The secret service sex scandal wasn’t an isolated incident. According to congressional officials, the incident involving prostitutes in Colombia involved at least 20 women and just as man Secret Service officers and Marines.
Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan told lawmakers today that 11 members of his agency had met with prostitutes at the Cartagena hotel. Sullivan said that several members of the American military also hired prostitutes.
President Obama said that he was angry about the incident but he didn’t place the blame on Sullivan. White House spokesman Jay Carney said:
“The president has confidence in the director of the Secret Service. Director Sullivan acted quickly in response of this incident and is overseeing an investigation as we speak in to the matter.”
NPR reports that Sullivan was shuttled between meetings with lawmakers today to talk about the incident. Sullivan told the House Homeland Security Committee that he had received varying reports from the members involved. According to Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., some of the agents are admitting that the women were prostitutes while others are not.
But King, and other lawmakers, isn’t concerned with the prostitution. King said that the real issue is that these Secret Service members allowed potentially dangerous people into a secure zone.
“Some are admitting (the women) were prostitutes, others are saying they’re not, they’re just women they met at the hotel bar. But prostitutes or not, to be bringing a foreign national back into a secure zone is a problem.”
Senator Susan Collins said that she also pressed Sullivan about the identity of the women. Collins said:
“Who were these women? Could they have been members of groups hostile to the United States? Could they have planted bugs, disabled weapons, or… jeopardised [the] security of the president or our country?”
The Secret Service members involved were placed on administrative leave and had their security clearances revoked.