Well, I guess we can be thankful that the party planners at the General Services Administration weren’t involved in organizing the president’s trip to Colombia for an economic summit. Otherwise the dispute over hundreds of dollars allegedly owed to a prostitute for services rendered would have escalated to thousands, maybe more.
In any event, with several resignations so far and more likely, this appears to be a fairly expensive party for some of the Secret Service agents involved. Better they should have hired a clown and a mind reader and engaged in “team-building” exercises. LOL
Anyway, here’s from the NYT:
A Secret Service agent preparing for President Obama’s arrival at an international summit meeting and a single mother from Colombia who makes a living as a high-priced escort faced off in a room at the Hotel Caribe a week ago over how much he owed her for the previous night’s intercourse. “I tell him, ‘Baby, my cash money,’ ” the woman said in her first public comments on a dispute that would soon spiral into a full-blown scandal.
The disagreement over her price — he offered $30 for services she thought they had agreed were worth more than 25 times that — set off a tense early morning quarrel in the hallway of the luxury hotel involving the woman, another prostitute, Colombian police officers arguing on the women’s behalf and American federal agents who tried but failed to keep the matter from escalating.
On Wednesday, in a setback to the reputation of those who protect the president, the Secret Service prepared to fire one supervisor tied to the alleged misconduct with prostitutes on the Cartagena trip, the agency said in a statement. Another supervisor has decided to retire, and a third employee will be allowed to resign, the statement said. Eight other employees remain under investigation.
“These guys have the clearest cases,” said a government official briefed on the investigation, referring to the three who are being pushed out.
The employees under scrutiny have been asked to take lie detector tests; only one has agreed to do so, the official said. The supervisor who is being fired has threatened to sue, Mark Sullivan, the director of the Secret Service, has told officials.
Sitting in her living room wearing a short jean skirt, high-heeled espadrilles and a spandex top with a plunging neckline, the prostitute described how she and another woman were approached by a group of American men at a discotheque. In an account consistent with the official version of events coming out of Washington, but could not be independently confirmed, she said the men bought a bottle of Absolut vodka for the table and when that was finished bought a second one.
“They never told me they were with Obama,” she said, addressing published reports that some agents may have openly boasted to prostitutes that they were there protecting the president. “They were very discreet.”
Well, discreet, perhaps. And at least they were in sync other members of the administration, focused on job creation and economic development. Pretty much like Jeff Immelt at GE, the head of Obama’s job council. I digress.
This scandal, of course, is not just a black eye for the Secret Service and the administration, but it raises some legitimate questions about how safe the president is, especially when he travels to foreign countries. Admit it. Would you go to Colombia — or worse yet, Mexico — without the most stringent security available?
And then no political story is complete these days without Sarah Palin being involved. Here’s from The Daily Mail:
One of the senior Secret Service agents who lost his job in the wake of the Colombia prostitution scandal joked about protecting Sarah Palin in a post on his Facebook page.
David Randall Chaney, a 48-year-old supervisor, wrote that he was ‘really checking out’ the vice-presidential candidate when he guarded her during the 2008 election campaign.
But Ms Palin yesterday hit back at the disgraced agent who retired this week after being suspended along with ten others involved in an argument with escorts at a hotel.
He posted numerous pictures with her in the foreground and him standing in the background wearing a suit and dark glasses.
After a friend suggested that Chaney had ‘real chemistry’ with the Alaska governor, he replied: ‘I was really checking her out, if you know what I mean?’Ms Palin reacted with anger when she heard about the married agent’s comments.
‘This agent was kind of ridiculous in posting pictures and comments about checking someone out,’ she said on Fox News. ‘Well check this out, bodyguard – you’re fired! And I hope his wife… sends him to the dog house.’
‘A lot of people will say this is boys being boys, and boys will be boys, but they shouldn’t be in positions of authority. I think it’s pretty embarrassing,’ the 48-year-old added. ‘I’ve had enough of these men being dogs and not being responsible.’
Palin said it was ‘a symptom of government run amok’. ‘It’s like, who’s minding the store around here?’ she told Fox News.
‘The president, for one, he better be wary, there, of when Secret Service is accompanying his family on vacation. They may be checking out the first lady instead of guarding her.’