topic
Can't They Just Behave?

Introduced: April 17 2012

 With recent Secret Service hijinks in Columbia and the GSA fling in Las Vegas...what is it about being in a responsible position that people don't get? The setting in Cartegena, Columbia (photo at right) is very seductive. But what do you think about the agents who took a wrong turn there? Or the agency itself? Does this type of incident reflect on the American character and does it affect the image and the influence of the U.S.? Why does it happen? What can be done?

Dialogue on Can't They Just Behave?
076:

I noticed, as did the member #15 (comment posted April 26) , that people were wondering whether having more women in the Secret Service would make a difference – and IWD noted that some say the percentage of women is 25% and others say it’s 11%. I found the answer to that. According to MSNBC, women are 25% of all Secret Service employees, but only 11% of uniformed officers are female. Is the percentage of Secret Service agents who are women – 25% -- unusual? I also learned that 19% of FBI agents are women and only 9.7% of DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) agents are women.

227:

The comment from Member #112 (posted April 26) is so true. This scandal sounds more like frat boys on Spring Break. It absolutely does not fit my image of the Secret Service, and I really appreciate the personal insights of the person who is married to an ex-Secret Service agent (also posted April 26). After all the devotion and all the sacrifices their family probably made to accommodate his work schedule, they should still feel proud of a job well done. The recent incident does not reflect on all the great agents.

IWD Member:

Note from IWD: The first comment in this dialogue comes from an IWD member who is married to a former Secret Service Agent.


The storm rocking the US Secret Service producing disquieting headlines and scandalous stories all week has created a tsunami in our own home. Waves of shock, denial, anger, disgust and betrayal have washed over Jim like stages of grieving. His retirement from the USSS more than 25 years ago has not diminished his loyalty to its mission or his belief in the professional and personal integrity of its agents. These men and women who have dedicated themselves to the service of the country and taking a bullet if necessary have been betrayed by the spectacular failure of a few. These agents so lacking professional and personal integrity have done irreparable damage to the agency and tarnished the reputation of all who took seriously the trust and duty given them.


The fury of dedicated agents who had to miss countless holidays, birthdays and anniversaries, work endless round-the-clock shifts and travel in the belly of a cargo plane is understandable. Their reputation has become perilously close to the joke Jim has heard all week: "Have you been to Colombia?"


The Retired Agents Organization will continue to award scholarships and assist survivor's children, the Special Agent who saved Ronald Reagan's life will continue to give the invocation for a local Little League Opening Day ceremonies as he has for more than 20 years, and Jim will reclaim his calm. But he has issued a warning to those disgraced agents...they'd better not cross his path!

210:

It’s a shocker! Is there no public institution – church, schools, athletics, corporations, Congress that is immune from this kind of scandal???



Note from IWD: We recommend viewing this balanced discussion of the Secret Service scandal and related examples of people in authority abusing their position. http://abcnews.go.com/ThisWeek/video/roundtable-secret-service-scandal-16189791


 

285:

After someone on IWD suggested the book on the Secret Service – I started reading it, just before this scandal broke. In fact, I was at the part in the book that describes some of the working conditions (long hours, lack of influence over where someone is stationed, the drain on family life, etc.) Not that being under stress and living a very demanding lifestyle is an excuse, but I wondered if it is a contributing factor. It seems that whenever people are living in a rigid, tightly controlled way of life, where they have a lot of expectations and little free choice, some people will rebel by breaking the rules. Emphasis on “some” people!



Note from IWD: The book is "In the President's Secret Service" by Ronald Kessler. See more IWD book recommendations http://www.iwdialogue.com/books

311:

I tend to agree with Peggy Noonan who wrote in the Wall Street Journal that the Secret Service incident and the GSA scandal are two more in a series of events that indicate an overall decline in character. (She says in the U.S., but I think it might be everywhere.) http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303513404577354221282508372.html%20

112:

Don't you wonder how many other times this has also taken place? And, do we even want to know? Big boys away from home spending taxpayer money. Who can we trust if we can't trust the Secret Service?

015:

Some people are suggesting the Secret Service needs more females in its ranks. They point to the fact that the first person to report the episode to the “higher-ups” was a long-time and highly respected agent named Paula Reid. Was this a direct result of her being a female – or was it a coincidence? Hard to know – but it will be interesting to watch her career at the Secret Service from here, so I’m going to put her name in IWD’s “Who’s Worth Watching.”



