But that was in another country,
And besides, the wench is dead.
- The Jew of Malta (Christopher Marlowe)
Forgive and forget. That seemed to be the theme at today's Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing with Secret Service Director Sullivan.
Committee Chairman Lieberman sounded apologetic (I know, something about Lieberman's voice makes him always sound apologetic, but today he really meant it) for even coming close to suggesting that there is a systemic problem with either agent misbehavior or Service management. Senator Susan Collins was not convinced by Sullivan's contention that Cartagena was an isolated episode, but she certainly wasn't going to go overboard and call for him to step down or anything. Just forgive and forget.
Sullivan gave his self-exoneration, the senators fretted a bit - Lieberman less and some junior members more - everyone praised Secret Service agents in general and Sullivan in particular, and then the Committee adjourned.
From the WaPo (here):
Mark Sullivan, who has enjoyed strong bipartisan congressional support in the weeks since the scandal, told a Senate panel that “I am deeply disappointed, and I apologize for the misconduct of these employees and the distraction that it has caused.” Putting it more bluntly later, Sullivan said the employees involved “did some really dumb things.”
But under questioning, Sullivan refused to submit that the mid-April incident is part of a broader agency culture that condones heavy drinking, partying and sex during the off-hours of security assignments. He also dismissed as “absurd” reports by The Washington Post that tolerance for inappropriate conduct is part of a culture that some employees call the “Secret Circus.”
-- snip --
Despite the skepticism [of the purportedly isolated nature of the Cartagena incident], Lieberman, Collins and other senators said Sullivan should remain as director.
Not much to see today.