‘The Secret Service makes me nervous.’ On the high jinks and pratfalls of America’s best and brightest. Some thoughts.
by Dr. Jeffrey Lant.
Author’s program note. The evening of October 20, 1962 was supposed to be a night of nights in the starry history of Broadway. Irving Berlin, the prodigious, stylish, tuneful, glorious Irving Berlin whose music helped create the distinctive American sound in hit after hit was returning to the Great White Way. He had a new musical — “Mr. President” — and the world waited impatiently to hear it. Until they heard it… then wrote 72 year old Mr. Berlin’s professional obituary. It was that bad. The king was well and truly dead… oh, my!
The show ran a respectable 265 performances, but they were in the nature of courtesy visits to the funeral home where you came to pay your respects to a once powerful corpse. The magic was gone. And, thus under a cloud, accompanied by the disappointment of multitudes Irving Berlin made way for other, fresher voices.
But before he left, he wrote a tune called “The Secret Service makes me nervous,” in which the president’s fictional daughter laments how often and in what precise ways the Secret Service interferes in her romances and makes nookie hard to get for the inhabitants of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
“The Secret Service makes me nervous those White House ‘dicks’ get all their kicks when they observe us! Just as I wind up, make my mind up, not to say ‘I won’t’ the Secret Service makes me nervous and I don’t.”
However, as it turns out, this was only a tiny part of the story as a riveting report just pried from the “we protect our own” government under the US Freedom of Information Act makes clear. No, the folks at the Secret Service have not only been getting their kicks by watching…. they have also been zestful participants in an endless saturnalia which seems to have had no limit… though just what limits, if any, there may have been were deleted from this heavily censored report.
But first go to any search engine and sing along…. “The Secret Service makes me nervous.” And for very good reason… Here are just a few of the myriad of accurate adjectives which come to mind… salacious, meretricious, outlandish, shocking, appalling, disappointing, dismaying, egregious… you get the picture. One cannot put the report down (for all that we know much has been taken out by meddling, “protect the perpetrators” bureaucrats who never met an abashing fact they didn’t wish to suppress)… yet dreads what one will find upon reading it. Thus, here is just a fraction of the alleged high hormone activities in which these erring agents of the Great Republic have engaged in the last year or two alone…
Item: In October 2011 an employee was accused of sending harassing messages to a woman.
Item: In March 2011 a complaint was filed involving embezzlement or theft of public monies. Since virtually all of this entry is censored, it must have been a doozy. “We the people” will have to wait and see.
Item: In October 2010 an employee was implicated in a national security leak. Again the details are heavily censored.
Item: In May 2012 an employee was accused of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. More censored details.
Item: In May 2012 an officer was videotaped, twice, wandering nude around an apartment complex. Video (gratefully) withheld.
And so the report continues through the highways and byways of the sordid, vile, base and squalid… the daily calendar of crimes petty, cheap, disgusting and mercenary… officers delighting in their freedom to do whatever… blatantly hiding behind the agency’s cover of secrecy and a code of honor, publicly pronounced, quietly disparaged and abused.
Tawdry outrage at Cartagena.
The latest installment in this debasing melodrama occurred among Secret Service agents traveling to Cartagena, Columbia in advance of President Obama’s April 13 visit. This should have been no sinecure, no time for partying. After all, there are many in Columbia who would welcome the opportunity to snuff a sitting president. No matter. Hard-working boys will be boys, with an unquenchable need to party hardy. And so, president or not, they did. Bring on the booze and las chicitas. Everything went, nothing disallowed… except exposure, the only thing feared by these fearless paladins.
But exposure, glaring, humiliating, demeaning, was what they got. All because of one agent who wanted his fun on the cheap, stiffing a prostitute of her due. Sadly, this agent had forgotten his William Congreve, “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.” (1697). A canary singing out like a Broadway diva, what a to-do she made. Rarely in human history have so few Yankee dollars produced such a prodigious result, as a dozen Secret Service agents, officers, and supervisors were implicated of whom eight were forced out.
Director Sullivan, Senator Lieberman, please!
The hubbub went straight to the highest reaches of government and produced the usual soporifics: only a few were involved, the incidents isolated, perhaps even “unfounded or frivolous.” (Senator Susan Collins, R-Maine). Director (since 2006) Mark J. Sullivan worked overtime to soothe the Congress, always inclined to give the greatest benefit to every doubt about our errant “boys”. Senator Joseph Lieberman (I-Connecticut) was the most unctuous urging rightly concerned citizens to “withhold judgement”, to wait some more.
But it’s not more time we need. We need a recognition that our storied Secret Service too often abuses its panoply of powers for this to be coincidence. “Power corrupts,” in Lord Acton’s acute aphorism.”Absolute power corrupts absolutely.” And so by turning agents into demi-gods, if only in their own minds, we have then fostered the climate of entitlement, unfettered privilege, and license which inevitably produces injurious usage and blithe malignity. No cure is possible without this recognition.
This is why the Secret Service makes me nervous, and why a comprehensive review of its policies, personnel and procedures is past due and must take place at once. For until we do we shall continue to see the steady drip of corruption and be dismayed and affronted. For remember this: in this age of instantaneous mass communications nothing can ever be secret for long. Thus, agents must not only seem to be above suspicion; they must, like Caesar’s wife, actually be so. Sadly, this is most assuredly not the case today.
About the Author
Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is CEO of Worldprofit, Inc., providing a wide range of online services for small and-home based businesses. Services include home business training, affiliate marketing training, earn-at-home programs, traffic tools, advertising, webcasting, hosting, design, WordPress Blogs and more. Find out why Worldprofit is considered the # 1 online Home Business Training program by getting a free Associate Membership today at http://www.Worldprofit.com
Author: Jeffrey LantThis author has published 572 articles so far. More info about the author is coming soon.