As more and more details emerge about the Secret Service scandal, the more and more appalled I become. Here's what we know so far -- 11 Secret Service agents were sent home from a summit meeting in Cartagena, Colombia after the U.S. Embassy discovered they allegedly had prostitutes in their hotel rooms. There was an argument about payment to one of the ladies, which got the hotel staff involved, who then called the U.S. authorities. The agents were immediately flown back to DC (they weren't on the President's detail, by the way) and have been placed on administrative leave.
Just when you thought this couldn't get any more embarrassing, there are now reports that some U.S. military personnel was also involved in the so-called "personal misconduct" in Colombia. Wonderful.
It's hard to imagine that Secret Service and some military officials could let their guard down enough to make such terrible, terrible decisions. They've been trained and have made a career out of being stand-up individuals who'd take a bullet for someone. To hear that they're messing around with prostitutes and getting into kerfuffles over paying said prostitutes is infuriating, to say the least.
I mean, patronizing prostitutes is one thing, but to do so while on assignment abroad is another. Their actions don't just reflect poorly on themselves, they reflect poorly on the entire nation. They've embarrassed the country.
And know something? I really don't think that's an over-statement. As an American, I'm ashamed. The higher-ups in Washington agree with me -- their swift action to deactivate these agents sent a clear message. Mess up, and you're out. The Secret Service agency has a no-tolerance policy; there are no second chances when you humiliate yourself, your employer, and your nation.
There are plenty of other agents, or agents in training, who understand that they represent something bigger than themselves, and I hope officials make an example out of the wrong-doers. Their actions were totally unacceptable, totally deplorable, and totally embarrassing.
What do you think of this Secret Service scandal?
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