Hangover Part IV: Secret Service agents sent home for drinking

posted at 8:41 am on March 26, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

Say, didn’t the Colombian adventures of the Secret Service presidential detail prompt the agency to adopt some reforms in dealing with its advance teams? Apparently not, as the Washington Post reported last night. Almost two years after the Cartagena hooker scandal embarrassed the agency, three agents got booted from the Netherlands after a night of drinking — one of whom was found passed out in a hotel hallway:

Three Secret Service agents responsible for protecting President Obama in Amsterdam this week were sent home and put on administrative leave Sunday after going out for a night of drinking, according to three people familiar with the incident. One of the agents was found drunk and passed out in a hotel hallway, the people said.

The hotel staff alerted the U.S. Embassy in the Netherlands after finding the unconscious agent Sunday morning, a day before Obama arrived in the country, according to two of the people. The embassy then alerted Secret Service managers on the presidential trip, which included the agency’s director, Julia Pierson.

Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan confirmed Tuesday evening that the agency “did send three employees home for disciplinary reasons” and that they were put on administrative leave pending an investigation. Donovan declined to comment further.

So much for chaperones, eh? The rules adopted in the wake of the earlier scandal prohibits agents from drinking at all in the ten hours previous to an assignment. The advance team would have been working Sunday morning, preparing in a briefing for the President’s arrival, as Barack Obama arrived on schedule Monday. Therefore, no one should have been drinking past the early evening on Saturday, but apparently that rule didn’t get a lot of attention from the agents on duty.

By the way, these agents aren’t on hand just to pick up dry cleaning and order room service. They were members of the Counter Assault Team, responsible for preventing attacks and defending the President if one occurs. One would believe that this takes more than a little sobriety for the preparations, or at least a clear head in the morning. Rendering one’s self unconscious in a hotel hallway is probably not the optimal way to prepare for such duty.

The previous scandal resulted in a rare show of accountability for this administration:

The revelations in Cartagena led to the removal of 10 agents from their jobs, multiple federal and congressional investigations, and the rules aimed at preventing similar activity in the future. Mark Sullivan, the Secret Service director at the time, apologized for his employees’ conduct. Sullivan retired in February 2013 after 30 years in the agency.

Clearly, that message was not received well enough to make an impression, or at least one that lasted just under two years. The last time, agents within the service complained of being “railroaded” over the Cartagena scandal, but it seems a little more accountability is in order here.


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Haha….
I’d drink too if I had their job.

ImmigrantsWife on March 26, 2014 at 8:46 AM

To get this job you have to pass serious background checks. Part of that process involves interviews with your references. The questions are extensive and include questions about use of alcohol. There has to be more to these stories than what we are being told. Is this part of some kind of loyalty purge?

Murphy9 on March 26, 2014 at 8:46 AM

did this happen so often with prior administrations?

dmacleo on March 26, 2014 at 8:46 AM

When his own a** is on the line you can expect Obimbo to hold people accountable. When it’s just the Constitution or the country, not so much . . .

SoRight on March 26, 2014 at 8:47 AM

did this happen so often with prior administrations?

dmacleo on March 26, 2014 at 8:46 AM

Yes, it happens with every administration. Just seems like more with this latest back to back episode.

Johnnyreb on March 26, 2014 at 8:49 AM

I would guess that it’s hard to do your job as a sharpshooter if you’ve got the morning-after shakes. But for some reason, I’m just not really all that concerned with the effectiveness of protective details these days. Let’em drink, party, smoke pot…. whatever. Just doesn’t matter.

Happy Nomad on March 26, 2014 at 8:52 AM

Maybe they were just using “medical alcohol.”

mankai on March 26, 2014 at 8:52 AM

Didn’t want to take a bullet?

OldEnglish on March 26, 2014 at 8:53 AM

Unconscious in a hallway instead of prepared to serve.

And this difference between this and Obama is what exactly?

vityas on March 26, 2014 at 8:53 AM

At least they weren’t out running people over.

Flange on March 26, 2014 at 8:54 AM

Given the scruntiny these agents undergo to get this job and the constant reviews of thier security clearances and fitness for duty I find it diffulcult to belive this is the entire story we are being given.

