…There are certain Organizations whose names alone inspire – or at least once inspired – trust, confidence and faith in the men and women who worked for them. This was one of them:
The Secret Service Disaster: A Timeline
It has been my experience that when an elite begins to falter, there are exactly two ways to deal with it. First, one finds the absolute best in that elite and puts them at the top, with an unlimited and unfettered mandate to clean house and bring back The Old Ways. It will be assumed (regardless of what that word means to anyone who spent five minutes in a uniform) that there will be blood and anger and shouts of some sort of -ism when people who have exceeded their level of incompetence are required to pay the piper. It will also make no difference whatsoever, because the mission must take priority. If you cannot hack it, regardless of your motivation, politics, or connections, you must be gone – smoothly and quietly if it can be so, brutally and quickly if not. You are an elite for a reason; failure to meet the standards set for you can result in nightmares that change the course of history. It will take years to correct, the rot sets in without even a whisper and once it has gotten to this point you cannot simply administer the cure for a short while (or until the protests become too loud), and then return to normal in the belief that all will be better. It takes generations to build the trust and faith and standards, and that is a measure of time that cannot be denied. To lose one’s way is to be defeated in your most basic missions.
The second way is to appoint leaders who with oily precision echo the meanderings of their bosses, who in turn place political correctness above competence, cronyism above integrity, and above all a refusal to admit error or any of the previously enumerated sins. Their task is not to successfully accomplish the mission, but to keep the eruptions of incompetence and malfeasance to a minimum and, when that cannot be accomplished explain to the People’s Representatives in a suitably contrite fashion that this will never, ever, ever happen again. Until, of course, it does.
I shall leave it to Dear Reader to decide which of those paths has, in this case, been taken.