Note from IWD: How many women are in the Secret Service? Two different numbers are being circulated. In a conversation with U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan said that 11% of Secret Service agents are women. A 2010 Equal Opportunity Employment Commission report stated that 25% of the Secret Service were women. Reportedly, there are at least two deputy assistant directors who are women – the head of the legal department and the head of the Paris field office.

203:

Whether a man or a woman, let’s hear it for an individual who is willing to stand up and take action when something isn’t right.

223:

I am not one of those people who feel that men are all bad and women are always good. Sometimes I think that two factors are at work when we see men continually involved in scandals: First, they have more opportunity, because men still overwhelmingly fill positions where people have the opportunity to act inappropriately. Second, our society sends messages to men that this is the way men are.

088:

So many of the stories of people behaving badly seem to involve men. Just when you’re beginning to think that men have a unique problem, you’ll hear about something involving women. Example is what I saw on television today about a father who sent his autistic son to school wearing a recorder so he could hear how his teachers treated him. The teachers – both women – were heard on tape speaking in a derogatory manner to the 10-year-old and one called him a “bastard.” So…what is it people in all kind of situations don’t GET about living and working in a world where people find out what you do, even if you think they won’t.

016:

I thought this article was somewhat relevant, although it dates back to the situation at Penn State. The author of the article feels that the “brotherhood” culture prevented officials in the athletic department and the school administration from dealing with Sandusky properly – and that it would have been dealt with differently if any women administrators had been involved. I don’t know. http://chronicle.com/article/Its-a-Guy-Thing-at-Penn/129860/%20

076:

I noticed, as did the member #15 (comment posted April 26) , that people were wondering whether having more women in the Secret Service would make a difference – and IWD noted that some say the percentage of women is 25% and others say it’s 11%. I found the answer to that. According to MSNBC, women are 25% of all Secret Service employees, but only 11% of uniformed officers are female. Is the percentage of Secret Service agents who are women – 25% -- unusual? I also learned that 19% of FBI agents are women and only 9.7% of DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) agents are women.

227:

The comment from Member #112 (posted April 26) is so true. This scandal sounds more like frat boys on Spring Break. It absolutely does not fit my image of the Secret Service, and I really appreciate the personal insights of the person who is married to an ex-Secret Service agent (also posted April 26). After all the devotion and all the sacrifices their family probably made to accommodate his work schedule, they should still feel proud of a job well done. The recent incident does not reflect on all the great agents.

IWD Member:

Note from IWD: The first comment in this dialogue comes from an IWD member who is married to a former Secret Service Agent.


The storm rocking the US Secret Service producing disquieting headlines and scandalous stories all week has created a tsunami in our own home. Waves of shock, denial, anger, disgust and betrayal have washed over Jim like stages of grieving. His retirement from the USSS more than 25 years ago has not diminished his loyalty to its mission or his belief in the professional and personal integrity of its agents. These men and women who have dedicated themselves to the service of the country and taking a bullet if necessary have been betrayed by the spectacular failure of a few. These agents so lacking professional and personal integrity have done irreparable damage to the agency and tarnished the reputation of all who took seriously the trust and duty given them.


The fury of dedicated agents who had to miss countless holidays, birthdays and anniversaries, work endless round-the-clock shifts and travel in the belly of a cargo plane is understandable. Their reputation has become perilously close to the joke Jim has heard all week: "Have you been to Colombia?"


The Retired Agents Organization will continue to award scholarships and assist survivor's children, the Special Agent who saved Ronald Reagan's life will continue to give the invocation for a local Little League Opening Day ceremonies as he has for more than 20 years, and Jim will reclaim his calm. But he has issued a warning to those disgraced agents...they'd better not cross his path!

210:

It’s a shocker! Is there no public institution – church, schools, athletics, corporations, Congress that is immune from this kind of scandal???



