What's the right punishment in the Secret Service scandal?
Secret Service director Mark Sullivan
April 19th, 2012
03:55 PM ET

What's the right punishment in the Secret Service scandal?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The Secret Service Colombian prostitution scandal keeps heating up, and it's unclear whether resignations of the agents at the center of it will put out the fire.

More resignations are expected this week, in addition to the three we already know about.

Eleven members of the Secret Service, including 20-year-veterans, have been implicated. They're accused of bringing at least 20 prostitutes to their hotel in Cartagena ahead of last week's visit by President Barack Obama.

As many as 10 members of the U.S. military are also being questioned about potential misconduct. This includes five members of the elite Army Special Forces.

It's a mess, and it's a national disgrace, not to mention a potential security risk for the president.

So what's being done in Washington? The House Oversight Committee is investigating. Also, there will likely be a review board set up to find out whether this was an isolated incident or part of a broader agency culture.

But some people don't think this is enough. At least one congressman, Republican Randy Forbes of Virginia, is calling for Mark Sullivan, the Secret Service director, to be fired.

Forbes says it's time to put someone else in charge to change the culture at the agency.

Mitt Romney says he'd "clean house" at the Secret Service. The likely Republican presidential nominee says he would fire the agents involved. But Romney, like Obama, says he has confidence in the director.

Sullivan has been director of the agency since May 2006. That means the 2009 security breach at the White House involving two party crashers at Obama's first state dinner also happened on his watch.

Here’s my question to you: What's the right punishment in the Secret Service scandal?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 4pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.

And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.

Posted by
Filed under: Scandals • Secret Service
soundoff (129 Responses)
  1. Ed from Harrisburg

    YES!!! Sooner, rather than later!!!!

    April 19, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
  2. tom Bulger, Canandaigua, NY

    Just because Mr. Sullivan was a Bush appointee doesn't mean he is another Brownie. If the investigation reveals that he is one of the competent people in the organization, I say we keep him. Defense Secretary Gates was a Bush appointee and he served with distinction.

    April 19, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
  3. jim in nc

    Absolutely not, he should quit. I would have resigned the first time I heard about this whole sordid business. Resign and be gone. Do us all a favor.

    April 19, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
  4. ImALibertarian

    From near Houston

    You mean along with the directors of the GSA, the Treasury and the FED? If so, then.. yeah.

    April 19, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
  5. Bill of New Mexico

    After Bill's escapades, should we even frown at this?

    April 19, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
  6. Noel Sivertson New Mexico

    No. This has, in my opinion, been blown way out of proprtion.

    The Secret Sercice director should no more be fired than my commanding officer when I was serving as a Marine in Japan in the mid 50s.

    Almost our entrie platoon went out to the local village one Saturday Night, got drunk, tore up a few bars, had our way with the local prostitues, and returned to base.

    Our commander made us pay for what damage we did plus a little, restricted us to base for a month, and let it go at that.

    But in those days the country had some sense. We weren't constantly looking to get the goods on somebody, anybody at al; like Purtians living in consranr fear that somewhere, someplace, someone is having a good time.

    Today if you want to work for the government be prepared to take vows of temperance and chastity.

    April 19, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
  7. Mel - Houston

    No, Jack, you know you can't micro-manage any business, government, agency. Jimmy Carter tried to micro-manage the government and look what happened. You'd end up with a secret secret service agent behind ever secret service agent to make sure everyone toes the line. All agent are trained to know this behavior is not appropriate. A good director will simply eliminate the agents that don't adhere to there training and move on. The last thing that a director needs to do is to put the agent on probation after an investigation and try to sweep the matter under the rug. Agency moral and cohesiveness is not an appropriate excuse.

    April 19, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
  8. lou

    You make it sound like the government is their daddy and has to punish them for being naughty. They screwed up on a job. They should be fired like anyone else who screws up on their job. Nothing more or less.

    April 19, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
  9. John from Alabama

    Jack: There were two supervisor with the Secret Service Agents they should both be fired. The Director should not be fired for there lack of supervision. The Director did not try to hide the facts in the case of inappropriate behavior. Every once in awhile be have to be fired. I believe the pulling of the security clearances and the retiring of one of the supervisors, and firing the other makes the point. The 11 agents without a clearance are useless to the Secret Service.
    There careers are over with the Secret Service or the US Treasury Department.

