Secret Service? More like Secret Sex Service. With that awkward attempt at humor, let’s examine the scandal currently rocking the agency designed to ensure the safety of all our presidents and presidential candidates.
Twelve Secret Service agents and 11 military personnel are under investigation after allegations arose last week that they were consorting with prostitutes during a trip to Colombia. And by consorting, I mean paying for sex.
I am shocked and dismayed by this news. Not so much because of the shame and humiliation this brings to an otherwise prestigious government agency, but because I did not pick the Secret Service in my weekly “What Government Group will be Embroiled in a Sex Scandal Next?” betting pool. I had the Department of Education in Cuba with donkeys, not Secret Service in Colombia with military personnel.
Sex scandals in our government do not faze me anymore. I treat them like the rising tides or changing of the seasons — natural occurrences. This one does warrant a little extra attention because it involves an agency I have always had the utmost respect for and involves a large number of people.
We are accustomed to someone harassing Congressional aides or soliciting inside a men’s airport restroom, but rarely do we see something of this scale.
I might normally be inclined to believe these guys just wandered into a bar following their routine job and some of them happened to pick up some women and, whoops, turns out they were prostitutes. But this is 23 government and military agents allegedly hiring at least 11 prostitutes, according to NBC News. You generally have to be on the lookout to find 11 prostitutes.
Rep. Peter King (R-NY) told The New York Times that there are conflicting reports.
“Some of them were saying they didn’t know they were prostitutes,” King said. “Some are saying they were women at the bar. I understand that there was quite a bit of drinking.”
Separate investigations by the Secret Service, Defense Department and Congress are looking into the allegations, including rumors of drug use and that some of the women were underage.
Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) said the youngest women involved were only 20 or 21 years old, according to NBC News. How would the senator know that unless he was there? I think there is something Grassley needs to tell us.
Speaking of which, having Congress launch a sex scandal investigation is like allowing a meth addict to investigate a meth lab crime scene. It is like having a pedophile investigate a child pornography ring. There are just some people who should not conduct certain investigations.
Grassley and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) both expressed concern that similar incidents may exist within the Secret Service’s history. Again, if this were a smaller case, I would be inclined to think this was an isolated incident. But this situation seems too fishy. I worry this is not the first time, merely the first time we have heard about it.
CNN reports that one of the Secret Service supervisors associated with the sex scandal has a photo on his Facebook page featuring Sarah Palin, from when he was part of her security detail. He commented on the photo, “I was really checking her out, if you know what I mean?”
In light of the Colombian prostitute scandal, that kind of behavior does no favors in repairing the Secret Service’s reputation.
This shame and humiliation will not be forgotten anytime soon. But at least now I know who to bet on in future rounds of “What Government Group will be Embroiled in a Sex Scandal Next?”