Secret Service Misconduct Investigation Expanding
Eleven Secret Service agents were sent home from Cartagena Thursday and placed on leave after it was learned the agents might have hired prostitutes. It was reported that the Secret Service revoked each of the agents’ Top Secret security clearances on Monday.
The Washington Post reported the following details of the agents’ potential indiscretions:
People in Cartagena familiar with the matter said that some of the Secret Service agents paid $60 apiece to owners of the Pleyclub, a strip club in an industrial section of Cartagena, to bring at least two of the women back to the Hotel Caribe, where Obama’s advance team was staying.
The following morning, one of the women demanded an additional payment of $170, setting off a dispute with an agent that drew the attention of the hotel, the Cartagena sources said.
In addition to the 11 Secret Service agents, 10 members of the military - five Army Special Forces soldiers, two members of the Navy and one Air Force member – are now also the subject of an investigation.
“We let the boss down,” Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a Pentagon news conference, referring to Obama. “I can speak for myself and my fellow chiefs: We're embarrassed by what occurred in Colombia, though we're not sure exactly what it is.”
For his part, President Obama said he would reserve judgment pending the outcome of the investigation but that he would be angry if the allegations turned out to be true.