Monday, April 16, 2012

Secret Service in the fishbowl

Recent news reports indicate that 11 members of a Secret Service detail along with 5 military members were involved in a prostitution scandal. They were in Columbia as part of the advance team assigned to protect our President. The President has indicated that if the reports are true, then he will be angry, and that the individuals involved are representing the USA and should maintain the highest standards.  Agreed!

But my concern is that the emphasis so far seems to be on the fact that they’re not representing us well, and that even though the President wasn’t there, and they weren’t directly assigned to him, that the behavior was unacceptable for someone in that capacity.

Excuse me… drunken behavior that results in the police being called, and hiring prostitutes should be unacceptable behavior for anyone.  Once again it seems that the issue is not what they might have done, but that they got caught, and the behavior was made public. And oh yeah, very rarely does the first time someone gets caught correspond to the first time they engage in the behavior.

Why aren’t we hearing that working in the sex industry does irreparable harm to people, and robs them of the dignity that everyone should have. Where is the outrage that prostitution “isn’t illegal” in Cartagena? Why aren’t people talking about broken relationships and lost trust because of marital infidelity? Why aren’t we hearing more about responsible drinking? Where are the reminders that promiscuity, legal or not, means a higher probability of STDs?

Where do people get the idea that they’re above the rules? Above the law? Above God’s law? Why do we think that just because we’re away from home that we can do things that we wouldn’t do at home.  I’m thinking that if I wouldn’t do something here because I would be ashamed to have my wife, my son, my church family, my neighbors, my friends, or my co-workers see it, then I shouldn’t feel free to engage in that behavior some place where no one knows me.  But that’s me.

I’m sorry there’s going to be an investigation. The money that Congress will spend in their efforts to find out if there is a problem, could be better utilized in fixing the problems that we already know exist.

1 comment:

  1. If you would have told me two years ago that I'd be standing in agreement with you on this, I don't think I'd have believed it. However having lived through the nightmare I have for the things I did, I see things differently now. Sadly, I'm sure not much thought was given to the things you speak of at the time the incidents took place. I think it comes as a part of selfish behavior, getting caught up in a moment, and having your own moral compass pointing a few points away from where it should be.

    I can add a bit though, having been in the military, about DoD's stand on these types of things. They provide training to every service member on a regular basis about these issues. They have a policy of Combatting Trafficking in Human Persons. I'm sure that at least for the service members in question, that punishment will be severe. I'm also sure that from the top down, those policies will be reinforced over the coming weeks and months. I know that when we deployed to areas where prostitution was legal, it was made very clear to us that it wasn't for us.

    I've seen the destruction this kind of behavior can cause first hand and there's not anything I wouldn't do to change my past. But I do see the error of my ways and stand with you in identifying what's wrong here. It's not that they got caught. The real problem is that they thought it was OK in the first place.