Issa promises Congressional oversight on investigation of Secret Service scandal

posted at 10:26 am on April 16, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

The scandal surrounding the Secret Service continues to get notice from the media — and from Congress. Rep. Darrell Issa, chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, told CBS earlier today that he doesn’t plan on opening a separate investigation into the matter, at least not yet. However, Issa pledged to “look over the shoulder” of the Inspector General as the DHS office conducts a probe into how one or more prostitutes penetrated the secure zone that the Secret Service had set up for President Obama’s trip to the Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia:

“What we see is that this story is larger than eleven individuals,” said Issa on “CBS This Morning” on Monday. “It’s part of what has been, told to us, as a pattern of behavior that’s built up, so called ‘wheels up’ parties and the like and clearly you have an elite unite that we count on to have the greatest of security not just for the president but for the cabinet for other officials and we need to know that they’re living up to on a broad basis.”

“We clearly have lost confidence and we need to get that confidence back by knowing that the system will be changed,” he warned.

Issa said he had heard many reports that Secret Service agents often celebrate once the president has completed a visit with a ‘wheels up’ party, but said this incident was not comparable.

“Okay, fine, that’s when you can sort of let your hair down. The question is in this case you had a pre-wheels down party. You had drinking, you had activities that clearly compromised the ring of security, at least some because you now had people inside the secure areas, people who could have come in with all kinds of microphones, or in fact could have done something or could have later on blackmailed,” said Issa. “All of this went on before the president arrived, so this really goes beyond what we’ve heard in the past. It’s an area of concern.”

Issa’s point on the incremental nature of penetrating security agencies is well taken. That’s how “honey traps” work, and it’s why those with security clearances are required to report any personal contact with foreign nationals to their superiors or to the relevant clearing agency. That was true in the mid-1980s when I held a lower-level clearance, and I doubt it’s changed much since that time. Once a personal relationship gets established, it can be used to either blackmail someone into divulging cleared material or “turn” them into a longer-term source.

For his part, Obama made his first statement about the scandal at a press conference yesterday at the summit:

Obama was asked at a news conference with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos about allegations that 11 Secret Service agents were involved with prostitutes before this weekend’s Summit of the Americas. Obama noted that its director was investigating.

“I expect that investigation to be thorough, and I expect it to be rigorous,” Obama said. If the reports prove true, “Then of course I’ll be angry.”

“We’re representing the people of the United States, and when we travel to another country, I expect us to observe the highest standards, because we’re not just representing ourselves, we’re here on behalf of our people.”

Considering just how much a modern President relies on the Secret Service to focus on his personal protection, I wouldn’t blame Obama a bit for getting angry over this incident.  His other point about representing the American people is also spot-on, especially considering the State Department warning about Colombian prostitution and its involvement in human trafficking.


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yawn.

GhoulAid on April 16, 2012 at 10:28 AM

MmmmHmmmm. Just look how tough they’re being with all the deflection about Fast and Furious.

SouthernGent on April 16, 2012 at 10:30 AM

How many is that now? 100?…200?
Anything changing? Time for a recess yet?
Hey! How about an Oversight…on the Oversight?

KOOLAID2 on April 16, 2012 at 10:32 AM

Why would I believe a damn thing Issa says? How is that “Fast and Furious” investigation coming along? No results you say? Damn it, I wonder why?

Speaker John Boehnor and Congressman Darryl Issa conspire to betray America.

SWalker on April 16, 2012 at 10:37 AM

Obama in a press conference on the event complained that the media shouldn’t be covering this to the extent it is

fine – try something with much more lasting and sinister effects

Fast and Furious

if the media was tryly reporting this Eric Holder would have resigned and been facing purjury charges

audiotom on April 16, 2012 at 10:37 AM

Secret Service takes the blame to protect Obama reputation? Or is it that secret service was shuffled to bring more agents of appropriate color but not as well trained?

anikol on April 16, 2012 at 10:37 AM

Issa has his hands full with, sorry, more important things. F&F, all the green-tech companies going belly-up and the stonewalling of the justice dept. Let the IG handle this.

JAM on April 16, 2012 at 10:38 AM

Issa has been a bust

faraway on April 16, 2012 at 10:38 AM

I think we all had high hopes for Daryl Issa. Now we know he is an empty suit, all talk and no action, just like Balack Pajama.

Hey Darryl, how about you focus on that whole “Fast and Furious” boondogle…you know…the one you have been investigating for a year now with no arrests, no warrants, and no subpeonas.

Or maybe that pesky “Voter Intimidation” thingie…no?

