The Associated Press reported a dozen Secret Service agents sent to Colombia in advance of President Obama to provide a routine sweep were involved in a prostitution kerfuffle Obama arrived in Colombia a day later, but the 12 agents were relieved of duty and sent home after allegations of misconduct.
Kessler became aware of the investigation into Secret Service misconduct and alerted the Washington Post, which was the first publication to report on the story. According to Kessler, “One of the agents did not pay one of the prostitutes, and she complained to the police.” In parts of Colombia prostitution is legal but the women have to check into the front desk and leave their ID. When check out time came the next morning one such girl’s ID was still at the front desk, and when hotel officials inquired into the status of the “professional” and her ID they walked into a scuffle in the room of the agent and the woman about non-payment of services rendered.
There have been allegations of misconduct made against the Secret Service in Cartagena. Because of this, those personnel are being relieved of their assignments, returned to their place of duty, and are being replaced by other Secret Service personnel.
Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association President Jon Adler claims that at least one Secret Service agent was involved with a prostitution, the other 11 agents are accused of being complicit “in one degree or another.” Later reports indicate all of the 12 agents were involved in acquiring the services of Colombian prostitutes but one refused to pay. He eventually forked over the money but the hotel had already called the cops and a report was filed. Busted.
Here is my take — if one is being candid this misconduct, if taken alone, can’t be pinned on Obama. But, in a week when a paid adviser to the DNC says on a primetime cable newscast that stay at home moms like Ann Romney “have never worked a day in their life” causing the faux “war on women” meme created by Team Obama to backfire, top Obama campaign strategist David Axelrod slips on FNC network Sunday morning show and bashes the Obama “economic road we are on” and Obama Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner insinuates on ABC’s Sunday morning show ‘This Week’ that “jobs lost in America by women are not as important as the jobs lost by men” – the optics of having the President’s Secret Service caught running hookers in South America is just not good timing. California Congressman Darrell Issa, Chairman of the House investigative panel, claims the scandal was likely not the first time members of the president’s protection team have invited prostitutes back to their rooms and could further indicate the culture of this administration.
And when the dispute is only over $47, or as the New York Post puts it “83,475 naughty little pesos” when Team Obama played politics until late December with the payroll tax extension on TV and the internet with the endless loop “what would an extra $40 buy you”, it did not take long for Twitter dig up the #40dollar hashtag created by the campaign to reelect Obama and opine with clever ideas as to what one could do with an extra $40 or $47. Not a good week for Team Obama.
**Update** Reports surfaced on Monday of the dingy Colombian love club where Obama’s Secret Service agents picked up their prostitutes ahead of the Summit of the Americas conference in Cartagena, according to the New York Daily News. A windowless, one-story brick building with neon signs and a public shower, The Pley Club is a far cry from the 5-star hotel where the agents were staying.