Something smells about this and it doesn’t smell right. With all of the in-your-face scandals this admin has why does anyone take such reports at face value? This isn’t being conspiratorial this is just common sense.

Skwor on March 26, 2014 at 8:54 AM

Haha….
I’d drink too if I had their job.

ImmigrantsWife on March 26, 2014 at 8:46 AM

Beat me to it.

Didn’t want to take a bullet?

OldEnglish on March 26, 2014 at 8:53 AM

Figured there was a greater chance of that than in prior administrations.

Grammar Nazi on March 26, 2014 at 8:55 AM

belive=believe

Skwor on March 26, 2014 at 8:55 AM

By the way, these agents aren’t on hand just to pick up dry cleaning and order room service.

Of course not, among the 900 minions in the royal entourage there would be a dedicated dry cleaning guy and a dedicated room service ordering guy.

Happy Nomad on March 26, 2014 at 8:56 AM

Give the agents a break. Probably PTSD from Mooch’s China trip.

BigAlSouth on March 26, 2014 at 8:59 AM

Clearly, that message was not received well enough to make an impression,

Oh, I don’t know. At least this time they paid the hookers without incident or skipped them entirely.

trubble on March 26, 2014 at 8:59 AM

“The larger the mob, the harder the test. In small areas, before small electorates, a first-rate man occasionally fights his way through, carrying even the mob with him by force of his personality. But when the field is nationwide, and the fight must be waged chiefly at second and third hand, and the force of personality cannot so readily make itself felt, then all the odds are on the man who is, intrinsically, the most devious and mediocre — the man who can most easily adeptly disperse the notion that his mind is a virtual vacuum.

The Presidency tends, year by year, to go to such men. As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”

H.L. Mencken

Murphy9 on March 26, 2014 at 8:59 AM

Is it wrong that the first thing I thought was “Can you blame them”?

gophergirl on March 26, 2014 at 9:00 AM

Didn’t want to take a bullet?

OldEnglish on March 26, 2014 at 8:53 AM

Figured there was a greater chance of that than in prior administrations.

Grammar Nazi on March 26, 2014 at 8:55 AM

Our enemies know that keeping Obama in place keeps us weak. SS is very boring lately…

DublOh7 on March 26, 2014 at 9:01 AM

This is unprofessional BS. If you are TDY and traveling as part of your professional duties, a beer or two is fine but to get sh!tfaced and pass out in the hallway is completely unacceptable.

ted c on March 26, 2014 at 9:02 AM

Seems the agents were simply showing Obambi the same level of respect that they are routinely given by Dem ‘leaders’.

vnvet on March 26, 2014 at 9:02 AM

When his own a** is on the line you can expect Obimbo to hold people accountable. When it’s just the Constitution or the country, not so much . . .

SoRight on March 26, 2014 at 8:47 AM

Well, he practically travels with a whole divison of them when he so much as crosses the street.

ConstantineXI on March 26, 2014 at 9:03 AM

Rendering one’s self unconscious in a hotel hallway is probably not the optimal way to prepare for such duty.

Or any duty for that matter….

ted c on March 26, 2014 at 9:03 AM

Accountability? FedGov?

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Excuse me…

…BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

gryphon202 on March 26, 2014 at 9:05 AM

Rendering one’s self unconscious in a hotel hallway is probably not the optimal way to prepare for such duty.

Maybe it is when you have to guard King Barack the Magnificent and his entourage of sycophants.

GarandFan on March 26, 2014 at 9:05 AM

Our enemies know that keeping Obama in place keeps us weak. SS is very boring lately…

DublOh7 on March 26, 2014 at 9:01 AM

Exactly. There is a historical precedent to this too. The Allies had made many plans to take out Hitler, but by 1943 they canceled them all because it was by then known that Hitler was doing a better job of taking Germany down than they could.

If our enemies had their way Obama would be President for life.

He’s such a destructive wrecking ball he’s undone at least a CENTURY of American progress (real progress, not progressive progress) in a mere 6 years.

ConstantineXI on March 26, 2014 at 9:08 AM

I am astonished at the number of posters willing to take a Washington Compost story about Secret Service agents at face value!?