MooCowBang on April 16, 2012 at 10:39 AM

Hey, Issa…. How about bringing to justice the perps of F&F? Parade around all you want with your burger king cardboard crown on and banging on pots & pans with wooden spoons. DO SOMETHING!!!! Or, are you purposely a pussy congress? Geeeeeeeeezzzz!

mugsiex on April 16, 2012 at 10:39 AM

Dept. of Justice
GSA
Sec. Service

There must be more travesties. We need a list to shout out to the heads-in-the-sand libs or indies.
Over and over and over again.

Qzsusy on April 16, 2012 at 10:40 AM

Anyone who has served in the military knows exactly whats going on here. The CO doesn’t respect or value his men, and the men don’t respect him.

And that’s not good.

We saw the effects of this, prominently, on our TV sets in the late 1960′s as morale and discipline broke down in Vietnam. Of course, there were many other circumstances there that don’t apply to the SS, but the unit bond dynamic is still in play and apparently failing within the Presidential Protection Unit.

Maybe they could hire Sinbad to shake things up.

BobMbx on April 16, 2012 at 10:40 AM

Were these guys holdovers from the Clinton WH?
Lining up hookers for Bubba was probably standard procedure.

dentarthurdent on April 16, 2012 at 10:40 AM

I wouldn’t blame Obama a bit for getting angry over this incident. His other point about representing the American people is also spot-on, especially considering the State Department warning about Colombian prostitution and its involvement in human trafficking.

Fair enough comments but, given what a trainwreck the summit was for the United States, part of Obama also welcomes the distraction. I question just how serious DHS is going to take this. Do the identified agents get slammed or does Nepoletano get behind the cultural conditions that allowed this to happen in the first place.

Happy Nomad on April 16, 2012 at 10:40 AM

Well, I’m reassured! :(

ebrown2 on April 16, 2012 at 10:41 AM

If you can’t trust government employees, prostitutes and politicians, who can you trust?

NoDonkey on April 16, 2012 at 10:41 AM

Oh yeah. Add in to the list all the Dept. of Energy stimulus $$ for Solyndra and the like.

Also, the $$ for the ubiquitous Stimulus signs all over the country.

Qzsusy on April 16, 2012 at 10:42 AM

Considering the party pictures, I wonder if Hillary had some escorts of her own delivered to the hotel….

dentarthurdent on April 16, 2012 at 10:43 AM

That’s how “honey traps” work, and it’s why those with security clearances are required to report any personal contact with foreign nationals to their superiors or to the relevant clearing agency. That was true in the mid-1980s when I held a lower-level clearance, and I doubt it’s changed much since that time. Once a personal relationship gets established, it can be used to either blackmail someone into divulging cleared material or “turn” them into a longer-term source.

Even setting aside the blackmail possibilities, we’re talking about places where just about everyone, not just hos, can be bought for a few dollars. Not good when you’re some place where bombs have been going off.

whatcat on April 16, 2012 at 10:43 AM

Darrel, how about sticking with Fast and Furious. Arguably given the bodies on that one it really deserves priority.

CorporatePiggy on April 16, 2012 at 10:44 AM

Doesn’t matter if they worked for the biggest tool in the world…you still have to show respect for the job. They failed horribly.

tomas on April 16, 2012 at 10:44 AM

Simple solution. Have the SS refuse to turn over documents or redact them completely, then refuse to honor subpoenas to appear. Isn’t that the way these things are handled?

a capella on April 16, 2012 at 10:49 AM

Any government organization that is relatively autonomous and lacks consistent oversight will eventually break the rules and violate the law. The secret service has a unique mission but they are nevertheless just government employees and must operate in accordance with the law, regulations, and departmental policies.

rplat on April 16, 2012 at 10:50 AM

*yawn* Somebody wake me when Issa actually does something besides look stern.

Sugarbuzz on April 16, 2012 at 10:52 AM

Not good all the way around.I rate this slightly above the Kennedy/Dodd waitress sandwiches and those senate and congress orgy’s with young girls furnished by lobbyist.

docflash on April 16, 2012 at 10:54 AM

Fair enough comments but, given what a trainwreck the summit was for the United States,

Happy Nomad on April 16, 2012 at 10:40 AM

Zero and Hillary capped off the mess. In a televised appearance, while everyone is talking about this, Zero said one of his reasons for being there was to scout out a place to go on vacation. Meanwhile Hillary boozed it up and went dancing.

dogsoldier on April 16, 2012 at 10:55 AM

Hey…. Good to know our National Security Departments are checking out the locals for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases that might harm our visiting dignitaries. Taking one for the team… isn’t that what they say.

ActinUpinTexas on April 16, 2012 at 10:57 AM

Stick to what’s important … Fast & Furious, etc.

TerryW on April 16, 2012 at 10:57 AM

Don’t forget about Moochelle who no doubt has a fairly large contingent of Secret Service agents that accompany her on the many vacations she takes.

