Racial quotas, political correctness ignite scandals: the Secret Service, Ft. Hood, GSA.
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Or was there another, infinitely more serious problem that resulted in these agents being in the Secret Service in the first place?
Here are two much earlier instances of trouble on high profile trips that were handled quite differently.
First. When Vice President George H.W. Bush traveled to the Philippines for the inauguration of Ferdinand Marcos in 1981 — Bush’s first official trip as vice president — several members of the White House Communications Agency (WHCA) were along to support the communications end of the trip. They were, as all White House staffers know, members of the Army Signal Corps. What happened? A handful vanished prior to the then-Vice President’s arrival. MIA. Found eventually to have been drunk, in the company of prostitutes, their U.S. government IDs lost. What happened? Out. On the spot. returned to Washington and never, professionally speaking, heard from again.
Second. On another vice presidential trip in the Reagan-Bush era, this one to Moscow at the height of the Cold War, a naval aide managed to get himself in a compromising position with a Russian woman. This was incredibly taboo. The Philippines, at least, was an ally. As tensions were incredibly high with the Soviet Union, this was a country where the stakes were infinitely higher. The Vice President was already on the ground. What to do? Check first that the codes in the naval officer’s possession were secure (they were)… then he too was gone. Outta there on the spot. Again, professional toast.
In other words, to clean up the vernacular, bad things happen. Humans are imperfect no matter the generation or the qualification.
Here’s the problem., however. When you have, as our source says, “entire complements of personnel working in high positions who should never have been hired in the first place as they were not qualified, and add to that the viperous mix of the generational issues and you have a disaster waiting in the wings.”
This source cites the presence of Reid as one of the original plaintiffs in a discrimination lawsuit filed in 2000 by Agent Reginald Moore, an African American. The suit, charging the Secret Service with racial discrimination and discussed here, is still ongoing over a decade later, although Reid finally withdrew as a plaintiff. While the lawsuit surfaced disagreement even among black agents (the story cited above in the Chicago Tribune reports a black agent in charge of the Oklahoma Field Office as saying that “the agency portrayed in the lawsuit does not resemble the place he’s worked for 19 years”), there is a decided belief, according to the Spectator source, that the net effect of the suit was that “the bar was lowered significantly” across the board when it came to standards of admission. Americans are by now well familiar in the Age of Political Correctness with lawsuits brought that wind up benefitting the person or persons suing. There may or may not be direct financial gain in terms of an award. But there can be professional gain, promotions achieved that might not otherwise be achieved simply because the government agency (or private company) feels it is easiest to “settle” and end the matter.
In fact, earlier in this campaign season, when the issue of alleged sexual harassment against then-GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain was raised, an issue that came about because of a suit filed against him when he ran the National Restaurant Association, there were numerous media reports (like this one) saying some version of this:
“Lawsuits are so expensive to defend that it makes good business sense to settle even the most frivolous cases. And businesses do.”
The U.S. government, alas, has a bottomless pit of cash (or thinks it does). So it can fight on forever if it chooses. Still and all, as those who accused Herman Cain of sexual harassment well know, they received their fifteen minutes of fame and more so, doubtless burnishing their names in some quarters.
In government circles it is entirely conceivable that suits are brought to insist on professional advancement that might otherwise might not be achieved. Even if the suit drags on forever, if there is one thing that members of the governing class are decidedly sensitive to in any administration it is the impression that they are somehow involved in racial or gender discrimination. They may not give a whit about the money… the money, after all, isn’t theirs. But be pegged as racists or sexists? When their administration has to get votes from minorities and women? Not good. So, they can bend.
And in this case, the case of the Secret Service, the question is: Did the Secret Service, as our source suggests, bend because of racial considerations? In fact bend so far that standards not simply for minorities or women but for everybody were lowered. Resulting in a crew of Secret Service agents screwing up (so to speak) in Colombia when in fact the closest they should have ever been to a Secret Service agent is watching Clint Eastwood play one in the movies.
Lending credence to this scenario, says our source, is that Director Sullivan, described as a “weak” leader surrounding himself with equally weak subordinates, “was overheard at a cocktail party at the end of last year bragging about [how] the academy class of new agents in progress at the time was overwhelmingly filled with minorities. An event he seemed to be very pleased about as opposed to having been heard to say that this class of new agents is the most qualified, best scored group we have had in a generation!”
Indeed, our source says Miami SAC Reid has a reputation as a “true radical black woman.” According to one interesting nugget in the Washington Post, Reid came to the Secret Service through “an NAACP job fair that sought to encourage minority applicants for law enforcement jobs.” The NAACP, once a beacon of equal opportunity, has now earned a considerable reputation in the eyes of some as nothing more than a home for far left-wing politics and its camp followers. Was Agent Reid one of those followers? The Post does not say.
Notably, in a classic of liberal journalism, the Washington Post story hails Reid as a “rising supervisor”… while burying crucial information about her performance well into the story. Wrote the Post sympathetically of Reid’s rise to be the head of the Miami Field Office:
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online