COMMENTARY | Eleven Secret Service agents at the Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia, were sent home last week in disgrace because a member of the contingent allegedly hired a prostitute, the Associated Press reports.
The New York Daily News called it a "black eye" for the Obama administration. The situation is awkward, but the president has no control over the actions of the bodyguards. It's unfair to heckle Obama about it, considering if Secret Service agents were goofing around, it's his life they put in danger. We need to take an example from the commander-in-chief and keep this in perspective.
Any rumor involving sex and people in government generally scintillates the masses. Add to the drama sex with prostitutes and the dogs really start to howl. No matter how Obama handled it, some will fault him. If he speaks out too harshly, he'll be called autocratic. If he downplays it, he might be accused of approving.
The president chose well. He reminded everyone the full story is not known. He said he'll be upset if the report is true, but until then, he's reserving judgment. That's not pooh-poohing, just waiting for results.
It's easy when a few members of a group is caught in flagrante to blame the whole group. That's not fair. One or 11 Secret Services agents gone astray does not make for an agency-wide problem.
I understand the concerns, expressed on CBS, from congressional leaders who want a formal inquiry. Partying with prostitutes not only poses a security threat, it's an abuse of position and foolish. As a taxpayer, I'm a little leery about congressional investigations as they tend to be long and expensive. I think we have more pressing issues that need our tax dollars.
I applaud President Obama for trying to keep the focus off the scandal and on the summit.
- Secret Service agents