Just sayin…

moo on April 16, 2012 at 10:58 AM

*yawn* Somebody wake me when Issa actually does something besides look stern.

Sugarbuzz on April 16, 2012 at 10:52 AM

Ya – so far Issa seems to be mostly copying Obummer’s diplomacy methods – “I intend to send a sternly worded letter…”

dentarthurdent on April 16, 2012 at 10:58 AM

Even setting aside the blackmail possibilities, we’re talking about places where just about everyone, not just hos, can be bought for a few dollars. Not good when you’re some place where bombs have been going off.

whatcat on April 16, 2012 at 10:43 AM

Absolutely true. And yes, if you have a government (especially DoD) security clearance you are supposed to report all foreign contacts.

dentarthurdent on April 16, 2012 at 11:01 AM

Why would I believe a damn thing Issa says? How is that “Fast and Furious” investigation coming along? No results you say? Damn it, I wonder why?

Speaker John Boehnor and Congressman Darryl Issa conspire to betray America.

SWalker on April 16, 2012 at 10:37 AM

Criticizing the Republicans for not doing their job? What are you, some kind of “TruCon?” /

Doomberg on April 16, 2012 at 11:03 AM

the State Department warning about Colombian prostitution and its involvement in human trafficking.

–Ed.

But Obama and the Democrat party are pro-human trafficking vis-a-vis their lack of enthusiasm for secure borders, voter ID requirements, and lawsuits against tough state citizenship laws.

Prostitution? That’s all part of human trafficking as well.

Have you ever seen a “rape tree”? Visit the southwestern border. They are quite common.

There is no irony here. It’s all part of our national policy and the Democrat voter drive.

Stepan on April 16, 2012 at 11:08 AM

Why would I believe a damn thing Issa says? How is that “Fast and Furious” investigation coming along? No results you say? Damn it, I wonder why?

Speaker John Boehnor and Congressman Darryl Issa conspire to betray America.

SWalker on April 16, 2012 at 10:37 AM

Criticizing the Republicans for not doing their job? What are you, some kind of “TruCon?” /

Doomberg on April 16, 2012 at 11:03 AM

Yes, I see the sarc tag, however, I quiet frankly do not know what a “True Conservative” is, other than apparently being a pejorative used to ridicule and mock conservatives that don’t follow the Ron Paul school if whateverism…

SWalker on April 16, 2012 at 11:10 AM

I think Issa is way to busy to take any actually worthy and needed investigations.
Maybe Ann Romney has some free time to look into this?

verbaluce on April 16, 2012 at 11:12 AM

“we need to know that they’re living up to on a broad basis”

I think it’s fairly clear what they were “up to” on a “broad basis”. Can’t believe I’m the first to comment on those poorly chosen words.

Hey, maybe I’m just a chauvinist (sp?) pig, but that would make for one find obituary.

Bigurn on April 16, 2012 at 11:14 AM

What if this perfectly legal activity had gone on in Las Vegas?

There is something very weird about this whole story. Is Obama pulling a Howard Hughes, and going to replace his bodyguards with all Mormons now?

logis on April 16, 2012 at 11:22 AM

O/T related to Obama’s Colombia trip:
http://news.yahoo.com/obama-shakira-join-forces-colombian-cultural-event-022149971–abc-news-politics.html

Here is another example of Obama the Uniter (via grievances and reparations).

onlineanalyst on April 16, 2012 at 11:25 AM

These guys get to got on vacation all year with this president…show som restraint

tomas on April 16, 2012 at 11:26 AM

Dept. of Justice
GSA
Sec. Service

There must be more travesties. We need a list to shout out to the heads-in-the-sand libs or indies.
Over and over and over again.

Qzsusy on April 16, 2012 at 10:40 AM

Maybe not quite what you had in mind:

TSA (theft from passengers and hired sex offender)
EPA (protected fish, caused CA farmers/employees to lose income)
Dept of Energy (Solyndra loans)
Dept of Interior (delayed drilling permits, falsified documents)
NPS (refuses to let town of Tombstone, AZ onto federal preserve to repair their water lines and equipment unless they use hand tools and ride horses. Meanwhile water supply is dwindling…)

GrannySunni on April 16, 2012 at 11:34 AM

Hard to believe anyone would “fear” an investigation by Issa. Yeah, he’ll investigate, but then what? All these investigations and no action.

BruthaMan on April 16, 2012 at 11:42 AM

We should place Kate Pavlich in charge of this operation. She’d get far better results than Issa. The fact that Issa threatens to do something is probably scandalous in itself.

DevilsPrinciple on April 16, 2012 at 11:48 AM

Oh, goody, another oversight investigation. It will continue into infinity just like F&F with no results. Might as well stay home.

Kissmygrits on April 16, 2012 at 11:50 AM

Issa full of wind and still sitting on the pot, when is he going to get off and do something serious about F&F,or is it still in the too hard basket ?

