Right Hooks

Secret Service Hitmen Get Slap on the Wrist

Most miscreants who targeted Rep. Chaffetz will get suspension.

Jordan Candler · Nov. 18, 2015

They say the best way to ensure a permanent job is to become a government employee. Whether we’re talking about the IRS or the VA, the adage is truer than ever. Both agencies have tolerated and even rewarded insidious behavior. Well, now you can add to the list a third federal bureaucracy — the Secret Service. Recall that the agency has made a mockery of itself and even jeopardized national security under the Obama administration. For example, agents rendezvoused with prostitutes in Colombia and allowed a knife-wielding man to breach the White House perimeter. It’s no wonder Rep. Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, initiated a probe earlier this year. But in an almost surreal twist, dozens of agents retaliated by exposing confidential information on Chaffetz. It was nothing less than a smear campaign designed to punish the enforcer. Did we mention it is also illegal?

This week, a very “apologetic” Secret Service Director Joseph P. Clancy revealed what his agency plans to do about it. “I would like to publicly renew my apology for this breach of trust and affirm my commitment to restoring it,” he told Congress, adding he’s “determined to ensure all employees are held to the highest standard of professional conduct.” However, the punishment, as reported by the Associated Press, isn’t exactly what we would call hardline: “Clancy said most agents were receiving between three and 12 days of suspension. Supervisors have not yet been disciplined, which Clancy said could range from a letter of reprimand to being fired.” Rep. Scott Perry, obviously befuddled, responded, “The toughest disciplinary action right now is not a loss or revocation of your security clearance, is not a loss of your employment — it’s 12 days suspension.” Our own Mark Alexander considers the Secret Service’s attempt at intimidating a sitting Congressman tantamount to IRS targeting, only this was more specific and more egregious by a law enforcement agency. The incident, he says, ranks right up there with the worst sabotages of any member of Congress. Giving miscreants a slap on the wrist and calling it “punishment” is exactly why Americans have next to no trust in the federal government.

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