Its been a weird week in the mainstream media. Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and CNN’s chief business correspondent Ali Velshi, all involved in three separate incidences of birds destroying jet engines on the planes they were flying as passengers. http://goo.gl/3mpCl, http://goo.gl/UR9Ck and http://goo.gl/GH9wm
I worked in the airline industry for 12 years, and birds do enter jet engines, but most of the time they don't destroy the engines. Jet engines are tested by firing frozen chickens from a special cannon. The very design of jet engines is such that they are constructed to ingest birds and keep working, or at the worst not fly apart flinging rotor blades into the passenger compartment. That's what makes this week very very strange. Plans delayed for a few people.
This is a trend that bears watching, either something is changing in regards to bird behavior, or there's a real problem in design and fabrication of current engines, or something other than birds is disabling these engines. When an engine goes out, the pilot usually heads to the nearest airport and the flight plan is and passengers are delayed.
The other curious bit of news is this prostitute scandal with Secret Service Agents in Columbia. I don't know what the true story is of this news story that refuses to die, but something in me says its about more than horny secret service security details. Secret Service guys are some the most dead serious people on earth. The man that tried to save Kennedy has been beating himself up for years because he was unable to get to Kennedy in time. These guys are a very dedicated bunch. But I still don't understand why he was put on the car behind Kennedy's car rather than in Kennedy's car. Maybe that's in Oliver Stone's movie, its been a while I since I saw that.
The Secret Service was a unique service in two ways. Unlike others it was under the Department of the Treasury for many decades, it dealt with Presidential security, counterfeiting, and also gets involved in credit card fraud and other banking related money issues. The secret service was initially involved in hacker investigations, but that duty seems to have moved over to the FBI in recent years. I never quite understood the historical reason Presidential Security and The Treasury went hand in hand in the Secret Service's duties but a quick look at Wikipedia has this paragraph on that history:
With a reported one third of the currency in circulation being counterfeit at the time, [all banks used to issue their version of the dollar, which were easily counterfeited - these days there's off market unregulated derivatives to create easy money -AK] the Secret Service was created by President Abraham Lincoln on April 14, 1865 (five days after Lee's surrender at Appomattox), and commissioned on July 5, 1865, in Washington, D.C. as the "Secret Service Division" of the Department of the Treasury with the mission of suppressing counterfeiting. The legislation creating the agency was on Abraham Lincoln's desk the night he was assassinated.
At the time, the only other federal law enforcement agencies were the United States Park Police, U.S. Post Office Department, Office of Instructions and Mail Depredations, now known as the United States Postal Inspection Service, and the United States Marshals Service. The Marshals did not have the manpower to investigate all crime under federal jurisdiction, so the Secret Service began to investigate everything from murder to bank robbery to illegal gambling. After the assassination of President William McKinley in 1901, Congress informally requested that the Secret Service provide presidential protection. A year later, the Secret Service assumed full-time responsibility for presidential protection. In 1902, William Craig became the first Secret Service agent to die while serving, in a road accident while riding in the presidential carriage.
The Secret Service was the first U.S. domestic intelligence and counterintelligence agency. Domestic intelligence collection and counterintelligence responsibilities were vested in the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) after the FBI's creation in 1908. The Secret Service assisted in arresting Japanese American leaders and in the Japanese American internment during World War II. The U.S. Secret Service is not an official part of the U.S. Intelligence Community.
In days past would a President really want to be guarded by people who report to a Department known to be very cozy with central bankers? The very thought of that is creepy. Under George W. Bush the Secret Service was moved out from the Treasury into that soup of alphabet agencies like the CIA, FBI, TSA, DEA and ATF under the umbrella of Homeland Security. But is that thought any more comforting given the history of those agencies?
The way the news is progressing it sounds more and more like the case is being made to the public that the secret service is not protecting the President correctly. If not them, then who? There's something more going on here that I don't have a good bearing on yet. I could speculate but I'm sure I'd be wrong. I don't understand why these guys were not just quietly dismissed. Why the public humilation of these people who's names are usually kept secret? Why is the Secret Service not so secret now? Not like they are the first men to visit the world's oldest profession is it? Was the incident a drug cartel honey pot operation for some other country? Was there something else these men were involved in? Not many facts yet on that. The publicity seems uncharacteristic for the Secret Service. The whole story is very odd.
Updated 04/21/12 This gets story gets more tabloid by the minute...there is more than meets the eye on all this - what is really going on I don't yet know.