    April 19, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
  10. Gary in California

    No. The director should not be fired. The Secret Service has done an excellent job of protecting the most threatened POTUS in our history. Let's also not forget the good work they do protecting our currency. All these holier than thou goodie two shoes should attend boot camp, infantry school, and a few choice special operations training packages to better understand how these types of dogs are breed. If people really understood how these guys train and what they might be asked to do for our country they might be more understanding. Really Jack? All this over a few hookers. Really?

    April 19, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
  11. Ed from California

    Yep......And the all those involved need to go too, unless they're under some CBA, then suspension is in order. And their security clearance has to be cancelled as well. Jack....these Knuckleheads are on our dime and they're on the security detail for our president. I don't know how secure I'd feel with these Hoopleheads in charge of my security. Well, they did have a good job. And, Issa....should have seen this coming!! What's good for the goose, is good for the gander.

    April 19, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
  12. Ken in Pinon Hills, California

    No Jack, but I do think where harm can come to individuals or to the public, the employee should be sober, and the boss has the option hiring sober people. In the case of the agents, or most people nowadays, party means alcohol. Booze can take you on a trip you wouldn't take if sober, and those agents have a lifetime hangover of regret to ponder it.

    April 19, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
  13. Doug Ericson

    I wouldn't punish them individually, I would just eliminate the entire agency. Then I would also eliminate the FBI along with the ATF, the CIA, the Homeland Security Agency, and the CIA. Who would miss them? What do they do? Doug, Pepperell, MA.

    April 19, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
  14. ken, atlantic city, nj

    No punishment is necessary. Why can't they do what they want on their own time. Prostitution is legal in columbia. Hillary and her pals were getting drunk in a columbian bar. Someone who is drunk is more likely to give out state secrets. What is her punishment. President clinton had sex in the oval office and didn't get fired.

    April 19, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
  15. Alex in Nebraska

    Secret Service director Mark Sullivan's actions since the Columbian-presidential-visit scandal have been bang-on-the-mark in addressing a shameful behavioral anomaly. Problem is, eleven bad actors don't make for an anomaly, they make for a culture run amuck. Yes, Sullivan must be fired, if for no other reason than that his failure to resign shows he just doesn't get it.

    April 19, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
  16. Loren

    None beyond what is already part of their employment code. Sure, this behavior was embarrassing, but as civil service employees, they have certain protections and rights to due process. If the offense is fireable, then so beit, but to suggest that there should be a punishment beyond what their work rules permit is ludicrous.

    April 19, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
  17. Bizz, Quarryville Pennsylvania

    I think they should come down hard on the people that are proven guilty. They should be punished to what the law will allow them to be punished. For many many years spies have used prostitutes and blackmail to gain vital information on their enemies. If it wasn't done here they missed a golden opportunity. For the life of me I cannot understand why these men would allow themselves to be put in such a position. If they wanted to live this lifestyle they should have run for Congress.

    April 19, 2012 at 2:14 pm |

    Assigned to look for counterfeiters in Barrow, Alaska.

    April 19, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
  19. Alex in Nebraska

    Secret Service director Mark Sullivan's actions since the Columbian-presidential-visit scandal have been bang-on-the-mark in addressing a shameful behavioral anomaly. Problem is, eleven bad actors don't make for an anomaly, they make for a culture run amuck. Sullivan's punishment must be termination, if for no other reason than that his failure to resign shows he just doesn't get it.

    April 19, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
  20. Joanie Bach

    We need a new Administration as it is an ADM of EXCESS and waste and the underlings think what they are doing is okay.
    Joanie B

    April 19, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
  21. Alex in Nebraska

    The appropriate punishment for a shameful behavioral anomaly is to fire the bad actor. Problem is, eleven bad actors don't make for an anomaly, they make for a culture run amuck. Sullivan must be fired, along with the guilty agents, if for no other reason than that his failure to resign shows he just doesn't get it.

    April 19, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
  22. Gail, Plano TX.

    They should all be fired, immediately!!!

    April 19, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
  23. Gordo from NJ

    Everyone says Sullivan is a nice guy, but it is time for him to go. With foreign terrorists and people like Ted Nugent agitating for violence against the government they hate, it is time for a top-down shake-up.

    April 19, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
  24. Kim , Dodge City, Ks

    Well, in times past, the contraction of a STD would be a pretty good punishment. These guys will lose their jobs, maybe, lose their benefits and pensions, maybe, and probably get a huge payoff for the rights to the movie.

