Report: House panel finds Secret Service rife with problems

3 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

More Security Lapses by Secret Service Disclosed.

A congressional panel said it has uncovered an array of previously unknown security lapses by the Secret Service showing the agency is “in crisis’’ and needs major changes.In one email exchange uncovered by the committee, at least one agent was cavalier about his intentions for Obama’s April 2012 trip to Cartagena, Colombia, where Secret Service officials were later found to have hired prostitutes. “Swagg cologne-check/Pimp gear-check/Swagg sunglassescheck/Cash fo dem hoes-check,” the unnamed agent wrote, according to the report.

He later added to the exchange, “Plenty of magnums … double check!” The report says that the Secret Service’s lack of manpower, low morale and questions of leadership still haunt the agency despite assurances that improvements have been made. “Since [the Cartegena scandal], several incidents have made it abundantly clear that USSS is in crisis,” the report says. “The agency’s weaknesses have been exposed by a series of security failures at the White House, during presidential visits, and at the residences of other officials, including Vice President [Joe] Biden and former presidents of the United States. Jason Chaffetz (R., Utah), has been probing the agency since a 2012 scandal over agents bringing prostitutes back to their hotel rooms in Cartagena, Colombia. Chaffetz is considering legislation that would leave the service charged exclusively with protecting the president, presidential candidates and dignitaries. A previously disclosed incident in which a man pretended to be a lawmaker to get backstage at a Congressional Black Caucus event was worse than initially thought.

Last year, a Czech citizen with an expired visa was able to enter the property of a former president and remain undetected for almost an hour, the report said. The report also concluded that the last three Secret Service directors, including current head Joseph Clancy, have provided “false information’’ to the panel when questioned about incidents and operations. The committee said the service spends too much time on investigative matters like credit-card and computer fraud and not enough time on its protective duties.

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