Secret Service debacles

After a string of scandals and failures involving the agency’s key duty of protecting the president and first family, President Barack Obama was urged to appoint an outsider to head the Secret Service.

A hard-nosed stranger to the Secret Service’s good-old-boy and -girl network was needed to clean up the agency, Obama was told by some advisers. He ignored that advice, naming veteran Secret Service official Joseph Clancy as director.

In doing that, the president displayed faith in the Secret Service’s professionalism. He also demonstrated loyalty to the men and women of the agency.

Too bad some of them did not reciprocate.

Last week two senior agents, including Mark Connolly, who holds the No. 2 post on Obama’s personal security detail, returned to the White House one night after drinking with other agents at a bar.

Their car hit a security barrier at the executive mansion.

The two agents reportedly interfered with the handling of a bomb threat. Security officers at the scene wanted to arrest Connolly and the other agent, but were told not to do so.

Clearly – by definition, in fact – Clancy has failed to impress upon all Secret Service agents that certain types of misbehavior and incompetence are unacceptable.

Connolly and the other agent should be discharged. Clancy should be demoted and replaced with the outsider Obama aides recommended. Protecting the president of the United States, his family and other top government officials is simply too important for the attitude displayed by some in the Secret Service to be tolerated.