Note from IWD: We recommend viewing this balanced discussion of the Secret Service scandal and related examples of people in authority abusing their position. http://abcnews.go.com/ThisWeek/video/roundtable-secret-service-scandal-16189791


 

285:

After someone on IWD suggested the book on the Secret Service – I started reading it, just before this scandal broke. In fact, I was at the part in the book that describes some of the working conditions (long hours, lack of influence over where someone is stationed, the drain on family life, etc.) Not that being under stress and living a very demanding lifestyle is an excuse, but I wondered if it is a contributing factor. It seems that whenever people are living in a rigid, tightly controlled way of life, where they have a lot of expectations and little free choice, some people will rebel by breaking the rules. Emphasis on “some” people!



Note from IWD: The book is "In the President's Secret Service" by Ronald Kessler. See more IWD book recommendations http://www.iwdialogue.com/books

311:

I tend to agree with Peggy Noonan who wrote in the Wall Street Journal that the Secret Service incident and the GSA scandal are two more in a series of events that indicate an overall decline in character. (She says in the U.S., but I think it might be everywhere.) http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303513404577354221282508372.html%20

112:

Don't you wonder how many other times this has also taken place? And, do we even want to know? Big boys away from home spending taxpayer money. Who can we trust if we can't trust the Secret Service?

015:

Some people are suggesting the Secret Service needs more females in its ranks. They point to the fact that the first person to report the episode to the “higher-ups” was a long-time and highly respected agent named Paula Reid. Was this a direct result of her being a female – or was it a coincidence? Hard to know – but it will be interesting to watch her career at the Secret Service from here, so I’m going to put her name in IWD’s “Who’s Worth Watching.”



Note from IWD: How many women are in the Secret Service? Two different numbers are being circulated. In a conversation with U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan said that 11% of Secret Service agents are women. A 2010 Equal Opportunity Employment Commission report stated that 25% of the Secret Service were women. Reportedly, there are at least two deputy assistant directors who are women – the head of the legal department and the head of the Paris field office.

203:

Whether a man or a woman, let’s hear it for an individual who is willing to stand up and take action when something isn’t right.

223:

I am not one of those people who feel that men are all bad and women are always good. Sometimes I think that two factors are at work when we see men continually involved in scandals: First, they have more opportunity, because men still overwhelmingly fill positions where people have the opportunity to act inappropriately. Second, our society sends messages to men that this is the way men are.

088:

So many of the stories of people behaving badly seem to involve men. Just when you’re beginning to think that men have a unique problem, you’ll hear about something involving women. Example is what I saw on television today about a father who sent his autistic son to school wearing a recorder so he could hear how his teachers treated him. The teachers – both women – were heard on tape speaking in a derogatory manner to the 10-year-old and one called him a “bastard.” So…what is it people in all kind of situations don’t GET about living and working in a world where people find out what you do, even if you think they won’t.

016:

I thought this article was somewhat relevant, although it dates back to the situation at Penn State. The author of the article feels that the “brotherhood” culture prevented officials in the athletic department and the school administration from dealing with Sandusky properly – and that it would have been dealt with differently if any women administrators had been involved. I don’t know. http://chronicle.com/article/Its-a-Guy-Thing-at-Penn/129860/%20

016:

I thought this article was somewhat relevant, although it dates back to the situation at Penn State. The author of the article feels that the “brotherhood” culture prevented officials in the athletic department and the school administration from dealing with Sandusky properly – and that it would have been dealt with differently if any women administrators had been involved. I don’t know. http://chronicle.com/article/Its-a-Guy-Thing-at-Penn/129860/%20

088:

So many of the stories of people behaving badly seem to involve men. Just when you’re beginning to think that men have a unique problem, you’ll hear about something involving women. Example is what I saw on television today about a father who sent his autistic son to school wearing a recorder so he could hear how his teachers treated him. The teachers – both women – were heard on tape speaking in a derogatory manner to the 10-year-old and one called him a “bastard.” So…what is it people in all kind of situations don’t GET about living and working in a world where people find out what you do, even if you think they won’t.

223:

I am not one of those people who feel that men are all bad and women are always good. Sometimes I think that two factors are at work when we see men continually involved in scandals: First, they have more opportunity, because men still overwhelmingly fill positions where people have the opportunity to act inappropriately. Second, our society sends messages to men that this is the way men are.

203:

Whether a man or a woman, let’s hear it for an individual who is willing to stand up and take action when something isn’t right.

