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What do the agents who protect the most powerful man in the world do before he arrives in a foreign country? Apparently they party and get hammered. While I imagine being a Secret Service agent is a pretty cool job, the amount of downtime spent mindlessly hanging around in foreign countries would drive me to drinking, too.
Just as Obama began his weeklong trip across Europe and Asia, three of his Secret Service agents were sent home from the Netherlands, where they were supposed to act as part of the president’s advance security team. According to news reports, one agent was severely intoxicated. A hotel staffer who felt the need to end his career reported the incident to the United States Embassy. Two other agents who were stationed with him were sent home because they failed to keep an eye on their drunken coworker and control his behavior. While it seems like a grade school tactic used by teachers to control their ADHD-filled classrooms, when you’re in a position that requires you to protect the POTUS, you better stick together as a team or else everyone will go down. It’s not a situation the bosses back in D.C. will overlook.
The agents were sent to the Netherlands ahead of the president to set up the security systems necessary to keep him safe. They were reportedly part of the counter assault team, assigned to protecting the president should he come under attack. With possibly the most badass job in the Secret Service, these agents are tasked with riding with the president in his motorcade and are to repel any attackers should someone fire at the president.
Unfortunately for the Secret Service, this isn’t their first screw up–but it’s certainly not their worst. In 2012, they were rocked by the higher-ups in Washington when agents sent to Colombia (to set up security ahead of another one of Obama’s foreign trips) were caught bringing prostitutes and foreign nationals back to their hotel rooms following a night of raging.
Every time I read a story like this, it depresses me to think about the world of real responsibilities and sobriety that looms ahead of me. We should all drink a little extra tonight in honor of the troubled agents, not that any of you needed another reason.