    April 19, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
  25. Dan in Albuquerque

    Jack, it's too early to answer that question. If it's determined that this was one of a continuing series of this kind of behavior, then the investigation should expand to determine if it is the same individuals in more than one, They need to lose their jobs, along with any supervisors that were on site. But, if it's more pervasive with more agents over time,, perhaps the director should go, even though he is a respected man.

    April 19, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
  26. JEN seattle wa

    The Proper Punishment is WIthdraw all bizness with Columbia since they practice debauchery as a form of legality..We should not embrace more sexploitation culture.Unfortunately , Obama loyalist are more comfortable with Pimp Culture

    April 19, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
  27. mycroft lake travis texas

    Well it depends Jack, If he personally approved the hiring of these individuals, then his judgment is somewhat in question. Given all the resources they have at their availability to screen possible employees, it's hard to imagine the men with such lack of moral integrity or weakness, did not display signs of unacceptable behavior prior to their employment. One would reason that these men, in the least, showed signs of being "Bargain Basement Shoppers", before. If the positions of any of these men become available, well I could use a job like that and with a salary like that, I wouldn't ever consider employing a prostitute, because with that kind of money, I could probably marry the woman of my dreams, before my sexual time clock expires.

    April 19, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
  28. bonnie from NJ

    What else could be done other than firing and losing your benefits, including any promised federal pension. I don't think they can be criminally prosecuted, as prostitution is legal in Columbia unless they can prove they used expense money to pay. I just hope that many of them are married or in a relationship, because although I don't want to see their mates/families hurt, the punishment they receive at home will be much worse. Why is it so many time intelligent men get in to trouble like this?

    April 19, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
  29. Susan-NJ

    If the Secret Service and military were selling secrets then the same as anyone else -prison.

    April 19, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
  30. Frank Poynton from Los Angeles

    It is evident that these "wheels up" parties are nothing new to the Secret Service entourage charged with protecting the President. Seemingly like everything else in this country these parties have grown into a mess. This incident is a terrible mess and it is time to clean house. It will all come out with the wash, but in this case the baby should be thrown out with the bath water.

    April 19, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
  31. Greg in Arkansas

    NO ONE that was involved should be fired or allowed to resign because they will hit the private sector, write a book or be hired as a "spokes-person" for the media and make tons of money.......instead, they should be transferred to the Aleutian Islands to work for a few years to contemplate their actions rather than profit form their miss-deeds.

    April 19, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
  32. Michael Bindner, Alexandria VA

    Frankly, this was all started because soom fool pulled an Arthur. He forgot or did not know he was with a prostitute – he just thought he was getting lucky and then was too cheap to pay the freight in a perfectly legal transaction. The problem was not just that they tried to support local industry (soldiers have been doing this as long as there have been soldiers – at least the prostitutes were female) – but that they were in a secure job and going out in a strange country at all. Steps should be taken to make sure that does not happen. As for the director, if he doesn not feel he needs to resign and can face the music like a big boy, he should not be fired.

    April 19, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
  33. Mark

    So I take it the President can participate in extra curricular in the oval office(CLINTON) and not get any punishment? Yet a secret service agent can't get any on the side? At least we didn't have to pay for his sexual adventure like we did for Clinton. Just another way of showing what type of peoplw are running our world. South Carolina, Charleston

    April 19, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
  34. Al in Delaware

    Your're putting the cart before the horse again. The investigation isn't even over yet and you're ready to meet out the punishment. Glad you are not a Judge.

    April 19, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
  35. Josh from New Orleans

    They were a logistics team and not protecting the president at that time so they should be punished by whatever the crime for prostitution is in Columbia.

    April 19, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
  36. Kyle S Irvine, CA

    Sounds like most of the agents involved will resign this week and that will be the end of it.

    April 19, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
  37. Mitoosense Ft Lauderdale Florida

    Cut their budget and pay in half. Force the them to kneel to Janet Reno

    April 19, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
  38. BT

    Well I'm shocked. After more than 230 years we discover the members of our military have used these paid services. The outrage of it all. Not at the service members, but at the political types moral outrage over what could hardly be a surprise. As for the Secret Service, I could care less what they do on their own time. Off duty means off duty. How many of us would like our employer to be able to control what we do or who it is with when not at work. So long as the Secret Service took care of guarding their weapons, schedules, functions, etc. from "could be" enemies or black mailers, I don't have a problem with them using these "services", even if I don't personally agree with the wisdom of the choice.

    April 19, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
  39. Ted

    Make them listen to Al Sharpton for a month.

    April 19, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
  40. Pete in Georgia

    The lack of professional integrity shown is appalling. Fire the scoundrels involved with ZERO retirement benefits following them out the door.

