by Philippe Gastonne, The Daily Bell:
The U.S. Secret Service looks more like a rogue agency every day. Between agents partying with prostitutes, others drunkenly driving through White House gates and yet others leaving the mansion’s front door unlocked, it’s fair to wonder when they will “accidentally” kill someone.
Now we have yet another crazy revelation. Persons within the S.S., under congressional scrutiny for the above offenses and more, decided they would bring down the chief scrutinizer, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah).
Chaffetz unsuccessfully applied to join the agency in 2003. Someone apparently remembered that fact and accessed his personnel file. It wasn’t random curiosity, either. Computer records show someone accessed the documents exactly 18 minutes after the start of a March 2015 congressional hearing on the agency’s misconduct. At least 45 people within the Secret Service viewed the file.
Scores of U.S. Secret Service employees improperly accessed the decade-old, unsuccessful job application of a congressman who was investigating scandals inside the agency, a new government report said Wednesday. An assistant director suggested leaking embarrassing information to retaliate against Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, chairman of the House oversight committee.
The actions by the employees could represent criminal violations under the U.S. Privacy Act, said the report by the Homeland Security Department’s inspector general, John Roth. “It doesn’t take a lawyer explaining the nuances of the Privacy Act to know that the conduct that occurred here — by dozens of agents in every part of the agency — was wrong,” the report said.
Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson personally apologized to Chaffetz again Wednesday, the congressman told The Associated Press in an interview on Capitol Hill. Johnson did not disclose whether any employees had been punished. “It’s intimidating,” Chaffetz said. “It’s what it was supposed to be.” – Associated Press, Sept. 30, 2015
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