Corruption

Secret Service Scandal: They Transgressed the Unwritten Law

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I still don't quite understand what the Secret Service hooker scandal is about (aside from the folly of post-purchase haggling), and this story in today's New York Times left me even more confused (emphasis added):

One official said that the misconduct in Cartagena, Colombia, ranges from personnel, including at least one veteran supervisor, who knowingly took prostitutes to their hotel rooms to at least two employees who had encounters with women who investigators now believe were not prostitutes. One officer, who is single, met a woman who investigators concluded was not a prostitute in a chance encounter at a bar before taking her to his room, according to the official.

Another, who was cleared of serious misconduct but will face disciplinary action, had taken a woman to his hotel unaware that she was a prostitute until she demanded money, the official said. The man refused to pay and told her to leave, the official said….

The investigation was complicated by the Secret Service's rules of conduct that do not appear to clearly address the issue of whether their employees — most of them are male — can spend the night with a woman in a foreign country.

One of the government officials said the misconduct standards were "kind of vague" for disciplining unmarried Secret Service personnel, as are many of those in question, who pick up a woman in a foreign country while on assignment.

On Tuesday, a spokesman for the agency declined to comment when asked about the regulations. A government official who had been briefed in recent days by Secret Service officials said that agency officials could not answer the question of whether that conduct violated agency rules.

"They said, 'We teach all our agents that if they go to Amsterdam, they cannot smoke marijuana,'" the official said.  "But they couldn't tell us whether there was anything explicit in their rules and regulations that said anything about whether one of their personnel could spend the night with a woman in a foreign country. They said they would have to get back to us on that, and they haven't."…

The Secret Service has found no evidence that the women who spent the night with the personnel were foreign agents or that the women were exposed to classified information, according to government officials.

So far nine employees have been dismissed or pushed to resign or retire, but it's still not clear whether they broke any rules? The marijuana-in-Amsterdam example suggests that having sex with women in foreign countries may be OK, as long as no money changes hands afterward, even in places (like Colombia) where prostitution is legal. (Does the same rule apply in Nevada?) But it sounds like even that much is uncertain.

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  1. I’m waiting to hear about the secret service prostitution scandal in Thailand. They’ll probably try to cover that one up.

    1. It is shameful that these men have to leave “the land of the free” to rent a woman.

      1. They can still go to Nevada.

  2. Another … had taken a woman to his hotel unaware that she was a prostitute until she demanded money

    Yep, he was *that* drunk.

    1. Hey, this has happened to me in Dubai.

      1. That was probably an agent of the state.

    2. I gather this is not uncommon at all in your rowdier Chinese port cities.

      Rule of thumb: Nobody wants to get snuggly with an American for free.

      1. Nobody wants to get snuggly with an American for free.

        And who can blame them?!

      2. That is not true at all RC.
        Everybody wants to get snuggly with an American, some just figure they can get money from it, and some figure they can get a green card from it.

      3. Shekou has plenty of bars full of women with questionable motives.

        1. From what I can tell, the goddam planet has plenty of bars, etc.

    3. Uh. Do these people live sheltered lives? Its a not uncommon occurance. Americans traveling on business make excellent targets because they usually get a travel allowance and don’t want to make trouble. As this situation shows, its better to just pay for a cheap lesson in the way the world works.

      1. You would think the government would have an informative video on this topic or something.

        1. Yeah, but the production values and lame script make it borderline uinwatchable, so everybody naps through it and just signs the attendance sheet.

  3. They shouldn’t expect them to be priests. If anything, they should watch out for the ones who aren’t getting laid.

    If I worked in Brazil, or worked for the secret service, a marriage sure as hell wouldn’t work out.

    1. yeah, one would assume you don’t have the professionalism then to work for them.

    2. They shouldn’t expect them to be priests.

      I should hope not. Underaged boys would be a legitimate scandal.

  4. These guys are role models for AMERICA. They need to be more repressed than Oprah’s waistline. In fact it should be against regulations for them to even use the toilet in a foreign country.

    1. The only thing more important to American than Public Relations, is Secret Relations.

  5. What would James Bond have done?

    1. He’s already done it.

      1. Nobody does it better.

    2. He’d be getting pussy galore.

      1. I think you mean Octopussy

        1. Bond would never stop at eight.

    3. What would James Bond have done?

      Applied the topical ointment twice daily as per doctor directions.