    April 19, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
  41. jk in MN

    Before all the "experts" weigh in, let the FBI investigate it and get the facts. IF the SS agents signed an employment agreement that banned this behavior, then they absolutely should be fired. If the head of the service (by the way, Obama wasn't President in 2006) in any way knew his agents were doing stuff like this – then absolutely he should either step down or be fired. Putting Issa's committee in charge of investigating anything doesn't give me any confidence.

    April 19, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
  42. rich in NYC

    there is no "right" punishment.

    a public lashing/ humiliation of someone so integral to the security of the president, and by default, the security of the nation, would be more damaging than beneficial in winning over public support- lest it invite the wrath of said public servant even years down the line.
    unfortunately, individuals like the current secret service director, who are "asleep at the wheel, while in charge", get promoted into oblivion, much like the military-nut writer elaine kept promoting on "Seinfeld".....
    all anyone can do is offer him an enticing enough package to go away.....
    (which translates to: he might get paid off to resign, if not now, not long from now)

    April 19, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
  43. Tom in Desoto, TX

    This sounds like the lower ranks are going to take the fall, not unlike My Lai. All involved should be sent the content of their desks to the address on file, don’t even think about trying to get into the building. Often things are layered in gray areas. Here, either you were or weren’t involved. It’s black and white. Let them go work security at a truck depot.

    April 19, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
  44. Paul in NC

    The right punishment for those directly involved is to fire them; no severance, no pension, just gone. Others were probably indirectly involved. They should have their security clearance revoked and be put into low level administrative positions with no chance of future promotion. The future of Sullivan and other senior members of the Service should be determined in a complete and thorough review of the agency's practices. And before the right wing gets a knot in their shorts over this, I'm certain that this culture developed over a period of years and predated the Obama administration.

    April 19, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
  45. wayne, va beach, va

    Firing people in charge of a department will get the attention of the subordnates for just so long. When a company starts screwing up, its usually the CEO thats replaced. Think POTUS in this case

    April 19, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
  46. Dan from Stewartstown PA

    Jack, the FBI probably knows, but if they tell you the CIA will most likely have to kill you.

    April 19, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
  47. barbara in nc

    20 year veterans? say it ain't so!!! But then, just like all civil service agencies in Washington, D.C., I am assuming they don't just "change hands" when a new person gets elected. ha ha ha ha ha

    So much for all the Obama-bashing that's been going on.

    April 19, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
  48. Karen, Idaho

    The Secret Service is the best of law enforcement. To be a member is this elite group is a privilege. To abuse this agency makes those agents undependable and unworth of their positions. They should be fired–no severance, no retirement, no nothing.

    April 19, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
  49. pat in michigan

    Fire any agents involved.Period! If it pans out that they were innocent and can prove it then alow them back in a different posting.These agents may have compromised the security of the President.Who is to say that these women didn't take pics of security info and will sell it.

    April 19, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
  50. barbara in nc

    Did the President have to resign when Vitter and Ensign pulled their little shenangans? Don't punish the ones looking into the poor judgement, fire the ones with the bad judgement. I'm sure people can remember a LOT of things (from Ike, to JFK, to Nixon, to Clinton, and on and on ad nauseum) that did similar things.

    Get a grip.

    April 19, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
  51. Jerry Jacksonville, Fl.

    They need a raise, since they had to split the cost of the call girls between two or more agents that is a disgrace to think we don't pay our secret service agents enough money to pay for their own hooker. Just think about Bobby Petrino and his mistress when Arkansas fired him he left 18 million dollars on the table, hope he had a good time.

    April 19, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
  52. Sandstone.

    "As for this (so called) scandal? Let their wives and girlfriends deal with it, it goes on all the time and everybody knows 'when playing away, spouse's will stray!"

    April 19, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
  53. EdfromMd

    They were just practicing trickle down economic, they screw you and give you a little bit of money. Why limit it to Americans?

    April 19, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
  54. Bobby Jackson MS

    I'm sure they already have their own appropriate steps for dealing with such matters in place and will act accordingly ,But in my own opinion they can start by firing from the top down those fired should never be allowed to hold a position that important again I think that would be a good place to start

    April 19, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
  55. Peter, Tarrytown, N.Y.

    IAsk the wives of the married agents. They probably have some good suggestions.

    April 19, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
  56. Hugh Sherry; New Jersey

    Fired, Jack, fired. If you're so stupid that you can't smuggle a babe into your hotel room without getting caught, you're jut not smart enough to be in the Secret Service.

