2:29 PM, Oct 2, 2015 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Secret Service agents are famously willing to take it – as in taking a bullet for the President or anyone else for whom they are providing security. They are also, it seems, willing to dish it out. Though not quite so lethally. Just in the nasty, bureaucratic, secretive ways of Washington. From Eric Katz at Government Executive, we learn that:
Secret Service agents illegally accessed the “sensitive personal information” of a congressman who once applied for a job at the agency, which was then shared with the media to embarrass the lawmaker who had led oversight investigations into the agency’s scandals.
… 45 Secret Service employees accessed the job application files of Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, who was denied a position at the agency in 2003.
In doing so, they:
… violated the Privacy Act, as well as agency and department policies.
This was not just the work of a few rogue operators. As it turns out:
Ed Lowery, assistant director at the Secret Service, appeared to have encouraged employees to leak the information. “Some information that he might find embarrassing needs to get out,” Lowery said in an email ...
Also, according to an inspector general’s report:
Eighteen supervisors “knew or should have known” that Chaffetz’s personal information was being accessed,
Fear not, however, says Department of Homeland Security boss Jeh Johnson. Because he is confident that Secret Service head, Joe Clancy:
“will take appropriate action to hold accountable those who violated any laws or the policies of this department.”
Which sounds real good and real tough. But, then, we learn from Carol D. Leonnig and Jerry Markon, at the Washington Post, that Director Clancy:
... knew that unflattering, private information about a congressman was circulating among agency staff members before it was leaked to the news media, contrary to an earlier statement made to federal investigators, according to two government officials briefed on the investigation.
So, when Johnson says, “Activities like those described in the [IG’s] report must not, and will not, be tolerated,” Does that mean that all the guilty, to include Director Clancy, will pay a hard price? Or will things work out with the Secret Service the way they did at the IRS, the VA, and all those other agencies where, we have been told, intolerable conduct will not be tolerated … except when it is. Which is, pretty much, all the time.
Jay Cost, in this wonderful piece, What the Hell Is Going On? tries to account for The fraying of the national political consensus.
Could be, in part, because the government operates, almost routinely, as a law unto itself.
Oct 5, 2015, Vol. 21, No. 04 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
On a recent Saturday afternoon in Washington, several hundred children with cancer and their families filled Lafayette Square, across the street from the White House. They came from all over the country, and from Canada, to participate in a two-day program called CureFest for Childhood Cancer.
8:14 AM, Jul 13, 2015 • By JERYL BIER
As he has for much of his post-presidency, Bill Clinton was on the road again in June, traveling to Europe at the end of the month for various conferences and other public appearances. After a few days in London, the president popped over to Paris for a day or two to shop at Hermès, a well-known luxury boutique. Such trips, however, do not come cheap. Hotel contracts for the president's Secret Service team for the Paris leg of the trip alone came to over $48,000.
1:23 PM, Apr 12, 2015 • By DANIEL HALPER
The Secret Service scrambled this afternoon at an unidentified 4-year-old managed to climb under a White House fence.
"4 year old child climbed under temporary bike rack along PA Ave. Child was fine and was safely reunited with parents," Secret Service spokesman Brian Leary told the White House pool reporter.
An earlier pool report detailed the scramble:
"Pool loaded the vans at 12:38 pm and motorcade is rolling at 12:51 pm to an undisclosed location.
7:17 AM, Apr 1, 2015 • By JERYL BIER
Citing a lack of cooperation from the Secret Service, Chairman Jason Chaffetz of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform issued subpoenas for two Secret Service agents to testify to the committee about recent security breaches and other disfunction at the agency.
The road goes on forever, and the party never ends.1:05 PM, Mar 15, 2015 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Busy week for Washington and the political class it succors. So busy that a headline screaming for the attention of our leaders came and went barely leaving a footprint.
7:01 AM, Jan 22, 2015 • By DANIEL HALPER
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave a couple paid speeches in Canada yesterday. She was reportedly accompanied by 65 agents of the United States Secret Service to at least one of the events.
The agents were presumably on hand to help keep the former first lady safe.
The news of Clinton's large Secret Service contigent was reported by CJME News Talk 980, a co-sponsor of the event.
Jan 26, 2015, Vol. 20, No. 19 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
The Scrapbook was recently witness to a harmonic convergence. It began the other evening as we set out, on foot, from The Weekly Standard offices to dinner at a restaurant two blocks east of the White House. It was a cold night and, wrapped securely against the wind in overcoat, scarf, gloves, and tweed cap, The Scrapbook strode confidently across the infamous K Street, along nearby Farragut Square, and then turned left at H Street to cut through Lafayette Park.
11:24 PM, Oct 8, 2014 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
The Washington Post's Carol Leonnig has the details of yet another damaging Obama scandal:
As nearly two dozen Secret Service agents and members of the military were punished or fired following a 2012 prostitution scandal in Colombia, Obama administration officials repeatedly denied that anyone from the White House was involved.
But new details drawn from government documents and interviews show that senior White House aides were given information at the time suggesting that a prostitute was an overnight guest in the hotel room of a presidential advance-team member — yet that information was never thoroughly investigated or publicly acknowledged.
As bad as that is, it gets much worse:
3:19 PM, Oct 1, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
The director of the Secret Service has resigned, according to a press release from DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson:
Today Julia Pierson, the Director of the United States Secret Service, offered her resignation, and I accepted it. I salute her 30 years of distinguished service to the Secret Service and the Nation.
Aug 4, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 44 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
Last week, while Israel, Gaza, Ukraine, Iraq, and Syria burned, and the immigration crisis intensified along the Texas-Mexico border, President Obama was hard at work for two days in Los Angeles raising funds for the Democratic party.
9:25 AM, Mar 29, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
A local news affiliate in Idaho reports that the Obama daughters are spending Spring Break skiing at Sun Valley:
3:50 PM, Mar 27, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
At the swearing in ceremony for the new head of the Secret Service, Joe Biden said "my agents are excited …we picked her." Secret Service director Julia Pierson is the woman Biden was referring to.