Sunday 18 March 2018

Donal Lynch: Public exposure of not-so-Secret Service rocks US

It was an image of Irish-American pub-based relations that those who were alive to see it will always remember: Obama in Moneygall, a pint of Guinness raised to his big, handsome face, surrounded by gleeful, red-faced Irishmen. For a meeting of the two cultures nothing could top that, surely. Unless ... one of his sexy Scotch-drinking Secret Service agents went to Copper Face Jacks, sweaty and storied post-Croker pick-up joint, and got off with a horny nurse. That would be sort of like an episode of The West Wing guest-starring one of The Commitments girls. Surely some sort of 21-gun salute would be in order.

Okay, so she wasn't a nurse and she wasn't Irish, she was Canadian (you could tell this after she said she felt "sick" and "used" that it was only a casual thing -- a local, if we're honest, would go in with their eyes open as well as their mind). And we can't say for certain he even sprung for a Scotch. But still. He was, she said, "stunning" and grabbed her mobile "to punch in his digits" before telling her "you're not getting away from me tonight". He invited her out in Manhattan. He even showed her his "abs", earned being Kevin Costner to Obama's Whitney Houston. After that who wouldn't lay back and think of Ireland/ Canada? When they said at the time that we were being kept in the dark about the "President's precise security measures", they really weren't joking.

Arthur Huntington, for such was his name, must've been a bit of a legend back at the ranch. Or maybe he's ruined it for everyone else. After he got lucky on Harcourt Street he linked up with a prostitute in Colombia, and since the scandals became public it's all caused a rewriting of the Secret Service rule book. The director of that body, Mark Sullivan, sent around a memo saying that foreign nationals, including hotel employees, are not allowed in hotel rooms occupied by staff on presidential security detail and reminding employees to consider their conduct "through the lens of recent events".

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