Three members of the Secret Service have been terminated for their involvement in a prostitution scandal in Cartagena, Colombia last week, a rather indiscreet affair for the advance team to President Obama’s visit for the Summit of the Americas. It turns out that indiscretion isn’t exactly new, either. One of the agents, David Randall Chaney, posted photos of himself on the job and made leering comments about one of his assignments:
One of the Secret Service supervisors ousted from the agency this week for their involvement in the Colombia prostitution scandal made light of his official protective work on his Facebook page, joking about a picture of himself standing watch behind Sarah Palin.
David Randall Chaney, 48, posted several shots of himself on duty in a dark suit and sunglasses, including one that shows him behind the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee during that campaign.
“I was really checking her out, if you know what i mean?” Chaney wrote in the comments section after friends had marveled at the photo. He is married and has an adult son.
TPM has two of the pictures from Chaney’s page. The pictures don’t depict anything unprofessional — just Chaney in the same frame as Palin — but the postings raise a couple of questions. First, these very public postings should have alerted Secret Service supervisors of an unprofessional attitude. Oh, wait, Chaney was a supervisor:
Chaney, who had been a supervisor in the Secret Service’s international programs division, retired under pressure Wednesday, according to people familiar with an internal agency investigation into the allegations that 11 agents and uniformed officers participated in a night of carousing April 11 ahead of President Obama’s visit to the Summit of the Americas.
If that is the way supervisors publicly talk about their protection subjects, well, I’d bet we’ll eventually find a lot more problems in the Secret Service. Which brings me to my next question — this is the Secret Service, right? How does a Secret Service agent — no, supervisor — have a Facebook page identifying himself, his job, and his protection assignments, past or present? No one at the agency thought that would be a problem?
Chaney was allowed to take an early retirement; the other two agents got fired. If this is indicative of the culture at the Secret Service, don’t be surprised if more than a few follow them out the door.
Update: Sarah Palin responded to this last night on Fox, via a few commenters:
“Well, this agent who was kind of ridiculous there in posting pictures and comments about checking someone out,” Palin told Greta van Susteren on her FOX News program. “Well check this out, bodyguard — you’re fired. And I hope his wife sends him to the doghouse. As long as he’s not eating the dog, along with his former boss. Greta, you know, a lot of people will just, I guess say that this is boys being boys. And boys will be boys, but they shouldn’t be in positions of authority.”