As per usual, I am not going to spend a lot of time on morals when it comes to the Secret Service scandal in Columbia. As I have noted in the past (an old post on Tiger-gate comes to mind) I put too much store in cliches about throwing rocks and glass houses to join the ranks of the appalled. Not to be too flippant about it, but if grown men want to pay for sex where it is legal, that is between them, their families and maybe their doctors.
However, aside from the moral angle, there is an element of this story which should be troublesome for all Americans. When Secret Servicemen behave badly, it is a huge security risk for the United States. While President Obama was not in the country when this scandal occured, the actions of his sworn protectors nonetheless put him in danger. Whether a honeytrap might have been in play, an angry pimp is involved, a connection to a drug cartel perhaps, all of these scenarios and more could potentially create security risks for the United States and its elected officials. In any case, this is yet one more reputational stain on the flag in another part of the world where we need friends and allies, not countries whose governments and populations are against us.
I know that it is very very difficult to get into the Secret Service, as it should be. But it appears that once someone is in, they quickly become entrenched. With the ranks of unemployed veterans becoming more swollen by the day, there are likely many eager and well-trained individuals who can take the places of those involved in this latest embarrasing scandal. Here's hoping that they do.