The pillars holding up America’s most elite security agency are beginning to crumble.
The Secret Service, whose main task is to protect the President of the United States and individuals close to him, has been beleaguered by problems ranging from incompetency to budget mismanagement for a very long time. The public, however, was never aware of it… until The Washington Post’s Carol Leonning spilled the agency’s secrets to the public.
In less than a month, Leonning managed to report on at least three different occasions when the Secret Service endangered the President’s life due to its incompetency, including one instance when the Secret Service allowed a knife-wielding man to enter the White House through an unlocked door, failing to stop him until he reached the East Room. After being exposed, Secret Service director Julia Pierson first tried to spin the agency’s failings as an isolated incident but, after failing to convince Congress of this version of events, resigned less than 24 hours later.
And now, rather than thinking up ways to improve, the Secret Service is instead devoting large portions of their time and management to answer one question: who is leaking all this information to Leonning?
Over the course of the past two weeks, The Michael Report has contacted numerous sources within the Secret Service to get a fuller picture of how the agency is dealing with the leaks; these sources spoke on background due to a fear of retribution from the agency they still work for.
According to an insider, the “witch hunt officially began” on March 12, the day Leonning published her latest explosive report, which chronicled the agency’s effort to disrupt an investigation into an incident involving two of its agents. The agents, who were under influence at the time, drove through an active bomb investigation on White House grounds, passing directly by the the suspicious package in question and narrowly escaping the arrest by the uniformed agents working on the bomb threat.
The source added that the search for those leaking information “just can’t be done in front of the media. That’s just not how the Secret Service works.”
In what is perhaps largely seen as a symbolic move, a source confirmed to the The Michael Report that the leaks have become so “problematic” that those in the upper-echelons of the agency have begun issuing directives for trusted subordinates to screen the agency’s email servers for any unapproved communication with the media. The internal investigation hasn’t yielded any result thus far.
Several sources have corroborated that a more concerted and coordinated effort to root out the leakers is set to take place within the next few days. However, none of the sources The Michael Report talked to were willing to share exactly what this effort will entail.
As more secrets continue to leak out of the agency and onto the front pages of The Washington Post, the Secret Service is getting increasingly desperate to root out the leakers – except, they don’t really know where to start looking. For an organization highly averse to scrutiny, with more than 4,400 sworn members, sources are starting to doubt if the leakers will ever be exposed at all.
“Maybe the only way to stop these leaks is to improve, you know, just maybe,” an exasperated insider with more than a decade of experience within the agency quipped when asked to comment on the current state of the Secret Service.
With the lack of concrete evidence, many within the Secret Service have begun pointing fingers at each other.
According to those familiar with the situation, tension has been brewing between the uniformed and the undercover divisions of the Secret Service ever since the stories began leaking to The Washington Post.
The general sentiment from the uniformed division is that the undercover division’s recklessness and unprofessional behavior is tarnishing the Secret Service’s traditionally esteemed image; meanwhile, the undercover division believes that their unformed counterparts are the ones leaking information to the press, due to their envy of the privileges afforded to the undercover division.
Some of the people we spoke to also suspect an internal power struggle, springing from a recent situation where several people were denied the promotions they’d been angling for – “a real f*cking dangerous mess,” as one puts it.
Though the leaks have been a point of contention for the last few weeks, there are some who believe it is for the greater good. “We’ve come to a point where The Washington Post is more effective than our own management… think about that for a second,” a source adds.
“Just… what happened?”
The Secret Service has declined to comment on this article, citing an internal investigation.