News that nearly a dozen Secret Service agents sent to Colombia to protect President Barack Obama were sent home for misconduct should shock and worry Americans.
As The Associated Press put it, the agents were implicated in the prostitution scandal in Colombia that also involved about 10 military service members and as many as 20 women.
Secret Service agents are sent in advance to destinations where presidential visits are planned. At least some of those dispatched to Cartagena, Colombia, took prostitutes to their rooms after a night of partying, according to reports.
The many dangers of such behavior are obvious - and no doubt, Secret Service agents are aware of them.
Misconduct by federal officials and employees who waste taxpayers' money is bad enough. But when misdeeds risk chipping away at the cordon protecting the president of the United States, they are positively frightening.
So far, three of the agents have been forced out of the Secret Service and eight are on administrative leave. The Secret Service said one supervisor was allowed to retire, and another will be fired for cause. A third employee, who was not a supervisor, has resigned.
While the swift reaction in getting rid of the agents who were involved is appropriate, the investigation must not stop there.
President Obama should be able to rely on everyone in his Secret Service detail. Clearly, there is a subculture within the organization that needs to be eradicated, whatever it takes.