    April 19, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
  57. Thinkforyourself, OK

    Fire Obama and all his appointees, Czars, etc. They are utterly destroying the United STates with their elitist attitudes.

    Fire them all. Post their photos on the internet so we can all see who they are.

    April 19, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
  58. Terry in Virginia

    Termination. No pension, no benefits. The Secret Service has one job - protect the President at all times. These men and women are supposed to be the cream of the crop who use their best judgement at all times because one slip could mean the death of our President, regardless of political party.

    April 19, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
  59. Jack - Lancaster, Ohio

    Mr. Cafferty:

    C'mon now, punishment for the elite ? We might be out here in cornfield America but we ain't stupid (aside from voting) !

    April 19, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
  60. Max Brooks from Florida

    A punishment? These gentlemen deserve a pat on the back for being human. A two week paid vacation to Colombia would be nice as well.

    April 19, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
  61. Cee.Louisiana

    For goodness sake, Jack.....U.S service men have been getting into trouble for years....in bars, with prostitutes etc....Mark Sullivan should not have to put these guys, who took their oath, on lock down.....retire, and fire......is okay by me......and BTW would you expect a republican to do anything else but squawk.....that is all they have done for 4 years....

    April 19, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
  62. Al - Orlando

    None. They will correct on there own. We have enough to do voting and paying taxes

    April 19, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  63. Leta

    As usual men's testosterone will override one's conscience. You are a man Jack, what do you think
    is the right punishment?

    April 19, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
  64. Bill from Fairport

    Gee Jack my question to you is Will CNN, Faux News,MSNBC give the same level of coverage to the same despicable behavior of politicians found cavorting with hooker imported to the coming political conventions. As a now retired federal employee I spent a career with the understanding that if my personal behavior were to bring shame to the government I could be fired. If those who are now accused of improper behavior are found to be guilty they should face the consequences. The Secret Service Director and the military leadership are bound to enforce rules for proper conduct. They seem to be doing so and cannot be held accountable unless they fail to uphold standards. Politicians need to stay out of making political hay from this as they are only seeking to embarrass a president in the weak minded.

    April 19, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
  65. Tyler , Arkansas

    Everyone of the agents involved should be fired. Besides the special forces there awsome!

    April 19, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  66. Jerry in Colorado Springs

    Replace the Secret Service w/The Legion of Superheroes.

    April 19, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  67. curtis in philadelphia

    The proper reaction should not be shock, I'm sure this is business as usual for these guys. The proper punishment is immediate firing of those involved and the current supervisor should be fired or step down, but Jack, no one should be surprised.

    April 19, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  68. Kay

    If these mistakes were made in any American corporation, this guy would have been sacked with the first unprofessional Secret Service action under his watch. Fired!

    April 19, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  69. Debra Bethard-Caplick

    From Chicago:

    Make them listen to Ted Nugent's temper tantrum interviews over and over and over...

    April 19, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  70. Joe, Jacksonville, FL

    Punishment? I think asking these guys to "take a bullet" for the president and in the case of the special forces involved ... do our nation's dirty work in the name of freedom qualifies as enough punisment.

    April 19, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  71. dawgboned

    This is stricly politics at its worst. To eliminate the knowledge and training these guys have is just a travesty. They made a mistake. That's all. Try doing the jobs these men do and not have a need to let off some steam. You can't do it. The right just wants to make up a new reason to go against Obama. The media isn't doing us any favor by carrying this non issue on.

    April 19, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  72. Rick A.

    Jack, shouldnt the agents be treated by other law enforcement as regular citizens? Charge them with the apropiate crime, solicitation? prostitution? Whatever the charge is locally. And let the agents take the flak from said trial and possible conviction.

    April 19, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  73. David in Laie

    Get rid of the people who committed the offenses; leave the director alone to clean his own house. Enough is enough.

    April 19, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  74. Richard Page Rapid City, SD

    they should be fired of course, and never given a government job again. but since they know of operational procedures that can be of value to our enemies they should not be allowed to travel outside the united states and have their communications monitored. detention would be a viable option.

    if it were the bush w administration they'd get a medal.

    April 19, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  75. Joe Stephens

    Perhaps you should ask Bill Clinton what the punishment should be. He's had experience with inappropriate sexual liaisons involving the President. Joe from the Bronx, NY

    April 19, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  76. michael fittro largo florida

    This whole thing is stupid. Fire them and expose their faces to the public, humiliate them. I'm sixteen and I know not to have sex with a prostitute and be in the secret service! If you're going to hold a position of that prestige, don't be a gross pig. Public punishment is suitable.