When has the Compost ever gotten such stories right or without an agenda?

Skwor on March 26, 2014 at 9:13 AM

If I had to work with that rat ba$tard, I’d drink too.

Maddie on March 26, 2014 at 9:19 AM

I am astonished at the number of posters willing to take a Washington Compost story about Secret Service agents at face value!?

When has the Compost ever gotten such stories right or without an agenda?

Skwor on March 26, 2014 at 9:13 AM

When has a story about government mal- or misfeasance ever been overstated?

gryphon202 on March 26, 2014 at 9:21 AM

Maybe it is when you have to guard King Barack the Magnificent and his entourage of sycophants.

GarandFan on March 26, 2014 at 9:05 AM

I know Obama has caused the increase in my own drinking and I don’t have to guard his worthless ass…

ConstantineXI on March 26, 2014 at 9:23 AM

Haha….

I’d drink too if I had their job.

ImmigrantsWife on March 26, 2014 at 8:46 AM

.
Is there a better chance of ‘good agents’ driven to drink, … rather than a culture of “partying” within todays Secret Service ?
.
You started your comment with “haha…”, but I think you’re on to something.

listens2glenn on March 26, 2014 at 9:25 AM

Seems to be indicative low morale?

workingclass artist on March 26, 2014 at 9:26 AM

Those agents have one job, keep the president safe. If the job is too hard, if you like to drink, if you like hookers and drugs, it’s not the job for you. Personally, I would hire only Mormons for that job.

Keeping the president safe is very important. Treat it as such.

coolrepublica on March 26, 2014 at 9:29 AM

Those agents have one job, keep the president safe. If the job is too hard, if you like to drink, if you like hookers and drugs, it’s not the job for you. Personally, I would hire only Mormons for that job.

Keeping the president safe is very important. Treat it as such.

coolrepublica on March 26, 2014 at 9:29 AM

Ok bluegill

Murphy9 on March 26, 2014 at 9:30 AM

Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan confirmed Tuesday evening that the agency “did send three employees home for disciplinary reasons” and that they were put on administrative leave pending an investigation. Donovan declined to comment further.

No worries Barry, none of these guys are “bracket-busters”. #priorities

BTW, were they “drunk” or under the influence of some of Amsterdam’s finest herb?

Rovin on March 26, 2014 at 9:30 AM

Seems to be indicative low morale? – workingclass artist on March 26, 2014 at 9:26 AM

You are probably right. They all should just walk off the job. Now that would cause a media stir, that even the MSM could not cover up.

SC.Charlie on March 26, 2014 at 9:31 AM

Ok bluegill

Murphy9 on March 26, 2014 at 9:30 AM

I am thinking “Rules are rules” Federati, who puked all over the kid with cancer thread yesterday

22044 on March 26, 2014 at 9:36 AM

Our enemies know that keeping Obama in place keeps us weak. SS is very boring lately…

DublOh7 on March 26, 2014 at 9:01 AM

I wasn’t thinking about foreign threats.

Grammar Nazi on March 26, 2014 at 9:36 AM

I know Obama has caused the increase in my own drinking and I don’t have to guard his worthless ass…

ConstantineXI on March 26, 2014 at 9:23 AM

You owe me a new keyboard, as well as another cup of coffee.

Maddie on March 26, 2014 at 9:36 AM

When has a story about government mal- or misfeasance ever been overstated?

gryphon202 on March 26, 2014 at 9:21 AM

Evertime when it has been about republicans or any consevative leaning organization. Such as any branch of the military, any conservative politicain, even if true the story is reported to make the facts 100 times worse.

Skwor on March 26, 2014 at 9:39 AM

Those agents have one job, keep the president safe. If the job is too hard, if you like to drink, if you like hookers and drugs, it’s not the job for you. Personally, I would hire only Mormons for that job.

Keeping the president safe is very important. Treat it as such.

coolrepublica on March 26, 2014 at 9:29 AM

Actually Obama should hire all muslims.

ConstantineXI on March 26, 2014 at 9:41 AM

…what was he drinking?

