By now, you’ve heard all the salacious details of our Secret Service agents partying with some legal Columbian hookers. As expected, Maggie McNeill has a good round-up of both the pearl-clutching hysteria in the media and the more reasoned response from libertarian quarters.
Suffice it to say, the idea that this was something unusual or particularly dangerous is a bit far-fetched. I really can’t see our Secret Service compromising the President’s safety rather than have their legal whoring revealed. This crosses me as the latest, “Hey look, sex!” distraction from the economy.
In fact, I would argue that seeing whores is a safer way for the Secret Service to get their jollies than picking up girls in bars. The thing about a hooker is that you know what she wants in exchange for sex: money. Women who don’t want money; who want, say access or secrets, are the danger. Do you remember the sex for secrets scandal of the 1980’s? That didn’t involve a hooker. It involved an amateur that a marine slept with and fell for and then exchanged classified information for access to.
All that having been said, the Secret Service has rules. They specifically have rules about contacts with foreign nationals. And if these agents violated those rules, it doesn’t matter whether the rules were reasonable or not: they agreed to abide by them. If they broke them, they should be fired.
But we can do that without our President and everyone else pulling grim faces about this “disgrace”. Amped-up men in dangerous jobs like to see working girls. That’s been true forever. Let’s not pretend it’s something new or unusual. And let’s not cater to the delusions of grandeur of the reporter who broke the story and now sees himself as the next Woodward and Bernstein.