    April 19, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  77. Tom W. of Metry, LA

    Right punishment? NOTHING. Just another example of a mountain out of a mole hill. Tell them they messed up. Sit them in the corner for a time out. These people train and work very hard to keep the country, not just the President, safe. Am I to believe that no one knew of such behavior in the past? That's utterly ridiculous, they just got busted by the media, and Americans on their high moral horse, who I really do refuse to believe DIDN'T know anything such as that to occur, have to act astonished at such acts. Give me a break. Go fix something that's actually broken.

    April 19, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  78. DT - Saint Paul, MN

    Curious, which laws did they break? It seems everytime someone gets a little wild, or texts a picture of their junk, I have to watch it on the news for 3 weeks. I just don't care. We'll crucify these guys and meanwhile Charlie Sheen is still making millions.

    April 19, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  79. Mike W - Brooklyn, NY

    I don't think it would be a rush to judgement to fire each individual involved. These guys have the very important task of protecting the president, they should have shown better judgement. I'm beginning to lose faith in the Secret Service after the Iraqi throwing the shoe at Bush and the SS agent just standing there, the couple who crashed the state dinner and now this.

    April 19, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  80. Charles - San Antonio

    He should not be punished. The agents that went to Columbia are grown men, and prostitution is not illeagle in Columbia. Some people may not like the idea of "prostitution", but women in Columbia can engage in this profession if they wish. There are also places in Nevada where women can engage in this profession. What if a secret service agent went to Nevada and engaged in sex with a legal prostitute? Would the public be outraged? This is not a big issue. The moral majority needs to chill out.

    April 19, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  81. Michael, from Smiths, Alabama

    The solution is simple...fire the ones directly involved in the scandal, put on probation those suspected until more evidence is collected...oh wait, I forgot...when Congress gets involved, the word 'simple' becomes nullified.

    April 19, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  82. michael fittro largo florida

    Fire them immediately and expose their faces to the public. Embarrass them and fire the dept and get a new head in charge and agents. What is america coming to.... I'm sixteen and I know this is crazy.

    April 19, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  83. Braden Walls

    Well personally I believe they should be on leave until an investigation is complete. Then anyone involved should be fired. What if they planted a very sophisticated bomb in there! Ofcourse they should be fired but not the director.

    April 19, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  84. Pete in Florida

    Maybe the most appropriate punishment would be for the offenders to be chastised by the few members of Congress who haven't themselves behaved as badly or worse; surely we can find at least a couple of Congressmen that haven't hired hookers, or solicited cops or young men in public rest rooms. What a bunch of self-serving sanctimonius hypocrits! Congressman Forbes kind of reminds me of Newt Gringrich cheating on his wife while impeaching Clinton for doing the same thing. This country is way too hung up on sex!

    April 19, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  85. frankiefh

    If the Prez still has trust in the Director he should stay. I think this is one of those cases that the SS should handle internally. Everyone is looking for blood here, but the fact is this was probably not the first time agents have done something like this - but will likely be the last. Fire and suspend a few people and move on. I'm sure these are dedicated professionals.

    April 19, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  86. Artman for Colo

    Put them on unemployment, let them buy thier on health insurance..... Its a privilege not a right to hold that job......

    April 19, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  87. Larry Feierstein-Denver

    And do we really think that this just happened on Obamas watch? The experienced agents just got caught, were too careless. Do we think the GSA just got careless in one year? Please, every agency , if you ask the american public believes they are all corrupt to some degree. The systems, the leaders and our government are a disgrace.

    April 19, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  88. EdfromMd

    3 months as an escort service to nursing homes.

    April 19, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  89. Wes Riffle

    The director should be replaced and rather substantial precedent set. The reputation of not just his job and the jobs of the agents being fired are at stake, but rather, the reputation of the entire agency as well as our nation. We are expected to be better and they should be prideful in that fact.

    April 19, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  90. Foreverwar

    Maybe have Donald Trump call each one up personally, and say "Your fired!"

    April 19, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  91. Julius, Atlanta

    They are sick as their secret. Let the secret service decide secretly on how to punish them.

    April 19, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  92. MichaelPerri

    Whatever the punishment for the SS is for the prostitution scandal...
    They should PAY!

    nyuck, nyuck...

    April 19, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  93. thealpinistfrog

    What these knuckleheads did was unprofessional and out of line, but keep in mind that many of these men are on the road consistently and away from home. They just wanted to cut loose for a night before getting down to business.

