Secret Service protect a Mitt Romney rally in San Antonio, Texas. Photo by Kit O'Connell.

As I understand the premise of America’s global military and foreign policy, the United States claims it has the moral right to invade, occupy, bomb, kill, kidnap, imprison and torture anyone, anywhere, at any time, without warning, without civil warrant or any other recognized legal authority. The supposed moral basis for this unilateral right to act globally in what decent humans can only regard as a criminal fashion is that we were attacked by others and they can suck on this. End of argument.

American governments sell this arrogant view to the American people by dressing it up, claiming an inherent moral superiority, relying on a myth sometimes called “American exceptionalism.”  Under this mythology, the nation is told to believe that whatever it is trying to do, it is for the best of reasons, and if that requires us to invade and occupy your country, or bomb your citizens from drones, it’s because we are better than you victims at governing and maintaining civility, fairness, protecting women, preserving the rule of law and economic security.

You would think that after observing the massive fraud of the banking system, the refusal to hold anyone accountable, the conduct of the Tea Party, the US Congress, numerous GOP-led state governments, and bipartisan American conduct and accountability failures in the “war on terror,” that some would begin to question this myth.  We can’t even protect our own women, our poor, our uninsured, our homeless, our jobless, and our system of equal justice under the rule of law has completely broken down.  But we live in an era in which it is unpatriotic to question this myth.

Moreover, from an armed forces drawn from its entire male population during a World War, we have evolved to an all volunteer force, and from that have selected the finest on offer to provide essential security for the most important people and institutions.  Our heroes are Special Forces and other elite military units, or Special Branches of the FBI and unknown CIA agents, and at the very top — the elite of the elite — the U.S. Secret Service.

It now appears that the global scope of America’s security mission, given this morally repugnant and clinically insane definition of who we are and what we’re entitled to do, has egregiously overreached our ability to select the most disciplined and worthy defenders.  We’re out of control, and the so-called rogues are now defining who we are.

It’s not surprising that there would be an isolated member of the U.S. Secret Service, like some lone rogue from the FBI or CIA or whatever, who would be so undisciplined and moronic as to abandon his/her post and compromise the security of the President.  But when it appears that as many as 11 of these men thought nothing of getting drunk and seeking out prostitutes while on assignment in a foreign country, you know this is not just a rogue or a minor breakdown in security or supervision.

Whether our soldiers are going on murder rampages against Afghans or Iraqis without remorse and posing with their body parts or partying with Colombian prostitutes while on duty, it’s clear the United States of America cannot control its own enough to be able to stand behind any statement that it deserves the right to impose our views of security and justice on any one else.