As I woke up last Monday and checked the news, I was met with a very disturbing story: United States Secret Service was involved in a sex scandal in Colombia. There are some things that I never thought I’d hear. The fact that 11 Secret Service members engaged in heavy drinking, partying and prostitution was one of those things. The Secret Service is one of this country’s most trusted organizations. Its members are supposed to be dedicated to protecting the President, their families and this country, and yet they are acting against their code of conduct, putting the president and this country in danger. This is an embarrassment to our country. We are supposed to feel secure that nothing will ever happen to our president. Secret Service agents seeking to pleasure themselves doesn’t leave me with that feeling. I wish I could say that this is an isolated incident, but it is not. It is just the latest in a string of bizarre incidents that have plagued this administration. What this demonstrates is that this government has clearly run amok.
President Abraham Lincoln first established the Secret Service on April 14, 1865, ironically just a few hours before he was assassinated. Since that time, the organization has performed its job brilliantly. There have been numerous incidents in which Secret Service members have put their lives on the line in order to protect the president and his family. On November 22, 1963, Agent Clint Hill jumped from the running board of the car he was riding in onto the back of the moving presidential limousine right after President Kennedy’s assassination in order to protect the first lady. On March 30, 1981, Agent Tim McCarthy shielded President Reagan and took a bullet for him during an assassination attempt. These agents demonstrated the bravery that Secret Service members are supposed to show in the face of danger. When I hear about the Secret Service, those are the kinds of things I hope and expect to hear: agents putting the safety of their charges before their own wants and needs, not the other way around.
In the one hundred and forty four years between the end of Lincoln’s presidency and the end of George W. Bush’s presidency, there was not a single major Secret Service scandal. Since Barack Obama took office in January 2009, on the other hand, there have been two. Remember the Salahis? In 2009, aspiring reality TV stars, Michaele and Tariq Salahi, showed up uninvited to a state dinner at the White House and somehow slipped past multiple layers of security. They took pictures with several key officials, including Vice President Biden, and were only feet away from President Obama and the first lady. How does that happen? What if the Salahis had intended to kill the president? Now we have Secret Service agents advancing a presidential trip to Cartagena, Colombia sleeping with $800 escorts and leaving the president’s schedule lying around for anyone to see. Not only is this a waste of hard-earned taxpayer dollars, but it is also negligence if I have ever seen it. The president’s life was put in serious danger. If the Secret Service agent had not gotten into an argument with the escort over payment, this scandal might never have come to light. The escort could have stolen the president’s schedule and handed it over to a terrorist who would know when and where to be in order to assassinate the president. This is a serious problem. The Secret Service is not performing its duty. It is charged with protecting the president and it is instead leaving him vulnerable. This has to be stopped. The president needs to take matters into his own hands. He is the head of the federal government and he needs to crack down on those organs of government that are not performing their intended function. We can’t just consider this incident an aberration and let it fly by. This government has steered off course. Things need to change and they need to change soon. This is personal. I’m legitimately scared for the safety of our country. If the Secret Service is not doing what it is supposed to do, the president and the country are in danger. This is America. I always thought that we would be protected by the people whose job it is to keep our leaders safe, but I must have been mistaken.
Contact Matthew Eichel at [email protected]