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article imageOp-Ed: Secret Service ethics higher than presidents'?

By Larry Clifton     Apr 16, 2012 in Politics
Is it fair that secret service agents are held to higher standards than presidents and presidential candidates? Media provides too little perspective for such an important ethics issue.
President Obama said Sunday that if Secret Service agents solicited prostitutes in Colombia, "Then of course I'll be angry." Sounds like heads are going to roll, right?
But, why should heads roll? Presidents and presidential candidates aren’t held to such high standards – which seems backwards and glaringly hypocritical.
Shouldn’t presidents and presidential candidates at the very least be held to ethical standards as stringent as the agents sworn to protect them? What would President Bill Clinton have to say if this had happened on his watch?
Prostitution isn’t illegal in Columbia where these men partook in romance for fee. Perhaps the lone secret service agent who wouldn’t pony up less than $50 for services rendered should be suspended but should the rest face losing their apparently cushy government jobs? Is that fair?
Dwight Eisenhower, as unlikely as it may seem, is alleged to have had an affair with his personal secretary, Kay Summersby. Letters from Eisenhower surfaced that spoke of him divorcing the lovely Mrs. Eisenhower – but he wasn’t suspended and didn’t even get divorced.
And how can we talk about presidential affairs without mentioning President John F. Kennedy? His legendary affair with Marilyn Monroe comes to mind. Remember her smoking hot rendition of “Happy Birthday” that she sang to him during a Democratic fund raiser in May of 1962?
When comparing the secret service to the men they serve, it would be remiss not to mention brother Ted Kennedy, the former "liberal lion” of the Senate and perpetual candidate for the presidency. Scandals? Take your pick from arranging to rent a brothel “for an entire night” for his Santiago entourage in 1961 to Mary Jo Kopechne drowning in his car after a party in 1969. Kennedy’s “ethics” were called into question because he hid until morning before calling his attorney. No suspension there. Not even a slap on the wrist.
How about that picture of SenatorGary Hart posing with 29-year-old model, Donna Rice, his hand on her well-tanned thigh, while cruising on a yacht during his presidential campaign in 1987? Sure, he voluntarily dropped out of the race, but he didn’t get suspended and today he is a homeland security consultant.
Perhaps more time and money was wasted covering up former President Bill Clinton and former presidential front-runner John Edwards’ sex scandals than any other politicians. They each lied publically to the American people, under oath and to just about everyone in the world with a television set.
For his part, Bill Clinton went on to a second term and Edwards, who actually lived a double life while campaigning - complete with child - is only now being prosecuted for making secret payments from wealthy campaign donors to hide his pregnant mistress. He faces no charges related to having sex with the “mistress.”
Now fast forward to Secret Service Gate – talk about blatant hypocrisy.
Perhaps President Obama will confer with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on what the definition of is, is, before taking further disciplinary action. Just hope he’s ready to duck when lamps start flying.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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