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May 22, 2002
I'VE SPENT SOME TIME over the past several months pointing out the increased arrogance and reduced professionalism of the Secret Service (here's an example). Now comes this story by Chitra Ragavan in U.S. News & World Report about an agent who exposed missing (and presumably stolen) money, unlocked evidence vaults, and other bits of sloppiness and criminality. Naturally, he's being punished.
This stuff is bad enough in peacetime. In wartime, such behavior on the part of law enforcement and intelligence operations can't be tolerated. Though exactly how this became a race-discrimination case isn't clear to me. I don't think they'd treat any whistleblower better, regardless of race. Even the agent in question says the culture at the Secret Service is that you don't tattle on your boss.
It would be nice if the culture was more along the lines of "bosses don't misbehave," though, wouldn't it?