- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 9, 2017

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Robert Manson, a supervisor in the FBI’s counterterrorism division, got drunk — allegedly — during a party with exotic dancers, better known as strippers, at a hotel in Charlotte, North Carolina, went to bed, woke up and found his service weapon missing.

This isn’t just embarrassing. It’s downright dangerous to innocent American citizens.

Cut to video, “When FBI Guys Go Crazy.” The subtitle? “FBI Follies: Following in the Footsteps of the Secret Service.”

Seriously. Could we please keep the federal law enforcement weapons out of the hands of strippers? Seems a simple request.

Here’s how the New York Times reports the story: “Manson, a unit chief in the F.B.I.’s international terrorism section, had his Glock .40-caliber handgun, a $6,000 Rolex watch and $60 cash stolen from his room at the Westin hotel in Charlotte. … Manson and other senior agents were in Charlotte for training … The agents later told the police that they had been drinking with women who said they were exotic dancers.”

Nice.

What a red-faced moment for the agency. To say the least.

Police officers for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department were called to investigate the thefts, during which they ascertained “Manson was incapacitated because of alcohol.”

In other words, he was stone-cold drunk — a stumbling, bumbling idiot.

“A fellow agent, Kevin Thuman, gave the report,” the New York Times went on.

And here’s the kicker — the red flag to watch.

“Federal law allows agents to carry concealed weapons while off duty, but not while they are intoxicated. … FBI rules prohibit agents from leaving their guns in unsecure places,” the newspaper reported. “No arrests have been made and police officers have not recovered the gun.”

Great. So an FBI agent’s gun is out there, floating around in some undisclosed circle — some undisclosed circle related to the field of stripping. And the cover-up at the federal level goes on. The incident occurred in July, post-James Comey and pre-Christopher Wray, when Andrew McCabe was interim agency director (McCabe, who’s married to the Democratic-donating, Hillary Clinton-loving Jill McCabe). Yet America’s taxpayers, the ones who pay, apparently, for FBI agents to get drunk and hang with strippers and compromise citizen security by losing their weapons, are just learning of it all now.

Remember when Secret Service agents went similarly wild?

As CNN noted in early 2015: “Gate-crashing agents make 4 Secret Service scandals in 3 years.”

The story detailed how the second-in-charge of Barack Obama’s presidential detail went out for a night of drinking and driving that ended only when the taxpayer-funded vehicle smashed into a White House barrier — and how agents serving in Colombia were caught in embarrassing throes of passion with local prostitutes, just feet from where Obama’s own hotel digs. That latter story came to light ‘cause the prostitutes were pissed they didn’t get paid.

Eight Secret Service agents lost their jobs over that public relations headache.

Now how about Manson?

Michael Kortan, a spokesman for the FBI, said the North Carolina hotel incident was under internal investigation. But come on now. It happened back in July — July 10, to be exact, according to Fox News.

Does it really take that long to review a hotel camera or two?

Regardless, this is more than embarrassing for the FBI. Citizen safety is at issue. There’s a missing weapon involved — a missing weapon the FBI let into the world. And try as the agency might to keep a lid on the whole shameful drunken partying hotel matter, fact is, if a citizen ends up being injured by this weapon, the FBI will be culpable. And that’s not just red-faced. That’s near-criminal.


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