There’s nothing better than a good scandal to derail an international event. So, now we read that a bunch of Secret Service agents and special forces members got the lay of the local landscape, so to speak, in Colombia while advancing a presidential trip.
Advancing a presidential trip is not new. That’s been happening forever. However, in this case, those in charge of the president’s safety ran afoul of standard operating procedures and created a lot of bad news for the administration. Generally, that type of gaffe doesn’t happen, angry prostitutes or not.
I used to advance presidential trips, and I was wonderfully unaware this type of thing could happen. In fact, the people I worked with were so buttoned up and straight-laced that if you had a beer, or sat at the bar, you’d need to be mindful of your manners and protocol.
How does this type of outrageous breach of trust and safety occur? It wasn’t the president’s fault or problem. Well, at least until now. And, I am sure the top brass knew nothing of this foray into decadence.
A lot of people are at fault. But, it certainly had a lot more to do with the advance team’s leadership than the president or his immediate staff. This isn’t indicative of past Secret Service performance. These men and women have one of the toughest and demanding jobs in the security business, and they perform it precisely and near perfectly.
After all, let’s be real. This is an election year, and people are desperately searching for any scandal or salacious behavior on the part of any politician or staff member. Unfortunately, the Secret Service played perfectly into the hands of those seeking to unseat the current administration or those wanting better readership or viewership numbers.
For sure, there will be investigations, calls for firings and the meting out of severe discipline to the wayward crew. What’s more important to me is that the president and his entourage remained safe and sound in what we’d consider a fairly dangerous place.