    Unfortunately this party got a bit out of hand.

    All that needs to happen here is formal reprimands issued. No need to tear apart an organization that has been working for years now protecting our Presidents. Every time we have a sex scandal surface the rest of the world mocks us. But in the spirit of the "American Pursuit of Moral High Ground", we will condemn theses men publicly for the same actions that countless Americans do in private. Let the witch hunt begin.

    Adam, Salt Lake City

    April 19, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  94. John from Florida

    The agents involved and direct supervisors who knew about it should be dealt with for violating standards. The director can't be everywhere to ensure all agents of the secret service are following orders.

    April 19, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  95. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    These people should be classified and treated like "Moles" working inside the U.S. Government until there is proof they aren't.

    April 19, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  96. Ron

    This incident has been blown out of proportion. Yes, the agents did not live up to the standards of the Secret Service. But if we are to fire every government employee who does not live up to the standards of his/her organization, then everyone in Congress should have fired years ago. Just let the Secret Service director handle this, without Congress looking over his shoulder.

    April 19, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  97. Marc from NJ

    I think this should be handled internally. Our society has been sensationalized far too often. These people are put under extreme pressure and need to blow off steam. Obviously they should have waited until AFTER the conference to have a "good time", and their supervisors need to call them out on their actions. But the witchhunts need to stop.

    April 19, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  98. Dylan

    It seems quite clear that the secret service is not new to such activities when they travel the world abroad, the same goes with any military service really as a fact in history. They may feel it is ok to do these things because they put their lives on the line everyday but in the end that is still irrelevant when it comes to the protection of the President because of how easily the service could be infiltrated. The only difference is that in today's culture where society is globalized through the internet, it is very easy to find anything out and spread it to the whole world within minutes. My point is its just too difficult for any government to cover up things like this anymore, so they should replace any staff involved with people who have better track records, if need be this should include Mark Sullivan.

    April 19, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  99. John C from Long Island

    Who really cares about this "scandal" anyway? Any Agent that broke the law should be fired. Any Agent that violated an existing morals directive should be punished in accordance with existing Secret Security polices and proceedures. It doesn't sound like this is a pervasive Agency-wide problem, so the director should not be responsible for the actions of a few agents. And this "Story" should stop being news. There are two or three other things the 4th Estate should focus on, maybe, two or three...

    April 19, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  100. Donaldo in ATL

    We have a system of justice which should be allowed to address these issues. All Americans are expected to obey the laws, and Federal employees of ALL agencies are held to a higher standard. Prosecute any offenders from any agency who may have violated the law, and most importantly, we need a massive internal audit of every agency to determine if there are others misbehaving, my instincts tell me, we have just hit the tip of the iceberg. This will be a massive undertaking, so before we add to an already out of control system (Obamacare), lets fix what we have, it might take a decade, lets start right now, we owe it to our children and grandchildren. time to step up!!!

    April 19, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  101. frankiefh

    I think all of the agents involved should be demoted to the Romney campaign. Assign them to important functions like caring for Romney's dogs security. Frankie – Ohio

    April 19, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  102. Kris

    Simply tell their wives back home.

    BTW, The viruses that condoms don't protect against should pay them back for years to come.

    April 19, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  103. Johnathan Hogan. Pittsburgh

    The secret service must be on top of there game always. They watch over the most important person in the world and this shows how serious they take there job. They must set the example to the world and show what it means to have the privilege to watch over our president. Johnathan. Pittsburgh

    April 19, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  104. Elli from San Francisco

    The incident in Columbia has tarnished the Secret Service, compromised national security and made the department an international joke. I think they should fire all agents involved and the Director. If not it will drag on over the summer with possible hearings. Shall we just call it the 'hooker hearings'?

    April 19, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  105. Shirley, Parry Sound, Ontario

    Send them home to their wives

    April 19, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
  106. dj

    This all smacks of mismanagement from the vert top starting with Obama whom has mismanaged every department and agency within the US government.

    From this scandal to the GSA spending scadal the wasting of huge amounts of taxpayers money by Obama and his cronies at the white house, on air force one, to Michelle Obama's reckless spending. They need to GO!

    This administration has been a total disgrace and it is up to tax payers to get rid of these gang of theives come November!

    April 19, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
  107. Johnathan Hogan. Pittsburgh

    Its one thing to go off base and raise hell but when you have the honor to watch over our president one should set the bar and serve with dignity. Did they use our tax payer money for these activities.

