Failures and faulters pt 2

There were so many Facebook posts tweets etc yesterday about the members of the USSS and military advance team in Colombia yesterday. The majority of the commentary agreed that the choices of the 11 or so personnel was in poor judgement.

There were a couple comments that appeared to defend the actions. The one defense that seemed prevailing was that when the personnel were off for the day, what they do in their own time should not matter. The commentary went back and forth even to divert into the historical perspective of countries using women as trade-craft in order to gain secrets of the visit. I get that and I understand that trade-craft and its intended outcome and possibilities. But herein lies the problem, you always have to be aware of that possibility.

The college “road trip” rules do not apply to protection in the official or private sector. What happens when you are out of town has the same, if not worse affect, than if done back in the states. For the life of me I tried to find a glimpse of justification to having an unknown encounter with a known or unknown prostitute while I am flying under the banner of the US Government or under a contract or subcontract agreement. There are senior specialists reading this that are going to say that it happens all the time. Yea, I know but that is an excuse to justify its existence. There is no OFF when you are traveling with the President. You may not be on your scheduled shift but you are not exempt from acting in a professional manner representing the United States of America and the President.

I posted last year that there is a BPI rule that there is no drinking while we are under contract and I explained why. If you work for me the only time I will allow drinking is after wheels up. That is my policy and it has never changed. All it would take is one incident to occur and the reputation of the company and the client will go down the drain. That is my policy so keep that in mind if you have an uncontrollable desire to have a few beers everyday. Not on my watch.

The allegations, whether proven or not have brought issues that the agents in charge and the Director will have to answer for. This is not the same affect as it would be in the private sector. Given the same series of events in the private sector the Client/Principal would have reaped the embarrassment, whereas in this case the President is buffered by the USSS Director and here is why. In the private sector, the client chooses the protection team that they want. In the USSS the President inherits his team that is chosen by the USSS. These men and women are hand selected after a process. The sole responsibility and its diminished reputation falls upon the Director.

So, I agree that the choices that lead to these allegations were poor, unprofessional and unethical. I do not agree with the premise that when they are off they can do whatever they want to do. In every agency and/or department there is a catchall adminstrative charge that reads, “Conduct unbecoming” and that charge will surely remind you that when you are not on your assigned shift, you never relinquish yourself from the administrative disciplinary arm.

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