Jesse Jackson Wants To See Secret Service Files On Himself
Racially, Sexually Explicit Emails Surfaced In Civil Rights Suit Filed By African-American Agents
CHICAGO (CBS) ― The Secret Service is under fire for racist and sexist e-mails, including one aimed at Chicago's Rev. Jesse Jackson.
CBS station WBBM-TV's Chief Correspondent Jay Levine reports the e-mails were just released by the Secret Service as part of a long-running civil rights suit filed by African American agents. They contain racist and sexist jokes and pictures.
The one about the Rev. Jackson has now led to a demand for the release of any other insulting references to members of the Jackson family in Secret Service files.
Rev. Jackson's dealings with the Secret Service date back to his two campaigns for the Democratic presidential nomination in the 1980s. He actually asked for and was assigned protective details before other candidates back then.
The Secret Service e-mail, WBBM-TV obtained from a court filing in Washington, was titled "The Righteous Reverend," and jokes about the deaths of Jackson and his wife when a missile strikes their plane. The e-mail ends with, it "certainly wouldn't be a great loss and probably wouldn't be an accident either."
"This e-mail today tells me I have a lot less confidence in the secret Service than I did before it was exposed," said U.S. Rep Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) Reacting to this and the other e-mails, a Secret Service spokesman told the New York Times: "We are deeply disappointed by any communication or action on the part of our employees that exhibits racial or other insensitivity."
When WBBM-TV reached him by cell phone Tuesday afternoon, the Rev, Jackson said he wants all Secret Service communications which mention him, all the way back to the 1980's. Asked how his father took the comments, Jackson Jr. said, "Well, he wasn't quite as charged as Mrs. Jackson was. My mother wants to know what she has to do with this at all."
Like Jackson in 1983, Sen. Barack Obama also received early Secret Service protection, more than a year ago, when crowds at his events got very large. Rep. Jackson said he didn't question their commitment to protecting the probable Democratic nominee. "But suffice it to say that if supervisors at the United States Secret Service are passing around racially explicit e-mails and sexually explicit e-mails, there's a problem at the highest ranks of the Unites States Secret Service that deserves all of our attention," Jackson Jr. said.