The latest embarrassment caused by U.S. Secret Service agents in Amsterdam did not surprise me. Yes, drinking to the point of passing out in a hotel hallway is embarrassing and inappropriate behavior for any adult. But, I ask again: what did they expect?
When you specifically hire people who are big, strong, fighting men highly trained in the skills to stop an assault on or draw fire away from America’s leadership, the testosterone is bound to leak and trigger behavior unbecoming of a federal employee.
I’m not saying I approve of their drunken behavior. What I am saying is that it should not come as a surprise.
These guys, and I assume they are all guys in this case, are on high alert for long hours and must sleep when the opportunity presents itself. After being on high alert, it takes time to get adrenalin levels closer to normal. Add to that their already elevated levels of testosterone and you got trouble.
Many cops have substance abuse problems, I believe, because of similar pressures. They need to stay hyper-alert on duty, but when they go off-duty it’s hard to let that go. Their friends and families want them to be their “normal” selves and to enjoy life while they’re still wired to defend and protect.
I don’t know if people with these kinds of jobs go through regular debriefings. Perhaps psychologically-retuned methods of debriefing could speed up recovery from everyday tensions that go with these jobs. Would meditation be laughed-off by these macho guys?
I clearly have no training in mental health care, but there just has to be a better way than drinking oneself into oblivion or paying for sex after every shift.
[Shame on me -- I just thought about Woody Allen’s film, “Sleeper” and one of the distinctive house’s special features.]