015:

Some people are suggesting the Secret Service needs more females in its ranks. They point to the fact that the first person to report the episode to the “higher-ups” was a long-time and highly respected agent named Paula Reid. Was this a direct result of her being a female – or was it a coincidence? Hard to know – but it will be interesting to watch her career at the Secret Service from here, so I’m going to put her name in IWD’s “Who’s Worth Watching.”



Note from IWD: How many women are in the Secret Service? Two different numbers are being circulated. In a conversation with U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan said that 11% of Secret Service agents are women. A 2010 Equal Opportunity Employment Commission report stated that 25% of the Secret Service were women. Reportedly, there are at least two deputy assistant directors who are women – the head of the legal department and the head of the Paris field office.

112:

Don't you wonder how many other times this has also taken place? And, do we even want to know? Big boys away from home spending taxpayer money. Who can we trust if we can't trust the Secret Service?

311:

I tend to agree with Peggy Noonan who wrote in the Wall Street Journal that the Secret Service incident and the GSA scandal are two more in a series of events that indicate an overall decline in character. (She says in the U.S., but I think it might be everywhere.) http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303513404577354221282508372.html%20

285:

After someone on IWD suggested the book on the Secret Service – I started reading it, just before this scandal broke. In fact, I was at the part in the book that describes some of the working conditions (long hours, lack of influence over where someone is stationed, the drain on family life, etc.) Not that being under stress and living a very demanding lifestyle is an excuse, but I wondered if it is a contributing factor. It seems that whenever people are living in a rigid, tightly controlled way of life, where they have a lot of expectations and little free choice, some people will rebel by breaking the rules. Emphasis on “some” people!



Note from IWD: The book is "In the President's Secret Service" by Ronald Kessler. See more IWD book recommendations http://www.iwdialogue.com/books

210:

It’s a shocker! Is there no public institution – church, schools, athletics, corporations, Congress that is immune from this kind of scandal???



Note from IWD: We recommend viewing this balanced discussion of the Secret Service scandal and related examples of people in authority abusing their position. http://abcnews.go.com/ThisWeek/video/roundtable-secret-service-scandal-16189791


 

IWD Member:

Note from IWD: The first comment in this dialogue comes from an IWD member who is married to a former Secret Service Agent.


The storm rocking the US Secret Service producing disquieting headlines and scandalous stories all week has created a tsunami in our own home. Waves of shock, denial, anger, disgust and betrayal have washed over Jim like stages of grieving. His retirement from the USSS more than 25 years ago has not diminished his loyalty to its mission or his belief in the professional and personal integrity of its agents. These men and women who have dedicated themselves to the service of the country and taking a bullet if necessary have been betrayed by the spectacular failure of a few. These agents so lacking professional and personal integrity have done irreparable damage to the agency and tarnished the reputation of all who took seriously the trust and duty given them.


The fury of dedicated agents who had to miss countless holidays, birthdays and anniversaries, work endless round-the-clock shifts and travel in the belly of a cargo plane is understandable. Their reputation has become perilously close to the joke Jim has heard all week: "Have you been to Colombia?"


The Retired Agents Organization will continue to award scholarships and assist survivor's children, the Special Agent who saved Ronald Reagan's life will continue to give the invocation for a local Little League Opening Day ceremonies as he has for more than 20 years, and Jim will reclaim his calm. But he has issued a warning to those disgraced agents...they'd better not cross his path!

227:

The comment from Member #112 (posted April 26) is so true. This scandal sounds more like frat boys on Spring Break. It absolutely does not fit my image of the Secret Service, and I really appreciate the personal insights of the person who is married to an ex-Secret Service agent (also posted April 26). After all the devotion and all the sacrifices their family probably made to accommodate his work schedule, they should still feel proud of a job well done. The recent incident does not reflect on all the great agents.

076:

I noticed, as did the member #15 (comment posted April 26) , that people were wondering whether having more women in the Secret Service would make a difference – and IWD noted that some say the percentage of women is 25% and others say it’s 11%. I found the answer to that. According to MSNBC, women are 25% of all Secret Service employees, but only 11% of uniformed officers are female. Is the percentage of Secret Service agents who are women – 25% -- unusual? I also learned that 19% of FBI agents are women and only 9.7% of DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) agents are women.

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