Great news: Secret Service to get chaperones for foreign trips

posted at 6:31 pm on April 29, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Finally, we have some good news after the exposure of Secret Service sexcapades going back as far as 2000.  The agency and the Department of Homeland Security will put in place new processes and new personnel designed to ensure that no more embarrassing incidents occur.  They will deploy tough, well-disciplined, and focused representatives whenever traveling abroad.  And they’ll also send Secret Service agents, too:

Embarrassed by a prostitution scandal, the Secret Service will assign chaperones on some trips to enforce new rules of conduct that make clear that excessive drinking, entertaining foreigners in their hotel rooms and cavorting in disreputable establishments are no longer tolerated.

The stricter measures, issued by the Secret Service on Friday for agents and employees, apply even when traveling personnel are off duty.

The policies, outlined in a memorandum obtained by The Associated Press, are the agency’s latest attempt to respond to the scandal that surfaced as President Barack Obama was headed to a Latin American summit in Cartagena, Colombia, earlier this month.

Chaperones?  Well, I suppose that might have some justification, seeing as how agents acted like high-school boys in Cartagena.  But, er, how exactly is this supposed to work?  Armed agents decide to head to the strip club in some exotic locale and bring a few escorts back to the hotel, and … what?  Will a finger-wag and a lecture on proper etiquette between boys and girls suffice to bring the revelry to an end?  Will the chaperones conduct bed-checks and impose curfews?  Actually, President Obama joked about that very idea at last night’s WHCA banquet:

Then the mock agenda was abruptly cut short.

“I had a lot more material prepared, but I have to get the Secret Service home in time for their new curfew,” Obama deadpanned at the annual White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner.

You know, it’s a shame that the Secret Service didn’t just send supervisors on these trips.  Supervisors would have had the authority to impose some discipline on these advance teams and remind them that their actions could prove embarrassing to the US, and possibly endanger their security arrangements for the President.  Wait — what was that?  The Cartagena team had three supervisors, all of whom participated in the scandal?  Oh, yeah.

If the Secret Service’s supervisors couldn’t prevent this scandal, dorm mothers aren’t going to cut it, either.


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