Sandybourne on April 16, 2012 at 12:04 PM

dang, just when they deck cleared of all the voter intimidation, voter fraud/ID issues thoughout the midwest in 2008, Fast and Furious, drilling permatorium misdirection, EPA regulations becoming law and all this comes along.

I really wanted them to get to the bottom of the Roger Clemons deal without distractions. /////////////

DanMan on April 16, 2012 at 12:06 PM

In the Cambridge cop case, the officer “acted stupidly”; and he stuck his nose in – and passed judgement on – the Trayvon Martin case. Why is Barry being timid in this case?

(“I expect that investigation to be thorough, and I expect it to be rigorous,” Obama said. If the reports prove true, “Then of course I’ll be angry.”)

It couldn’t be that these folks work for him, could it?

mike in NV on April 16, 2012 at 12:15 PM

Sigh. Another Potemkin investigation.

PersonFromPorlock on April 16, 2012 at 12:29 PM

Oh, goody, another oversight investigation. It will continue into infinity just like F&F with no results. Might as well stay home.

Kissmygrits on April 16, 2012 at 11:50 AM

Take it up with Eric Cantor, John Boehnor, & the other Republican leadership.

They have swept Fast & Furious under the rug.

tetriskid on April 16, 2012 at 12:34 PM

GSA, SS, Hillary–I think they’re gettin’ their jigs in now cuz they know after November the jig is up.

As for Issa’s investigations … it’d be nice if one of ‘em went somewhere–like to a stunning Obama admin-damning conclusion.

stukinIL4now on April 16, 2012 at 12:44 PM

Can Issa be replaced? He’s a dismal failure at his job.

FactsofLife on April 16, 2012 at 1:03 PM

You guys are all jumping on issa a little early. What happens when he convicts and sends holder to jail with Obama still in office? Obama will pardon holder and everyone else involved as the last thing he does before he leaves office this year. Then you guys will be attacking issa for not waiting longer. He can’t win.

Lifeisdeath on April 16, 2012 at 1:17 PM

Wow, Issa’s not feeling the love around here. Maybe he deserves it, but just-us moves so slowly.

bbhack on April 16, 2012 at 2:12 PM

You guys are all jumping on issa a little early. What happens when he convicts and sends holder to jail with Obama still in office? Obama will pardon holder and everyone else involved as the last thing he does before he leaves office this year. Then you guys will be attacking issa for not waiting longer. He can’t win.

Lifeisdeath on April 16, 2012 at 1:17 PM

There’s ALWAYS some excuse the Republicans have as to why they can’t do anything. Meanwhile, the Democrats and their Republican enablers have no problems spending us into national bankruptcy.

Quit with the excuses and just do something that doesn’t involve stealing more money from the public.

Doomberg on April 16, 2012 at 2:26 PM

Ok lets follow the logic (disclaimer: I did not read any comments)

-Secret Service goes to do advance scouting to verify places safe for the President to visit.

-Secret Service goes to a brothal. They are reported being there. And are in trouble for getting caught there.

Therefore: The secret service found a brothal that is not safe for the President to visit.

sarc

mechkiller_k on April 16, 2012 at 2:45 PM

Maybe Issa can actually do something and look the “tough guy” over some lowly logistics folks who work at the USSS.

Because he’s completely impotent against Obama and Holder over “Fast And Furious”.

HondaV65 on April 16, 2012 at 2:54 PM

Sometimes a picture just makes you say hmmmm — BamShak

slickwillie2001 on April 16, 2012 at 2:55 PM

There’s ALWAYS some excuse the Republicans have as to why they can’t do anything. Meanwhile, the Democrats and their Republican enablers have no problems spending us into national bankruptcy.
Quit with the excuses and just do something that doesn’t involve stealing more money from the public.

Yeah. Just LOOK like you are doing something to please the idiots. Who cares if holder is pardoned, as long as you can look busy. That’s the most important thing for all of the people that died.

Lifeisdeath on April 16, 2012 at 3:51 PM

I said it since Dec 2010, Issa’s a phony liar. He’ll NEVER PULL THE TRIGGER!

Typical Republican.

FACE IT. THERE ARE NO RINOS!!! THEY’RE SIMPLY REPUBLICANS.

Our beloved “bitter clingers” who haven’t faced the truth yet are the real RINOS.

There is NO CONSERVATIVE PARTY.

rcl on April 16, 2012 at 9:00 PM

Issa full of wind and still sitting on the pot, when is he going to get off and do something serious about F&F,or is it still in the too hard basket ?

Sandybourne on April 16, 2012 at 12:04 PM

All talk no action.

Doin a hell of a job Issa.

bazil9 on April 16, 2012 at 9:17 PM