A report published in the USA said that Secret Service Agents guarding President Obama were understandably almost caught with their pants down during their boss’s visit to the drug peddling nation of the world – Columbia.
Here is a report from the NPR – one of the best in Internet Radios – credited to Dana Farrington quoting various credible sources that include The Washington Post, Associated Press and CNN.
A dozen Secret Service agents tasked with providing security for President Obama at a summit in Colombia have been sent home for alleged misconduct involving prostitution, The Washington Post reports.
The allegations related to at least one agent's involvement with prostitutes, Jon Adler, president of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, told The Post. When Adler spoke with The Associated Press later, he said that though he had heard there were prostitution allegations, “he had no specific knowledge of any wrongdoing.”
Former Washington Post reporter and author Ronald Kessler was more specific, however. “One of the agents did not pay one of the prostitutes, and she complained to the police,” as CNN quotes him:
“Calling it ‘clearly the biggest scandal in Secret Service history,’ Kessler said the 12 agents are accused of involvement in the incident ‘in one degree or another,’ from allegedly interfering in the investigation to participating in other alleged misconduct. Kessler did not identify to CNN who provided him with details of the investigation.”
All 12 agents have been replaced, and the Secret Service says its security plan for the two-day Summit of the Americas has not been compromised,
President Obama arrived for the summit in Cartagena, Colombia, on Friday.
It was Kessler who alerted The Post to the incident, the paper says. He told the Post that while soliciting prostitution is legal in certain parts of Colombia, the Secret Service considers it inappropriate.
Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan told the AP that activity that prompted the allegations preceded the president’s arrival.
The newspaper Politico had more. The operative portion its report:
“There have been allegations of misconduct made against Secret Service personnel in Cartagena, Colombia prior to the President’s trip. 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,” Edwin Donovan, Secret Service spokesman, said in a statement.
“The Secret Service takes all allegations of misconduct seriously. This entire matter has been turned over to our Office of Professional Responsibility, which serves as the agency’s internal affairs component,” Donovan said. “These personnel changes will not affect the comprehensive security plan that has been prepared in advance of the President’s trip.”
Donovan would not release further details, and the White House referred all questions about the episode to the Secret Service.
Ronald Kessler, a former Washington Post reporter and author of the book “In the President’s Secret Service: Behind the Scenes With Agents in the Line of Fire and the Presidents They Protect,” first heard about the investigation and tipped off Post reporters Friday night.
“It is the biggest scandal in Secret Service history,” Kessler said in an interview Saturday with POLITICO. “It is all part of this pattern that I wrote about in the book of corner cutting, laxness, cover-up.”
Kessler said he heard of 12 agents being involved — some for allegedly soliciting prostitutes, others for attempting to cover it up. The group includes two supervisors, he said.
One of the prostitutes complained to police that she was not paid, setting off the investigation, Kessler said.
“(The police) told the State Department. The State Department told the Secret Service. The Secret Service told the White House. They withdrew,” Kessler said. “It is totally inappropriate for agents to be seeing prostitutes, but this subjected the agents to possible blackmail. Some of them are married. Anything is possible. The prostitutes could have been in league with terrorists or other drug dealers to demand ransoms.”
The incident is so troublesome because it could have put the president’s safety at risk, Kessler said.
One of the agents allegedly involved was not part of the Secret Service detail whose plainclothes agents shadow the president in public, but a supervisor in the Counter Assault Team, according to CBS News, which did not cite specific sources.
The story broke as Obama was preparing to attend a gala dinner with more than 30 leaders gathered for the summit.
The summit, which includes more than 30 leaders, already laid out some challenges for Obama.
As the AP reports, the Secret Service recall could make things even more difficult:
“The incident threatened to overshadow Obama's economic and trade agenda at the summit and embarrass the U.S.”
The White House had no comment for the AP report.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said the incident with the military personnel stems from the same episode involving about a dozen members of the Secret Service who were called back to the U.S. for an investigation into possible misconduct.
Sexual permissiveness is old hat in the West.
Anyone emerging out the man station in Germany’s Frankfurt am Main would see a huge hoarding bang outside the exit “Blue Movie!”
Incidentally, though blue films are advertised and sold in most western nations, there are very few who see it.
Most of the cinemas and video parlours that exhibit them are mostly empty.
I had personally checked them out during my very first visit that had lasted all of 3 minutes each [in all I ‘inspected’ four joints in 3 nations – Germany, France and Netherlands] – just for the sake of being sure.
Incidentally, the Red Light areas of two well-known cities Frankfurt and Amsterdam are bang opposite the main rail terminals. Pigalle - the red light district of Paris is completely guarded by police officials.
The average Frenchman takes pride in the fact that its most famous landmark is completely safe for those who “seek what is wrongly termed forbidden pleasure.”
While sexual misconduct have sunk many careers of budding politicians in several nations that include those in the United Kingdom and the USA, people generally frown at politicians aiming for high office who are promiscuous.