KOOLAID2 on March 26, 2014 at 9:42 AM

If I had to guard this f*&kstick of a President I would probably drink too.Nobody gets fired in this Administration,these agents will be assigned to field offices once they are taken off leave.

jeffinsjvca on March 26, 2014 at 9:45 AM

The Secret Service was a part of the Department of the Treasury until March 1, 2003, when it became a part of the Department of Homeland Security.

Two completely different cultures.

Move them back to Treasury.

patch on March 26, 2014 at 9:46 AM

Is there a better chance of ‘good agents’ driven to drink, … rather than a culture of “partying” within todays Secret Service ?

listens2glenn on March 26, 2014 at 9:25 AM

I don’t care who you are, it’s more than just “drinking” when you are discovered passed out in a hotel hallway. The guy’s an alcoholic.

Happy Nomad on March 26, 2014 at 9:46 AM

If I had to guard this f*&kstick of a President I would probably drink too.Nobody gets fired in this Administration,these agents will be assigned to field offices once they are taken off leave. – jeffinsjvca on March 26, 2014 at 9:45 AM

They will go back to The Treasury office and be assigned to chasing down people who make counterfeiter money, funny money. So they should really just arrest everyone at Treasury who is making the funny money we now use.

SC.Charlie on March 26, 2014 at 9:52 AM

Yes, it happens with every administration. Just seems like more with this latest back to back episode.

Johnnyreb on March 26, 2014 at 8:49 AM

thats why I stated so often.
I know every admin has issues but this one seems to have more issues with the SS with members actually closer to potus than other times.

dmacleo on March 26, 2014 at 9:53 AM

Very surpised at this. The CAT team are a cut above and are very professtional at their jobs if in fact these were CAT guys as is reported. Going on good deal trips and having your fun is necessary but you ahve to keep it in check and get the job done. No room for this kind of stuff.

falcaner on March 26, 2014 at 9:53 AM

Firstly, the best rule for anyone in PS (Protective Service) is the same as the rule for pilots, military or airline; it’s “24 hours, bottle to throttle”. Better yet, non-drinking, period. (One more reason I’m teetotal, other than just not liking the stuff enough to shell out for it.)

Secondly, considering how thoroughly The One has purged the upper ranks of the military and replaced them with “officers” (and I use the term very loosely) whose main qualification is loyalty to Himself, how can we be sure we’re not looking at the equivalent of the Clintons’ “Arkansas Mafia” detail of ex-state troopers, chosen for their “political reliability”?

If they’re the “Chicago Machine” types, drunk on duty or close to it is probably the least of their offenses against good order (to borrow a term from UCMJ). In which case they may have been smacked down not for what they did, but because it became public knowledge. I.e., they did it somewhere that the local version of the lapdog media doesn’t slobber over The One’s shoes quite enough to be willing to keep their mouths shut about it.

clear ether

eon

eon on March 26, 2014 at 9:56 AM

I would think that this is the natural progression of the security system this administration has projected. As the security of the nation goes downhill, so goes the security of the president. You do not have to respect the man you protect, but it sure helps.

savage24 on March 26, 2014 at 9:58 AM

If my top boss went out of his way to sh** on some of the only employees who are actually required to behave honorably, required to actually put their a** on the line, the gun-toters, well, I’d drink a bit on the heavy side, too.

Oh, wait …

M240H on March 26, 2014 at 10:00 AM

Secondly, considering how thoroughly The One has purged the upper ranks of the military and replaced them with “officers” (and I use the term very loosely) whose main qualification is loyalty to Himself, how can we be sure we’re not looking at the equivalent of the Clintons’ “Arkansas Mafia” detail of ex-state troopers, chosen for their “political reliability”?

If they’re the “Chicago Machine” types, drunk on duty or close to it is probably the least of their offenses against good order (to borrow a term from UCMJ). In which case they may have been smacked down not for what they did, but because it became public knowledge. I.e., they did it somewhere that the local version of the lapdog media doesn’t slobber over The One’s shoes quite enough to be willing to keep their mouths shut about it.

clear ether

eon

eon on March 26, 2014 at 9:56 AM

Has Obama EVER demonstrated any ability to hire anyone competent since his unfortunate Regime began in 2009? Every hire has been an embarrassment. When you are as stupid and incompetent as Obama is, and yet, very vain with a gigantic ego it’s difficult to find people dumber and less competent than yourself. Yet Obama does manage it somehow…

ConstantineXI on March 26, 2014 at 10:20 AM

Give the agents a break. Probably PTSD from Mooch’s China trip.