      1. Who told you to put the balm on?!?

        1. He didn’t want the hose again.

  6. From a security perspective, you think they would have standards regarding relationships with foreign nationals.

    Otherwise, this is just a bunch of Puritanical hoo-hah.

    1. Obama as Ned Flanders: it’s what the voters demand.

    2. That is my question – Did they ever violate operational security in any way?

      If yes – firing is to mild a punishment.

      If no – who cares?

    3. If the Secret Service did not have rules on relations while on duty (which presumably they were since they were there FOR THE PRESIDENT), then that’s idiotic.

      1. They probably removed those rules when Kennedy or Clinton was in office

    4. One would think that. But apparently it’s not the case.

      1. Remember that the Secret Service was moved from Treasury to Homeland Security, a logic-free Department.

  7. Simply put, if you’re there on business, keep it in your pants. If you can’t, your boss has the right to fire your ass.

    1. I thought the whole point of “business travel” was to have discreet hook-ups thousands of miles away from your spouse’s prying eyes.

      1. I thought it was to do business during business hours and whatever you want when off-duty.

    2. So, nobody gets any personal time while on travel?

  8. Good Lord. They are pondering whether its permissible for a Secret Service agent to get laid, period, when overseas? Regardless of whether money changes hands?

    I’m a little puzzled about what the big deal is, too. Not that I don’t enjoy watching the Imperial Presidency twist in the wind a little bit, of course.

    1. If they were on vacation, no one would give a shit. They were there to protect the president.

      1. The job is not 24/7. They weren’t being disciplined for getting completely shit-faced while off duty. It only looks bad because the soccer moms that Obama desperately needs to get re-eletect cannot stand the idea of the studly men that protect the president are getting laid in foreign countries (cash or no cash transactions involved).

        In my opinion being drunk while on call or being hung-over while on duty is a far bigger security problem than getting laid while off duty.

        1. The women’s vote is jealous.

          1. the fat womens’ vote is jeal…nevermind, ur right.

        2. The job IS being paid for by tax dollars. I wonder how many wine bottles for sultry evenings with prostitutes the taxpayers have comped.

    2. The big deal is, there was talk of drug legalization at the summit, so it’s important to find something to change the subject to.

    3. RC, it’s not the getting laid part, it’s the dirty, dirty prostitute part. Or, as MP succinctly wrote: Puritanical hoo-hah.

  9. The unwritten rule….

    Don’t ever do anything that can be used to create a scandal in the media.

    Well, at least don’t get caught doing it.

  10. “They said, ‘We teach all our agents that if they go to Amsterdam, they cannot smoke marijuana,'”

    Seems to me the relevant question is whether they can get prostitutes in Amsterdam since it is legal there too. The marijuana thing is a completely red herring.

    1. Technically, more legal, since cannabis is merely ignored by the law while IIRC prostitutes (or just brothels?) are supposedly licensed.

      1. As I understand it they are individually licensed and self employed (some sort of regulation to prevent exploitation).

  11. The only people who are genuinely surprised (as opposed to faking it) are people who know absolutely nothing about the culture of these agencies. It’s the same deal as being in the military and stationed in Europe or Korea. Down time means booze and hookers, hookers and booze.

    1. “down time” is the key word. they were presumably on duty.

      1. I didn’t get that part. I thought they were living it up because duty was over and there was still a little time before shipping out.

        1. I thought the scandal happened “before” the president arrived, when they should have been preparing for him? Was this not the case?

  12. Really, do we want them shtupping whores on their time off, or do we want them shtupping whores on their time off and lying about it?

  13. This stuff happens overseas. It happens, to create a rule against it I think would only make things worse for security protocols at the secret service..

    Guys are still going to have sex, no matter what the rules say, no matter what the risk.

    If you make it forbidden guys will just go to lengths to keep it hidden from their bosses, and will then be subject to blackmail.

    1. well then they need to clearly deliniate the protocol. Sounds like they’ve just been winging it.

    2. Hey kwais! Long time no see!

      How are things?

      1. They are pretty interesting Tarran, I have missed this place much.

        I got talked into running for Congress so I am super busy lately.
        I have a radio interview later today so I am reading here to find talking points.

        I couldn’t not post on this story though.

        1. You can’t get elected in this country unless you some out against sex. All sex.

          1. Sex is ok as long as it’s no fun and results in a child.

        2. kwais, I am disappoint.You have no thoughts on the 3rd Amendment? None at all? This saddens me greatly.