There are two exceptions – both former Presidents of the United States – and both of them are Democrats like Obama – John F Kennedy and William Jefferson [Bill] Clinton had painted the White House red!
According to documents made public by the US government, Kennedy had suffered from several physical disorders that included Addison’s disease which required several types of medications leading to a huge sexual appetite.
There is this wonderful sentence Kennedy uttered while conversing with UK Prime Minister Harold Macmillan, “I wonder how it is for you, Harold? If I don’t have a woman for three days, I get terrible headaches!”
Kennedy’s former girlfriends include Marilyn Monroe, Gunilla von Post, Judith Campbell, Mary Pinchot Meyer, Marlene Dietrich, and Mimi Alford.
I am quoting from Wikipedia verbatim here as I do not want to be contradicted at all as the gentleman in question is alive and his wife happens to be the Secretary of State.
Throughout his career, Clinton has been subject to various allegations of sexual misconduct, though he has only admitted extramarital relationships with Monica Lewinsky and Gennifer Flowers. For alleged misconduct during his governorship, Paula Jones brought a sexual harassment lawsuit against Clinton while he was president. The case was initially dismissed, but Jones appealed the dismissal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.
During the deposition for the Jones lawsuit, which was held at the White House, Clinton denied having sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky – a denial that became the basis for the impeachment charge of perjury.
On November 18, 1998, Clinton agreed to an out-of-court settlement, and agreed to pay Jones and her attorneys a sum of $850,000.
Clinton denies ever engaging in a sexual affair with her and his attorney Bob Bennett stated that he only made the settlement so he could end the lawsuit for good and move on with his life.
In 1998, Kathleen Willey alleged Clinton sexually assaulted her four years previously. In 1998, Juanita Broaddrick alleged Clinton raped her some twenty years previously. The accusations by Willey and Broaddrick were never brought before a court.
The independent counsel determined Willey gave “false information” to the FBI and inconsistent sworn testimony related to the Jones allegation.
Gennifer Flowers, Elizabeth Ward Gracen, Sally Perdue, and Dolly Kyle Browning each have reported having adulterous sexual relations with Clinton during or before his service as governor. Gracen later apologized to Hillary Clinton.
His ability to survive multiple scandals and maintain high approval ratings led to a nickname of “Teflon Bill”, in imitation of Ronald Reagan's nickname “Teflon Ron”.
Teflon coated pans are certified as ‘non-stick’.
Tamil Nadu perhaps has the distinction of being the only state whose political leaders have been candid about their ‘affairs’.
It began with the founder of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam – the late Chief Minister C.N. Annadurai who remarked in the state legislature when an opposition [Congress] questioned as to why the CM’s car was often found outside actress late Bhanumathy’s [later Mrs Ramakrishna] house.
Laughing the question off, Anna remarked, “Naan Mutrum Thurantha Munivarum Alla, Aval Padi Thandaap Paththiniyum Alla!”
[Neither am I a saint who has forsaken the world nor is she [the actress] the embodiment of chastity.]
Former CM Karunanidhi was questioned in 1968 on the floors of the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly on the issue of a woman [later called Rajathi Ammaal] giving to birth to a baby girl in a government maternity hospital and entering the name of the then minister Karunanidhi as the child’s father.
The unfazed Kalaignar in one simple sentence shut everyone’s mouth saying, “The woman in question, Rajathi Ammaal, is my daughter Kanimozhi’s mother!”
Incidentally, I had personally remarked to Karunanidhi more than once that of all the children sired by him “the questionably born daughter Kanimozhi is the only cultured person in his household.”
Kanimozhi has worked as an unassuming journalist in Chennai and authored several well-researched and well written books.
She speaks fluently in English and in Tamil with the finesse of a Lady.
Sadly, she also is the only one in the family who had to go to prison on charges of corruption and is still under a cloud.
Tamil Nadu’s poet laureate, the late Kannadasan had a favourite anecdote about his visit to a house of ill-fame with Karunanidhi in tow.
“I went in, had my fun, paid some money to the prostitute. Karunanidhi then went in, did whatever he had to and came out after ‘retrieving’ the money from the woman!”
I had heard Kannadasan say this during public meetings in Mylapore during the seventies and eighties.
And the charismatic poet has got this published in black and white in an autobiographical Tamil account which can be found on the stands of book stores even today!
In India, most persons seem admire or even worship promiscuity.
Many senior politicians are known to have multiple consorts.
None other than Karunanidhi himself has a strange way of justifying these flings.
Upon my asking a tongue-in-cheek question about his promiscuity when I used to talk to him freely, he responded thus: You people worship Muruga who has two wives and Krishna who had had 16000 of them. You call them Gods ... I call them political leaders of their time! You blame me ... but did the actor [meaning MGR] did not have his affairs? Nothing is wrong, if the man and woman concerned are past the age of consent and are willing!