Sen. John McCain has made it very clear he doesn't want Secret Service
protection, but Friday bowed to reality and said he will take it.
McCain told Fox News Friday that he will meet with Secret Service officials next week to arrange for protection.
If I had seen that tidbit, I would have objected to paying yet another bill for a service that would provide no more security for the candidate, and would, in actuality, serve only as federal enforcement of a no-speech zone surrounding McCain. And, I'd have been right
Secret Service protection is provided under the public goods theory, a point Jack McGeorge, a security expert, goes to pains to make.
One security expert who served in the Secret Service in the
administrations of presidents Nixon, Ford and Carter said McCain's
decision to go without protection put others at risk.
"I think it is a little selfish," said Jack McGeorge. "He is a senator. He is a public figure. And it is not about him."
Since when, you may ask, does a senator warrant Secret Service protection? Well, ask away. There are three senators vying for the Oval Office and all three, now, have Secret Service protection. Mrs. Clinton has had protection since her husband became President, Barak Obama has had protection since last May, and now John McCain has his own detail.
It would be, in my opinion, gross negligence on the part of any of the candidates to ignore the potential impact of security lapses on the people who surround them. Making it a public good and passing the bill on to taxpayers who aren't parading around the world and acting in a manner that may make others wish them physical harm is without conscience.
Such blatant disregard for the property rights of taxpayers is predicted to have perverse, unintended consequences. Like so many rabbits on the commons, one should expect these Secret Service details to be used and abused in a manner not at all in accordance with the strict security of the protectee.
One last item of note, to receive protection from the Secret Service, an arm of the Treasury Dept., requires the signature of approval from the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. At what point can we just start calling DHS "the government"?