BigAlSouth on March 26, 2014 at 8:59 AM

I wonder why Barry doesn’t show up drunk all the time considering he has to LIVE with the barking Mooch-in-law.

ConstantineXI on March 26, 2014 at 10:23 AM

He’s such a destructive wrecking ball he’s undone at least a CENTURY of American progress (real progress, not progressive progress) in a mere 6 years.

ConstantineXI on March 26, 2014 at 9:08 AM

I wish it were six years, but it’s only been five. Five years, two months, six days.

Come on, January 20, 2017!

Ward Cleaver on March 26, 2014 at 10:52 AM

Ah yes, the secret service . . . doesn’t it make you proud to be an American. Everything that has touched Obama has become totally corrupt.

rplat on March 26, 2014 at 10:55 AM

They are as disciplined and accountable as their boss.

Schadenfreude on March 26, 2014 at 10:58 AM

Not surprising. President Obama doesn’t take his job seriously, so why should the Secret Service be expected to take theirs seriously?

Mike Honcho on March 26, 2014 at 11:01 AM

I wish it were six years, but it’s only been five. Five years, two months, six days.

Come on, January 20, 2017!

Ward Cleaver on March 26, 2014 at 10:52 AM

Obama has used his pen and phone to “move” deadlines before. What makes you think he will just leave on his own on that day? I mean, isn’t it RAAAAACIST!!! to expect a (half) black man to leave office on a deadline set in a document written by a bunch of dead white guys in 1614.

ConstantineXI on March 26, 2014 at 11:11 AM

C’mon, this is obummer, no one would dare attack while we are passed out in the hallway. Besides they would be racist anyway. That shame alone will protect him.

jake49 on March 26, 2014 at 11:29 AM

Like the Obama administration…OUT OF CONTROL!

easyt65 on March 26, 2014 at 11:31 AM

Drinking?

I call BS on this story, they were in Amsterdam.

agmartin on March 26, 2014 at 11:57 AM

The only “military” O is concerned about is the one that directly protects his butt.

KenInIL on March 26, 2014 at 12:05 PM

No problemo if it had been the ganja.

ironked on March 26, 2014 at 12:08 PM

I really don’t care one way or the other about this.

BillCarson on March 26, 2014 at 1:22 PM

Haha….
I’d drink too if I had their job.

ImmigrantsWife on March 26, 2014 at 8:46 AM

First quote hits the nail on the head.

Right or wrong, could you imagine going through the training, etc, that they have to, be told they might get killed or “take a bullet” and then see the fool that this might happen for?

I’m surprised they can find anyone to do the job.

kim roy on March 26, 2014 at 1:40 PM

I’m surprised they can find anyone to do the job.

kim roy on March 26, 2014 at 1:40 PM

I heard as well Zero has the record for credible threats.

dogsoldier on March 26, 2014 at 2:07 PM

These guys are Secret Service and they were in the Netherlands checking out the quality of the dope.
They work for King Putt and with Queen Butt in China he gets to play with his Rapper entourage.
The SS detail found the dope … and the dope is good.

Missilengr on March 26, 2014 at 3:31 PM

Hopeys Hoochies/Lush’s Detail(s)!!

canopfor on March 26, 2014 at 3:51 PM

Aside from the obvious “If Obama was your direct responsibility, you’d get stoned too”–this disgraceful public drunkenness is further proof that our overpaid- and far too numerous civil servants- are neither ‘servants’ nor ‘civil’.

MaiDee on March 26, 2014 at 4:22 PM

Tweets All / No replies

Mark Knoller ‏@markknoller 1m

WH says Pres Obama briefed on incident involving 3 Secret Service agents. @PressSec says POTUS backs zero tolerance approach to misconduct.
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canopfor on March 26, 2014 at 4:36 PM