Thursday, April 26, 2012

DHS Says Secret Service Sex Scandal Did Not Endanger Obama; Prostitutes in Colombia Cleaner than U.S.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- The U.S. Secret Service is struggling to recover from a scandal that broke around April 14 when agents were discovered taking prostitutes to their hotel rooms just days before President Obama's visit to Colombia. The Secret Service is one of the nation's most regarded and elite squads, tasked with ensuring the security of the president. But the Cartagena investigation has not only embarrassed the United States, it has also prompted a series of new allegations by unnamed sources who claim that federal agents and military officers regularly solicited sex workers in foreign countries. One subcontractor testified that Secret Service advance teams received sexual favors in the VIP room of a San Salvador strip club. Despite the attention the scandal has generated, President Obama urged the public not to consider the disgraced employees representative of the wider organization. "This isn't an investment firm. It's the Secret Service. A couple of knuckleheads shouldn't detract from what they do," Mr. Obama added, startling reporters with the harshest language he's used since calling Osama bin Laden a "jerk face" and Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi "a stinky doo-doo head." But Wednesday's Senate hearing was focused on discovering whether Obama was ever at risk because of the situation.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano echoed the president's sentiment that the Secret Service as a whole is "incredible," but told a judiciary committee the misconduct was "inexcusable." Groping young boys and girls from foreign lands, Napolitano reiterated, is a job for the TSA, not the Secret Service, which DHS also oversees: "They're two radically different jobs in two radically different environments. Secret Servicemen, despite their superior training, are not certified to grope. They don't have the academic experience or credentials. And the fact that they paid for it strikes me as awfully pathetic."

But the biggest issue facing the department was determining whether the actions of the agents compromised the president's security.

"The answer is 'no.' The president was never in jeopardy," Napolitano was quoted as saying. "First of all, the Secret Service employees were the ones with the hookers. If anything had happened, like herpes or syphilis or some other godawful STD, it would have happened to them. In a way, that's their job -- taking the bullet for their Commander-in-Chief. Second, prostitution in Colombia is legal so long as it transpires in a designated tolerance zone. Prostitutes that operate in a legalized system have access to health care and are generally a lot cleaner and healthier than in the U.S. And while there is a widespread problem with child prostitutes who are not operating legally, they primarily work in Bogata -- a popular destination with Catholic missionaries -- not Cartagena where the president was staying. So even if President Obama had found himself forced to have relations with a sex worker, he's less likely to have contracted some filthy crotch rot from a Colombian streetwalker than any trollop in downtown D.C. Otherwise, Clinton and Bush would never have survived two terms in office."

(c) 2012. See disclaimers.