    April 19, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
  108. Tom in AZ

    Make them take a job as doorman for a porn studio. That should teach them a lesson. This was actually an idea from a Canadian friend of mine.

    April 19, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  109. Ed - Port Jefferson, NY

    Bring in the new broom to flush out every nook and cranny.

    April 19, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  110. Rabbit One

    imprisonment, son son – because they abused foreign women and stepped on our moneys

    April 19, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  111. Mr. D

    Wheels up, pants down. Sounds like Congress or some past presidents we know. Talk about a "more perfect union." They should be reassigned to work on the budget where they can put their apparent talents to work. This time it would be the taxpayers getting, you know what.

    April 19, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  112. Kathy, Muncie, IN

    In private sector, he would have been fired after the 2009 security breach. People who are doing their jobs well don't screw up like this. Fire him!!

    April 19, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  113. Ryan Turner

    Did they use taxpayer money to finance their party? Were they "On the Clock" at the time of the incident? If the answer is "Yes" to either question, then they should be fired and Mark Sullivan needs to clean house or be replaced by someone who will.

    April 19, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  114. frankiefh

    I think the Senate should have hearings and let Senator David vitter serve has chair. We know he has experience dealing with hookers .... Frankie - Ohio

    April 19, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
  115. Mark Boyett, Tulsa OK

    All participants, their supervisors and the mid-level directors over-seeing the supervisors involved should all have their security clearances revoked and be terminated. If further investigation reveals any of them divulged classified information, may God have mercy on their souls.

    April 19, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
  116. S. Studenberg

    Severe reprimands in their files. No one gets fired. This was a breach of standards not a breach of security. Stop being so Victorian, this is the 21st Century. Unless you are perfect, you will make mistakes. There will be punishment enough when they lose their families and or loved in messy divorces or relationships ends.

    April 19, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
  117. Margot

    We always go for the "quick" fix........instead of maybe, the correct one. Sure Romney would fire the guy–his idea of being decisive is to fire people. The one thing I have observed about this President is he is thoughtful and deliberate. I want him, the Cabinet, the Vice President etc....safe-quickly. Then, instead of the usual Congressional hearings that just give camera time to politicians, I want a thorough internal investigation by both the Justice Department and the Pentagon.......while we are on the subject-move the Service back to the Treasury Department–this never came up until Homeland Security got involved. Margot in Gig Harbor, Wa.

    April 19, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
  118. Annie, Atlanta

    Maybe they can all run for US Senate.

    April 19, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
  119. Bill

    They should be given the same punishment as Congressman Mark Foley... alcohol rehab and allowed to resign.

    April 19, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
  120. himmelreich

    What a question? Get fired of course. What else do you want form these guys?

    April 19, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
  121. Randy

    All involved should be immediately fired and replaced with a more diverse workforce. In frat boy/good ol' boy environments like these around the country this behavior is commonplace. These people are too familiar and comfortable around one another to police each other.

    April 19, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
  122. mike

    They should get metals, have you seen a Columbian hooker.

    April 19, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
  123. himmelreich

    In cases like this one, the people get either promoted up or they get a raise or both. That is how teh Government does it.

    April 19, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
  124. Jeff

    Is it illegal in Columbia? Were any laws broken? Was the president in danger? Older profession around... should be legal everywhere. Should be accepted in society but the problem is everyone things they are morally better than others and hold them to high standards... these people are hypocrites. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone...

    April 19, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
  125. Alex

    All US military missions abroad should hire sex workers (a.k.a prostitutes) Sex workers should have security clearance and should be treated no differently than cooks, maintenance staff or any other civiliar personnel.

    April 19, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
  126. himmelreich

    I think the secret service agents should be replaced by the Vatican guard in Rome. The Swiss are the best.

    April 19, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
  127. Thom Richer

    Replace those involved. As a teacher there is no way I could have behaved this way, have it made public and not get canned. Doubt if any public worker would be let off even if we were "off duty."

    April 19, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
  128. Sandra Williams

    Perhaps the American people need to see, and approve, actions from our leaders such as those Jeff Long at the University of Arkansas took against Coach Bobby Petrino last week. When you are in a high profile job you need to set a good example. Character and morality do matter!

    April 19, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
  129. Dude

    You could probably fire them and replace them with people who are sane, sober, intelligent, mature, level headed, and who possess good judgment. Of course, such replacements might not want to jump in front of a bullet for one of our politicians.

    April 19, 2012 at 4:55 pm |