing whether to launch an investigation into the prostitution allegations.

Weighing whether to launch an investigation?



Twitter: @McQandO

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18 Responses to Secret Service misconduct may mean deeper leadership problems

  • As noted by InstaPundit, this is not the beginning. The failure of the Service to prevent WH party-crashers early in the regime was something that should have gotten a top-to-bottom review, at minimum. And, given the time-lag nature of organizational problems, the next POTUS better watch his or her six.

  • Why in the world would you think that the Senate would investigate anything that might embarrass their president going into the election ‘silly’ season? This will go down the memory hole. Right along with the gun walking.

    Now, if this were a GOP president that had said he was scouting out vacation spots and the Secret Service were scouting out the whores then you’d never hear the end of it in the ‘war on women’.

    So move along, there is nothing to see.

  • Hell, I’ve worked for private mainstream companies where we had a tighter code of conduct than this demonstrated. And it’s not like these codes are secret – we had running jokes about them – “I will not drink….if I do drink, I will not drink too much….if I drink too much I will not fall down…..if I fall down I will fall down face first so no one can see my badge”. We all knew the jokes, but most of us kept to the code and had no pity on those who failed to keep it. Because often as not those who DO keep the code are always called on to deal with things the those who DON’T keep the code would be unable to do as a result of NOT keeping the bleedin code.
    This whole thing was a disappointing shock, and summed up best by on of the native Colombians who said something to the effect that theirs was a ‘poor’ culture, and these men should have come and set a better example.

    • Well, reports are starting to indicate the code is “wheels up, rings off”. So, NO code! well, that makes me feel much better, if there’s no code, they can’t violate it can they. Proud of the Secret Service, good job, hurrah for America.

  • One more thing. With the DHS party in Vegas I don’t think this is an outlier. It is a power and privilege thing. While it is not anything new it is still a scandal and it still shows what is wrong with the government. It is more about greed and power than it is about governing. That goes for both parties.

    • Ooops, that should be the GSA party in Vegas.

      • @tkc882 Them, too… I bet you MONEY.

        • @Ragspierre And this is why we need to pass the Buffett Rule? When they say Buffet, they don’t mean Warren Buffett, they mean Golden Corral buffet.

        • @looker The Secret Service guys understood the “Six Meat Buffet” to mean something altogether different…

  • Issa’s observation quoted in the WSJ – sounds good to me –
    “The question is—is the whole organization in need of some soul searching, some changes, before the president, the vice president, members of the cabinet are in danger?” he said. He added that the incident may have involved more than the 11 put on administrative leave over the weekend. “Things like this don’t happen once if they didn’t happen before,” he said.

  • I blame Bill Clinton.

  • Makes you wonder if the Colombian government is paying for their birth control pills don’t it? If these Secret Service agents, probably based in Washington, had just gone over to Georgetown University…..

  • Off-duty doesn’t fly in any context. I work for a law firm, and if I was in that situation when I was traveling on business for them, I would be fired. No doubt in my mind.

    • @everlastingphelps How about if you stuffed secret documents in your undershorts and smuggled them from the National Archives and then destroyed some of them?

      • Depends if it was to benefit a Democrat or a Republican, silly. (I would apply the j/k tag, but …) @looker

  • When you have a unethical gangsta style leader at the top it makes sense the others below that would follow. The only difference is in an actual gangster mob disappointment in your lieutenants could lead to disturbing circumstances, like death.

  • Maybe the team was performing a legitimate security function and pre-vetting the entertainment their clients would be using once they arrived for the conference.