Experts weigh in on Secret Service scandal
(WJLA) - It’s been a disruptive and frustrating 48 hours for the Secret Service after it was revealed that three agents were sent home from President Obama’s Netherlands trip when one passed out in a hotel hallway. There was also more alleged drinking by two agents who got in a car crash in Miami, though they passed sobriety tests, according to the AP.
"Most agents are brave and dedicated and would take a bullet for the president -- but on the other hand, I think it is a symptom of a cultural problem," said Ronald Kessler, author of “In the President’s Secret Service.”
Kessler claims the rare deviating from procedure -- for example, sometimes allowing people into campaign rallies without proper screening -- sets a tone:
"The pressure on these secret service agents to let these people in and sure enough, management says, 'go ahead, let them in...now what kind of message does that send?"
Some have been critical, like Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee:
'The director needs to fire them immediately."
However, others like former agent Dan Bongino have pointed out that it’s a highly successful agency with few incidents -- but when there are, they are magnified due to the high-stakes nature of the job.
"This is not a a cultural problem -- and I cannot say that enough," he said.
Though two senators on Wednesday night say Director Pierson has a lot of work to do, Kessler says:
"Julia Pierson has taken no steps whatsoever to change the culture or the corner-cutting or the laxness, but she does love to take trips with President Obama on Air Force One."