The charges Wednesday that Secret Service advance men hired prostitutes before President Obama's March 2011 trip to El Salvador is another potential black eye for this most important agency.
Earlier this week, The Washington Post reported that a detail traveling with former President Bill Clinton to Buenos Aires in 2009 partied late into the evening at strip clubs.
These two charges have come up, of course, after the prostitution scandal that occurred two weeks ago in Colombia right before President Obama's visit there for the Summit of the Americas.
Eight Secret Service officers have lost their jobs because of the scandal in Colombia. Twelve military personnel have lost their security clearances as a result of the partying two days before the president's arrival.
The latest charges raise the question of whether or not these represent a pattern of behavior in the service, or if they are rare, isolated incidents.
Perhaps it is because we are laymen and do not understand their functions, but it is hard to accept that these actions do not affect security. Early stories on the Colombia scandal, for instance, said that some of the agents involved were part of the "counter-sniper team." Somehow it is hard to imagine someone in that position functioning well with a hangover.
In any event, a thorough investigation needs to be made and if there is a pattern here, a change of leadership will be required. The work of the Secret Service is too important to tolerate a frat boy party mentality.
* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.