          1. T, really?
            i have thoughts on all the Amendments.

          2. T, really?
            i have thoughts on all the Amendments.

  14. this story in today’s New York Times left me even more confused

    You read the power-worshiping lewinsky press and expect not to be confused?

    Like a dog returns to its vomit, you return to the NYTimes.

    Something’s wrong with you.

  15. Who was the first person to make the joke about the Secret Service agents being the only government employees interested in saving money?

    1. If they’re fired, they should run for Congress on that platform.

  16. Obviously the solution is to require sperm samples every, say, four hours.

  17. We won WWII because FDR rationed sex from ’41 through ’45!. There was no hanky panky between our boys and those Italian broads, those French broads, those English Broads…

    1. Yeah, and that Limey broad driving Ike around never saw Little Ike, either.

      1. Actually, she was a lesbian.

        1. Only because she desired his essence, which he denied her.

  18. Only a story if the same punishment (or worse!) applies to any sex while overseas on business.

    At least when they bonk hookers they know what the women want. Either that or honey traps are driving a harder bargain nowadays.

    Otherwise it’s just Puritanical handwringing over what exact conditions are necessary that we can allow private parts to touch.

    1. u mean bumping uglies

  19. Frankly, as long as they don’t disclose that they’re Secret Service agents (on the off chance that the woman they pick up is a foreign agent “honey pot”), I don’t see what the big deal is if they’re single. And even if they’re married that’s an issure between them and their wife, I’d think.

    1. You don’t think they brag about their job? Come on.

      1. The jilted hooker in question said that the agent never said what business he was in.

        1. I’m surprised.

          1. I suspect that by time an agent works his way up to working the presidential detail that the dumb ones have been weeded out and that the rest know to keep their mouths shut.

            I also suspect that the real problem here is that “standard” practice became public knowledge and that someone has to pay the price for that.

            I doubt there will be any significant change to the rules going forward.

      2. I’m sure there may be some that do. However, as a civilian with a security clearance it’s pretty much drilled into us not to disclose what we do or that we have a clearance while on foreign travel or risk “disciplinary action up to an including termination”. I’m sure the same thing applies to federal agents.

        So, if they’re not breaking any local laws, and they don’t disclose who/ what they are, then who cares if they hook up with a woman, hooker or not (other than perhaps the lack of professionalism)?

      3. I read the hooker didn’t find out the john that stiffed her was a secret service agent until after she got the police involved to get the bastard to pay up.

  20. So if two secret service agents sleep together, is that an offense?

  21. I thought the problem was not that they were buying hookers, but that they were bringing uncleared people into a secure area?

    1. The problem is one off-duty security agent got the police involved (indirectly — his jilted hooker got the police involved — same crime in the eyes of the head politicians).

  22. Jesus progressives are confusing.

    Shouldn’t they be happy that the SS (ha!) is supporting sex workers?

    1. Wrong. Conservatives can’t visit hookers because that’s indecent and a sin. Liberals can’t visit hookers because it’s a gender crime against women. Only libertarians (who think any voluntary transaction is OK) and totalitarians (who don’t give a shit what you think) can visit hookers.

    2. What about the secular progressives?

  23. Well we have these unrealistic puritan standards for pols which is why we only get retards running for office. It would be ironic if the same thing happened with the people hired to protect them.

  24. Based on the pictures I’ve seen of the women involved in this, I think the whole thing was cooked up by the Colombian Tourism and Visitors Bureau.

    1. No shit. I dont recall the price but I think they were fairly expensive though.

    2. No shit. I dont recall the price but I think they were fairly expensive though.

      1. $800 for the original one. I dunno if that’s expensive or not.

        1. That was her opening offer. Stupid SS goon didn’t confirm what he would pay, hence an international incident and major embarrassment for the Imperial Presidency.

          1. Apparently the agent in question found himself unable to perform currency conversions in his head after a couple of bottles of Absolut.

    3. Based on the pictures I’ve seen of the women involved in this…

      IMO that’s one of the main reasons to legalize prostitution. Instead of strung out gutter skanks, you’ll have a lot more “top shelf talent” taking up the trade. And of course, bringing it out of the black market where it can be properly regulated (regular checkups for STDs, etc) wouldn’t be a bad thing either. IOW, similar arguments to drug legalization also apply to prostitution: better quality “product” at lower prices, less violence, etc.

      1. Less violence? What if I like that kind of thing?

        1. Then you pay for it.

  25. The SS guys that worked for Clinton have all the good hooker connections.

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